The Kansas City drunk driving accident attorneys at Dickerson Oxton, LLC help victims of negligence recover damages that arise from Kansas City or Missouri drunk driving car crashes. Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation with an aggressive drunk driving accident attorney and learn more about our contingency-fee legal services today. Whether you are considering a suit against a drunk driver or an irresponsible restaurant or bar, the negligent party should be responsible for compensating you for injuries and financial losses.
Why Choose Us?
- Our family is here to help yours. We care about our clients. Your lawyer will go the extra mile to make you feel heard.
- Our attorneys have vast experience going up against insurance companies. We can take an insurer to court in Kansas City if it will not settle your claim fairly.
- Our lawyers never guarantee settlements, as no lawyer can promise this, but we do have a history of results that make our clients feel confident in our capabilities.
- Our law firm takes accident cases on a contingency fee basis. You will pay nothing if your drunk driving accident attorney does not obtain compensation on your behalf.
Local Kansas City Drink Driving Accident Lawyers
Victims of drunk driving accidents involving drunk drivers may struggle with the consequences of their injuries for months or even a lifetime. When someone else’s gross negligence leads to your pain and suffering, he or she should be legally responsible for them. The personal injury attorneys at Dickerson Oxton, LLC work to secure fair compensation for the full extent of your injuries following a drunk driving accident, including:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and any loss in earning capacity
- Intangible losses such as loss in life quality, pain, and suffering
These losses aren’t something you should bear on your own. A Kansas City personal injury attorney can help you discover whether another party might be responsible after an injury with a drunk driver. Let us protect your right to full compensation under the law. Contact our office at (816) 268-1960 and schedule a free case evaluation with our firm today.
What Are Common Injuries Suffered in a Drunk Driving Accident?
The dynamics of a drunk driving accident often cause serious to catastrophic personal injuries for victims. A drunk driver is often guilty of reckless driving practices, such as driving at excessive speeds, weaving through traffic, tailgating or driving the wrong way. A drunk driver may be too intoxicated to touch the brakes at all before impact. The nature of most DUI accidents leads to life-changing personal injuries for survivors.
- Spinal cord injuries – A drunk driving collision could crush or fracture a vehicle occupant’s spinal cord upon impact. This could lead to a permanent injury, such as paralysis. The spine could also suffer less serious injuries, such as a slipped disk, herniated disk, nerve damage or chronic pain.
- Traumatic brain injuries – A victim could sustain a traumatic brain injury, such as a concussion or swelling in the brain, after hitting his or her head on something in the accident. A blow or jolt to the skull that impacts the brain could have lifelong symptoms (brain damage) for the survivor.
- Neck injuries – Whiplash is a common car accident injury. In a drunk driving crash, whiplash can be severe and lead to temporary or permanent damage. Other severe neck injuries are also possible, such as the impact of the crash crushing the victim’s trachea or damaging the larynx.
- Chest and rib injuries – An impact between the vehicle occupant’s chest and ribs with either the seat belt or the steering column could cause serious personal injuries. Injuries to the sternum and ribcage are especially common in high-speed car accidents. A broken rib could puncture a lung or cause other internal injuries.
- Lower extremity injuries – Lower extremity injuries are common due to the forward motion of the vehicle occupant before the car comes to a stop. The victim’s legs or knees may collide with the dashboard or ignition, causing injuries such as broken bones, shattered kneecaps and torn ligaments.
- Wrongful deaths – In the most severe of circumstances, death can occur
Other common injuries include lacerations, severe burns, permanent scarring and disfigurement, internal organ injuries, permanent disabilities, and fatal injuries. Our Kansas City drunk driving accident attorneys can represent accident victims with all types of serious injuries after DUI collisions. We will fight for maximum compensation for your severe injury and all past and future related losses.
How Can a Kansas City DUI Attorney Help Recoup Damages?
Most survivors of drunk driving crashes should not try to handle claims on their own. Drunk driving collisions can cause serious and life-changing injuries, from broken bones to spinal cord injuries. Serious injury claims deserve legal representation. Without a lawyer, you may fall for the bad faith tactics of an insurance company. With a lawyer by your side, you will have the resources and abilities to demand maximum compensation from the reckless driver and any other culpable parties, such as a dram shop for supplying the alcohol.
A drunk driving accident attorney can stand by your side through every step of your injury claim. Your lawyer can investigate your crash and look for evidence of fault, such as police camera footage or eyewitness accounts. Your lawyer can set you up with the most talented physicians in Kansas City and negotiate with hospitals regarding medical bills. Then, your lawyer can handle the claims filing process while you focus on recuperating from your injuries.
While no one questions that a drunk driver should be held accountable for his or her actions and related damages, the courts require a preponderance of the evidence proving fault for the accident before it will award a judgment. During your injury claim, you or your personal injury attorney will have to present evidence that proves the driver breached a duty of care to you by driving drunk, caused your car accident and that you suffered serious harm as a consequence. Hiring an attorney can make it easier to fulfill your burden of proof.
Are Punitive Damages Common in Drunk Driving Accidents?
The two broad categories of damages available through a drunk driving accident claim are compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages serve to make you whole again after a preventable injury. Punitive damages, on the other hand, serve to punish a defendant for his or her particularly egregious or wrongful acts. Punitive damages are more common in drunk driving accidents than other types of claims due to the reckless nature of the action.
