Columbia Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
It is never a good idea to drink and drive. Unfortunately, some careless drivers choose to do so, fully ignoring the fact that they are not only putting themselves in harms way, but other innocent drivers as well.
If you suffered injuries due to a negligent drunk driver, be sure to schedule a consultation to find out how you could hold them liable. Get started on your case by reviewing your situation with a Columbia drunk driving accident lawyer. With their help, you may be able to obtain a favorable outcome.
Obtainable Damages in a Drunk Driving Auto Case
The plaintiff in drunk driving accidents is entitled to the same damages as any other type of car crash. They are also entitled to punitive damages in most cases. The types of damages they are entitled to just like other types of car crashes involve payment of medical bills, pain and suffering, future medical treatments, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and payment for damage to their vehicle. Although they may be entitled to punitive damages if they go to trial, it is important to note that most auto insurance policies will exclude punitive damages from their policy, so the ability to recover is highly speculative.
Cases in Which Both the Defendant and the Plaintiff were Drunk
If the injured person in a crash was also a drunk driver, it is highly unlikely that they have a case. There are exceptions to this, but at a very minimum, the value of their case will be reduced. There are cases where the at-fault driver may not have been intoxicated and the driver that was not at fault was intoxicated. In these cases, the other driver was negligent and they therefore do have a case. However, the jury will surely reduce the amount of their damages by what percentage they believe the plaintiff was at fault.
If the injured driver can be found at least partially responsible for the accident, negligence can get pursued in the event that the majority of the fault belongs to the drunk driver. In some cases, the plaintiff could be partially liable for a case even though the other driver was primarily responsible and also drunk during the crash. In Missouri, even if the defendant is only 1 percent liable for a crash, they can recover. Just note that the amount of their damages will be reduced by their percentage of fault. Using the example above, if they their case is worth $10,000 and they are 60 percent at fault, then they are only entitled to $4,000. In other words, they will be able to recover, but only for the percentage that the other driver is at fault.
Difference Between Drunk Driving Accidents and Other Auto Crashes
Car accident injury cases involving drunk drivers are different than other types of car crash cases. This is because in many instances, a drunk driver will be uninsured for the crash. Another reason these are different is that punitive damages may be involved, which means that their case might be worth more just because the other driver was intoxicated. However, note that if the other driver does have insurance, the punitive damages may be excluded under their policy.
Drunk driving cases are also different because the damages can be far more substantial due to the nature of the crashes. Many of these crashes occur when the other driver is going at a higher rate of speed and when the other driver is unconscious or unaware of their surroundings. This tends to lead to far more significant injuries to a person’s head, neck, back, and other extremities. Fatal injuries are also an unfortunate common aspect seen in multiple cases.
Reach Out to an Attorney Today
If you were the victim of a drunk driving-related auto accident, it is in your best interest to retain the services of a trusted attorney. With the help of a Columbia drunk driving car accident lawyer, you may be able to accurately assess how much compensation is owed to you, who should be held liable for your accident, and what strategies would prove most effective for your case. For more information, or to get started on a case, be sure to schedule a consultation today.