Deadly Drunk Driving Accidents in Kansas City, Missouri
Drunk driving continues to be a serious problem, even though states continue to crack down on impaired drivers. Thousands of people are killed or injured in DUI accidents each year. During 2018, 10,511 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in the United States.
If a loved one was seriously injured or killed due to the reckless conduct of a drunk driver, you are likely overcome with emotions and questions about how to move forward. You may be asking can the driver be held liable for damages and can other parties (like the bar or establishment that sold the liquor) be held liable for the DUI accident?
Our Kansas City wrongful death attorney has experience in DUI accidents and has answers to the most common drunk driving accident questions that arise from fatal drunk driving accidents. Call us today at 816-203-0143 for a free, no obligation consultation.
Seeking Compensation After a DUI Accident
When someone is injured or killed in a drunk driving accident, the party or parties responsible for causing the collision can be held responsible for damages and losses. Damages and losses from a drunk driving accident may include medical expenses, loss of income, funeral expenses, physical therapy, personal care, occupational therapy, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
Even though money cannot undo the damage caused by a drunk driver, financial restitution can help reimburse the victims for financial losses and the pain and suffering they experience because of the accident. In Kansas, the victims can pursue the drunk driver for damages caused by a DUI accident. However, in Missouri, victims may also pursue a dram shop action against a restaurant, bar, or other establishment that continued to serve the driver after the driver was noticeably intoxicated.
As with any traffic accident, identifying all parties with potential liability increases the chance that the victim receives maximum compensation for a personal injury claim. A Kansas City DUI accident attorney can pursue all causes of action against every party that might have some liability for your injuries and damages.
Investigating a Drunk Driving Accident
Being intoxicated at the time of the collision is not sufficient evidence to prove that a driver caused an accident. You must prove that the driver’s actions led to the cause of the crash before you can recover compensation for your injuries and losses.
Gathering evidence to prove fault is an important step in filing a DUI accident claim. Your attorney may take several steps to gather evidence proving that the drunk driver caused the car crash. Examples of evidence used in drunk driving accident cases include:
- Videos from traffic cameras, police cameras, and surveillance cameras
- Police reports and accident reports
- Receipts and information from bars, restaurant, and other establishments the driver visited before the accident
- Results from breathalyzers and other field sobriety tests
- Photographs and videos of the accident scene
- Eyewitness statements and accounts
- Cell phone records, GPS records, and other data collected from social media showing the activity of the driver before the accident
- Evidence from accident experts, including an accident reconstructionist
Because police officers thoroughly investigate drunk driving offenses, there is often a great deal of evidence available from the criminal investigation. However, a driver doesn't need to be charged with or found guilty of DUI for you to pursue a civil action for damages. The civil action is separate and apart from any criminal charges the driver might face for intoxicated driving.
Does Insurance Pay for Drunk Driving Accidents?
If a driver has insurance, the insurance company is responsible for damages arising from an accident caused by its insured driver. The driver being intoxicated at the time of the accident does not relieve the insurance company from liability for damages caused by the crash. However, you must prove that the drunk driver caused the accident before the insurance company can be held liable for your claim.
Therefore, the same rules apply in a drunk driving accident as they do in any other traffic accident. It is best not to deal with an insurance company or adjuster directly. The insurance company is searching for evidence that it can use to mitigate its losses. It is best to allow an experienced Kansas City drunk driving accident attorney handle the insurance claim. If an insurance adjuster pressures you for a statement or to accept a settlement, you should contact our office immediately to talk to an attorney.
Wrongful Death Claims & Drunk Driving Accidents
If a family member died because of a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation under the state’s wrongful death statutes. A wrongful death claim can compensate your family for the financial losses associated with your loved one’s death, as well as compensate you for the loss of companionship, love, support, and guidance your loved one would have provided had he or she lived.
Wrongful death claims are very complicated. The laws dictate who can file a wrongful death claim and the damages they can seek. Our DUI accident attorney in Kansas City can help you explore your legal options for holding a drunk driver responsible for the death of your loved one.
Contact Our Kansas City Drunk Driving Accident Attorney for Help
The Law Office of Kevin J. McManus handles car accident and DUI accident claims in Kansas and Missouri. Let us help you hold the intoxicated driver who caused your car accident responsible for his or her negligence and wrongdoing.
Call us today at 816-203-0143 for a free consultation with a Kansas City drunk driving accident lawyer. We would be honored to assist and seek justice for you and your family.