A judge has the power to award punitive damages if he or she believes the situation calls for it. Punitive damages will only be available in Missouri if the injured victim can prove using clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with a deliberate and flagrant disregard for others’ safety or that he or she intentionally harmed the victim. In a drunk driving accident case, it is often possible to prove eligibility for punitive damages by demonstrating that the driver reasonably could have foreseen the risk of significant harm to others by drinking and driving, yet chose to break the law and do so anyway.
According to Missouri’s Civil Procedure and Limitations Section 510.265, no plaintiff in Missouri can receive more than $500,000 or five times the net amount of the plaintiff’s compensatory damages in punitive damages, whichever is greater. This is the state’s punitive damage cap. Ask an attorney if you are eligible for punitive damages after a DUI accident, and if so, how much you can reasonably expect from the defendant.
What to Do After a Drunk Driving Accident in Kansas City, MO?
If you or a loved one recently suffered harm due to a drunk driver, understanding your legal options is essential to protecting your right to compensation. The things you say and do after your car crash could affect your injury claim. When in doubt, call a personal injury lawyer from Dickerson Oxton for advice after a DUI accident. Take the following steps after an accident:
- Ask for the police report. The Kansas City Police are required to report to the scene of any accident with reported injuries. If you were receiving emergency medical treatment, it’s likely that you did not get to speak with the responding officer. This officer will create a report that includes any citations, witness information, and other evidence. Contact the police department and ask for a copy of the report. Provide a statement to the police that details the circumstances surrounding the accident if possible.
- Don’t sign. Do not sign any paperwork from insurance companies or agree to recorded statements. Insurance companies may try to present you with a “low-ball” offer for your injuries or ask you to submit a recorded statement for their claim. Do not agree to any of these terms without consulting an attorney first.
- Contact a Kansas City drunk driving accident attorney. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Kansas City can help you understand your legal options and defend your right to fair compensation. Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation with our firm today.
You do not have to handle the legwork of a drunk driving accident claim alone. You may hire an attorney to take care of confusing legal processes for you. Your attorney can go up against the drunk driver’s insurance company or other defendants on your behalf. A lawyer can also make sure you do not say or do something that could hurt your claim, such as admitting fault or missing the filing deadline.
Drunk Driving Laws in Missouri
Missouri, like every other state in the U.S., considers a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 to be drunk driving. In some cases, a lower BAC may lead to drunk driving charges – people not of the legal drinking age, under the age of 21, for example, should not have any discernible alcohol in their system.
A person’s BAC may depend on his or her weight, gender, tolerance, and other factors. Unfortunately, many people get behind the wheel of their vehicles when they should not be driving. When this exaggerated behavior, poor coordination and loss of muscle control leads to a car accident, he or she will be legally responsible for any damages that result. For more information regarding Missouri’s drunk driving laws, reach out to a Kansas City car accident attorney.
What Are the Penalties for Drinking and Driving in Missouri?
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can lead to serious criminal consequences in Missouri. Not only will the drunk driver have to pay for the victim’s losses, but the driver may also go to jail or have to pay fines for a driving while intoxicated conviction. DUI in Missouri can lead to criminal penalties, such as a fine of up to $500 and a minimum of five days in jail. The maximum jail time is six months for a first offense.
If the offender had a previous DUI conviction, the minimum jail time is 10 days. With two or more convictions, it is 30 days (with community service options for early release). Three or more comes with a 60-day minimum. Finally, four or more DUI convictions comes with a 2-year minimum sentence. Most drivers convicted of DUI in Missouri also have to attend mandatory treatment programs. The driver will also receive points on his or her driving record. DUI is a class B misdemeanor in Missouri unless the case involves aggravating factors, such as a car accident or personal injuries.
Drunk Driving Accidents in the U.S.
A person’s BAC may depend on his or her weight, gender, tolerance, and other factors. Unfortunately, many people get behind the wheel of their vehicles when they should not be driving. When this behavior leads to a car accident, he or she will be legally responsible for any damages that result.
Motor vehicle crashes in teenagers is a leading cause of driving fatalities. In fact, in 2017, 58% of drivers aged 15-20 involved in fatal crashes had a BAC of .08% or higher. Teenagers that participate in underage drinking have a different legal limit. The highest percentage of an individual’s BAC under the age of 21 is .020.
For more information regarding drunk driving laws, reach out to a Kansas City car accident attorney.
Contact a Kansas City Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
We all know the dangers of operating a motor vehicle under the influence – it impairs our judgment, slows our reaction time, and is a contributing factor in many Missouri and Kansas car accidents. Unfortunately, many citizens of these states lose their lives in drunk driving accidents each year. Between 2003 and 2012, 3,314 Missouri citizens lost their lives in drunk driving accidents, and 1.8% admits to driving under the influence of alcohol, compared to the national average of 1.9%.
The experienced attorneys at Dickerson Oxton, help navigate our clients through the legal process and we are licensed to practice law in the states of Kansas and Missouri. If you have been injured by an impaired driver, contact our drunk driving accident lawyers today at (816) 268-1960 for a free consultation. Our attorneys are here to help victims recover what was lost during this difficult time.