If a Drunk Driver Hit You, We Can Help You Understand Your Rights
The victims of drunk driving accidents deserve justice. When a drunk driver chooses to get behind the wheel of a vehicle they are betraying every member of their community. However, it is the victims of drunk drivers that often have to live with the consequences of this betrayal. Our team of Kansas City DUI accident lawyers fights for victims to help them recover fair compensation when they are injured by another person’s negligence.
What Are My Options If I’m Hit by a Drunk Driver?
When a driver is arrested for getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, police will typically administer a variety of field tests and may also take a blood test from the perpetrator in order to pursue criminal charges against that individual. You can also gather evidence yourself at the scene. For instance, you can take notice of the demeanor of the intoxicated individual, i.e. slurred speech, imbalance, etc. You may also see empty alcohol containers in their vehicle or other indicators of intoxication. All of the information you could use to support your injury claim and/or your civil lawsuit.
It will be the job of a local prosecutor to pursue criminal charges. However, in order to obtain financial compensation, the victims need to hire an attorney to pursue claims in the civil justice system.
For the most part, a criminal lawsuit against the driver who hit you will not impact your legal rights. The one exception here is evidence gathered by the prosecution, which may aid your claim. However, even if the at-fault party is found not guilty in criminal court, civil trials have a different (and lower) standard of truth. Do not get discouraged if criminal charges are dropped or dismissed against the drunk driver. A skilled drunk driving accident attorney can help you build a strong injury claim so you can pursue the compensation you deserve.
Drunk Driving and Hit-and-Runs
Drunk drivers are more likely to be involved in hit-and-run incidents than sober drivers, often this is because drunk drivers are scared of what might happen if they are caught so they flee the scene. This can make the victims of such accidents feel alone, as if they have nowhere to go for help. However, like driving drunk, leaving the scene of an accident is a crime. Police may be able to help you find the at-fault party, especially if you can provide information like:
- The make and model of the car
- The color of the car
- Any distinguishing features
- Part or all of the license plate number
- The direction the driver went after the accident
Even if the drunk driver is not found, you might also be able to recover compensation through your own insurance coverage. If you find yourself in this scary position we want you to know you are not alone. Our team can help you determine what your options may be if you are the victim of such an accident.
Frequently Asked Questions About DUI Injury Claims
Because most insurance has a clause denying coverage for any purposefully or intentionally harmful behavior, many people think drunk driving accidents are automatically not covered by insurance. This is not true. The other party’s insurance is responsible for your damages if their client hits you, even when the accident was caused by the driver being intoxicated.
Because you’ll be bringing a claim either to an insurance company or in civil court, a conviction does not have any direct impact on your ability to recover full and fair compensation. However, when criminal charges against the drunk driver are successful it can improve your ability to obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries.
Under Missouri’s dram shop law, you may have the right to sue an establishment that:
- provided alcohol to someone under 21 years of age or
- served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or
However, these claims may be difficult to prove because if you were not there to see the driver’s “visible intoxication,” you might not know where to start looking for evidence. Our attorneys can help you investigate your potential claims and help you evaluate if such a claim could be pursued.
Can I Ask for Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages claims are often brought but rarely successful. However drunk or intoxicated drivers are one of the most common scenarios where punitive damages are more likely to be successful. The reasoning is that, in such a situation, the driver clearly should have known they were unable to be on the road safely and, in choosing to drive anyway, acted with gross negligence. When you share the details of your case with our attorneys, we can determine whether you may be able to receive punitive damages.
Ask Our Kansas City Drunk Driving Injury Attorneys for Help
We know how difficult it can be to recover from the injuries caused by a drunk driving accident. Aside from obvious physical hardship, being injured and away from work and other normal activities takes an extensive mental toll as well. You may feel your worries are getting in the way of your recovery. If you are concerned about paying for your treatment, especially if you have been forced to take time off work for your recovery, call our team to discuss how you can file for compensation. We only get paid if we are able to obtain compensation for you.
Meet the Attorneys of Peterson & Associates, P.C.
What Our Clients Are Saying
We are proud to establish long standing relationships with our clients and we pride ourselves on offering quality, personalized, confident representation to all of our clients.
Team did a great job resolving my injury case- Daniel G.
They were instrumental in saving my life.- Kathy
I’m a witness to how wonderful they are as a law firm.- Larry
Peterson & Associates, P.C. heard me and made sure I was not taken advantage of.- Lee
I would definitely recommend Peterson & Associates- Leesa
They get the job done- Theresa
Choosing Our Team
Many people that have been injured in car accidents are unsure of where to start with a legal claim. Our team of highly trained lawyers can help to review the details of your crash and guide you through the process. Below, learn more about the attorneys at Peterson & Associates, P.C., their results, and contingency fees.