No one wants to think about the risk of being hit by a drunk driver, but this is not entirely uncommon. People who are intoxicated may drive regardless of the danger, putting everyone else on the road at risk.
If you have been hit by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to receive compensation for damages. To do this, you need to hire a reliable drunk driving accident attorney to represent you and ensure your rights are maintained. At Walton Telken Injury Attorneys, our St. Louis car accident attorneys are dedicated to providing victims with the resources they need to get justice.
How Does Alcohol Affect a Driver?
Everyone is aware that drunk driving is hazardous and irresponsible since it endangers everyone else. When a driver is intoxicated, their ability to think clearly and make good decisions is significantly reduced.
Alcohol often impacts their ability to respond to what is going on, making it harder for drivers to navigate safely on the road. They may not be able to stop in time or recognize that they have to stop at stop signs or red lights. There is also an increased risk of a driver falling asleep at the wheel if they become drowsy from excessive drinking.
Civil vs. Criminal Drunk Driving Cases
If you want to file a case against a drunk driver, your top priority should be hiring a drunk driving accident lawyer. They will help you navigate the civil legal process, as there’s a different outcome to a criminal drunk driving case.
Civil and criminal cases are very different since criminal charges do not help the injured victim of the drunk driver. Criminal charges, filed by local prosecution officials, are designed to punish the perpetrator.
When you file a civil drunk driving case, this allows you to seek accident compensation for significant medical bills and property damage. These cases don’t require as much proof to convict the defendant since you only have to show that the defendant is civilly liable.
A civil drunk driving claim requires proof that the drunk driving accident happened the way you said it did — as a result of a driver’s negligence. If successful, you can receive economic and non-economic damages from the driver who is found civilly liable.
Recoverable Damages for Drunk Driving Accidents in St. Louis
Getting into a drunk driving accident can have long-term repercussions both physically, mentally, and financially. That is why it is crucial to seek recoverable damages to help you rebuild your life after this accident.
Here are some examples of damages you could receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses: If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, any kind of medical expenses are part of your compensation. Medical damages include emergency care, surgeries, aftercare, and medication.
- Current and projected financial losses: Drunk driving injuries will often result in you being unable to work for a certain amount of time. Because of this, you should receive compensation for lost wages while you recover, as well as any reduced earning potential as a result of your injuries.
- Non-economic damages: You also qualify for non-economic damages after a drunk driving accident, which includes pain and suffering. You could receive compensation for issues such as PTSD, mental distress, or a reduced quality of life.
How to Strengthen Your Case Against a Drunk Driver
Your St. Louis drunk driving accident attorney can help you prove your case against a drunk driver and their insurance company by gathering the most critical evidence to support your case.
Evidence like police reports and witness statements will strengthen your case and add credibility to it. You should also have photographs of physical and property damages as well as the scene of the collision. It’s essential that you also get access to your medical records to show the extent of your physical injuries to back up your case.
Drunk Driving Accident Case FAQs
Does Missouri have a dram shop liability law?
Like many states, Missouri has what is called a dram shop rule. This is a rule that allows you to sue a bar or restaurant for your drunk driving accident injuries if they knowingly served the defendant alcohol when they were under 21.
For this rule to apply, the vendor has to be at a location where the alcoholic beverage is meant to be drunk on the premises. This rule would no longer apply if the defendant purchased their drink at a grocery store or liquor store.
Can I get punitive damages?
You and your drunk driving accident lawyer have the option of seeking punitive damages if you have evidence showing that the defendant acted deliberately to get behind the wheel despite being intoxicated and discarded the safety of others. For this to stick in your personal injury claim, you have to provide clear and convincing proof that the driver got behind the wheel while knowing the dangers.
If a drunk driver killed my loved one, what am I entitled to?
If you are filing a wrongful death case after a drunk driver killed a loved one, you may be able to receive certain types of damages. Examples of this include lost income, the reduced capacity for income in the future, medical expenses before their death, and funeral expenses.
When do you need to file a civil drunk driving claim?
In Missouri, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in civil court is five years. If you fail to file your civil claim within this timeframe, the court will not hear your case. If you are filing a claim on behalf of a loved one who died in a drunk driving car accident, you have three years after the date of the accident to file a claim.
Hire a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in St. Louis Today
The risk of a serious auto accident is elevated when people drive intoxicated.
If you are the victim of an intoxicated driver, hire a St. Louis drunk driving accident attorney to represent you and help you get the compensation you deserve. Our injury attorneys are highly experienced at complex cases. Trust Walton Telken Injury Attorneys to provide compassionate support and relentless representation. Contact us today at 844-307-7349 or online for a free case review from a legal professional.