Kansas City Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
What to Do If You or a Loved One Was Hit by a Drunk Driver
Despite strict laws prohibiting the operation of any motor vehicle while intoxicated, people continue to make the choice to drive drunk every day. Unfortunately, this choice often has tragic consequences.
If you were injured or if your loved one was killed by a drunk driver, we strongly encourage you to reach out to our Kansas City drunk driving accident lawyers as soon as possible. At Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman, Chtd., we fight for justice on behalf of individuals and families who have been made to suffer the consequences of another person’s negligence. We can help you file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit and seek the justice and fair compensation you are owed. Since 1949, we have successfully recovered more than $625 million for our clients; get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you get back on your feet.
Contact Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman, Chtd. online or call our office at (816) 542-5999 to schedule a free, confidential case evaluation today.
How Is a Drunk Driving Accident Claim Different Than a Criminal Case?
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a crime in every state, including Missouri. Motorists of legal drinking age who are found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or above are subject to a number of criminal and administrative penalties, from jail time and fines to driver’s license suspension. These penalties are even harsher for repeat offenders, underage drivers, and commercial vehicle operators.
When a drunk driver causes an accident that results in serious bodily injury or death, they face additional criminal penalties. They can also be held liable in a civil legal action in which the plaintiff (the injured party or an eligible party who brings a wrongful death claim) seeks financial compensation for their damages.
A criminal DWI case and a civil drunk driving accident case are two entirely separate legal actions—the outcome of one does not necessarily affect the other. However, if a defendant is found guilty of DWI in a criminal case, this will likely bode well for a civil lawsuit, as it establishes the at-fault driver’s negligence.
Damages in Drunk Driving Injury Claims
The purpose of filing a civil drunk driving injury claim is to recover compensation for your damages. These damages can be both economic and non-economic in nature and will vary somewhat depending on the severity of the crash and the resulting injuries.
If you were injured by a drunk driver, you could potentially recover the following damages:
- All medical expenses related to treatment of injuries sustained in the accident
- Reasonable future medical expenses for ongoing treatment and care
- Lost income/wages from time taken off work to obtain medical treatment/heal
- Lost future earnings and loss of earning capacity when injuries are disabling
- Pain and suffering, including emotional trauma, PTSD, anxiety, depression, etc.
If someone you love was killed by a drunk driver, you may be eligible to recover damages for:
- Medical bills for the deceased’s final treatment and care
- Funeral/burial expenses
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased prior to death
- Lost income, wages, and benefits the deceased would have provided
- Reasonable value of household, childcare, and other services provided by the deceased
- Loss of love, companionship, support, guidance, counsel, and consortium
In either case, you may also be able to seek punitive damages if the drunk driver’s conduct displayed egregious negligence or reckless disregard for human life. These are a special type of damage meant to punish the at-fault party and send a message that such conduct will not be tolerated.
How Long Do I Have to File a Drunk Driving Accident Claim?
The state of Missouri has various statutes of limitations on personal injury and wrongful death claims. This means that you have a limited amount of time to bring your claim; if you fail to file a claim/lawsuit within the designated statute of limitations, you will almost certainly be barred from recovering compensation for your damages.
The statute of limitations on most personal injury cases in Missouri is five years from the date of injury. The state of limitations on wrongful death cases in the state is shorter at just three years from the date of death. It is critical that you contact our Kansas City drunk driving injury lawyers as soon as possible after the accident to ensure that you do not miss the deadline to bring your claim.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Team Today
At Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman, Chtd., we strive to provide our clients with the caring support and aggressive advocacy they need and deserve. Our award-winning attorneys are true trial lawyers with a track record of success spanning more than seven decades. We are proud of our long-running reputation for excellence, and we are also committed to remaining on the cutting-edge of personal injury law by utilizing advanced technology and techniques to build strong cases for our clients. We work as a team to ensure that you receive innovative, skillful representation that’s tailored to your unique situation.
If you were injured by a drunk driver, or if someone you love died in a drunk driving accident, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm to learn how we can help. We provide free initial consultations both in person and over the phone.