Drunk drivers who are caught, arrested, and charged are generally passed quickly through the criminal justice system. Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) convictions are not the most difficult convictions to land, as the evidence of intoxication is usually quite apparent. What happens if a drunk driver hits and hurts another motorist, though? Will the injured party be given compensation in as straightforward a manner?
Surprisingly, drunk driving convictions rarely include restitutions paid to injured parties. Instead, people hurt by drunk drivers will need to seek compensation and damages through a separate car accident claim brought to a civil court.
Unique Evidence to Use in a Drunk Driving Claim
When you are pursuing damages incurred in a drunk driving claim, you are going to want to approach the situation with as much evidence as possible, as you would in any other car accident case. The typical proof of liability will come in handy, such as photographs of the scene, testimonials from eyewitnesses, and your own medical records that prove your injury is real. However, you will also have the chance to access information not typical in a car accident claim.
For your drunk driving claim, it will be helpful if you can collect and use:
- Police statements: When the police show up to an accident scene, they will arrest any driver they believe to be intoxicated or impaired, such as due to marijuana use. The arrest will require a full police report about the situation, detailing what the officers witnessed and their own professional opinions into the matter. Being able to retrieve these police statements can be instrumental for your resulting civil claim.
- BAC evidence: Drivers suspected of intoxication should be tested for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. Any amount of 0.08 or greater indicates legal intoxication, but it is generally accepted that any amount of 0.02 or greater indicates the driver’s reaction times and motor control have been diminished. If the BAC level is tested and used as evidence in the criminal case against the driver, it may be possible for your personal injury attorney get a copy of it to use for your civil claim.
- Criminal record: A defendant’s history of negligence can sometimes be used to indicate their liability in an injury claim. The same may be true in a drunk driving accident claim. If the driver that hit you has preexisting DUI convictions on their record, then your liability may drop while their own increases.
- Conviction: Lastly, a DUI conviction secured in a criminal court is a strong indicator that the other driver was acting recklessly and likely did not have any acceptable amount of control of their vehicle when they hit you.
Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys in Sedalia, Missouri for Help
As helpful as all of the aforementioned forms of evidence to use in a drunk driving accident claim may be, they are only useful if you know how to utilize them in a carefully constructed personal injury claim. Rather than worrying yourself over the details of your claim and how the defense might try to counter it, come to Kempton & Russell to allow our Sedalia personal injury lawyers to handle your claim on your behalf. We have recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients in winning case results across our 60+ years of legal experience.
Call our trial-tested Missouri injury attorneys at (660) 722-4115 to begin your drunk driving claim.