Even though it is common knowledge that operating a vehicle while under the influence is extremely unsafe, motorists continue to do so. Unfortunately, intoxicated drivers put themselves and others at severe risk of grave harm as these accidents often result in catastrophic injuries and death.
If you or a loved one suffered severe injuries caused by a motorist who was under the influence, you should consider speaking with a skilled injury attorney. A Chesterfield drunk driver accident lawyer could help you hold the negligent motorist accountable for their actions and seek a full compensation for your losses.
Accidents that involve a drunk driver are different than other vehicle wrecks. One reason is if someone is hit by a drunk driver, the amount that the insurance company is going to pay is much higher due to inflammatory evidence.
In addition, as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in Missouri, a defendant will also be facing criminal charges. It is important to note that an injured party cannot recover financial compensation from a drunk driver through a criminal case. However, they can use a criminal case as evidence in their separate civil claim. A local attorney could collect evidence that the defendant was cited for DUI as proof of negligence in a separate civil case.
Even in cases where injuries are relatively minor, a claimant can typically recover a substantial damages award. Therefore, it is important to speak with a skilled attorney to discuss filing a claim.
In Chesterfield, injured parties in car wreck claims involving an intoxicated motorist can recover three types of damages with help from a well-practiced lawyer. As in most vehicle wreck cases, claimants can recover compensatory damages that covers their medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the accident. However, in many drunk driving accidents, they can also recover punitive damages.
Punitive damages aim to punish the defendants and are not recoverable most of the time. Insurance companies do not pay punitive damages. If there was a punitive damages award, that would have to come directly from the at-fault driver.
In Missouri, if a claimant is found to be partially at-fault, their damages will be reduced by their percentage of responsibility. Even if a claimant is more than half responsible for the accident, they can still seek compensation from the other driver.
When people choose to drive while under the influence, they should be held responsible for their negligent and reckless actions. If you were struck by a drunk driver, whether as a motorist, pedestrian, or cyclist, you could have grounds for civil action.
Allow a local drunk driver accident lawyer to guide you through the litigation process. A well-practiced attorney could use the separate criminal case to prove the defendant was negligent and work hard to ensure you are fully compensated for the harm you suffered. Call today and schedule a case consultation for free.