In 2019, DUI accidents claimed the lives of 881 people in Missouri. That same year, 55,112 people were injured because of impaired driving accidents. DUI accidents are avoidable. If a drunk driver caused your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Bradley Law has been helping injury victims in St. Louis, MO, for nearly three decades. We’ve recovered tens of millions of dollars to help our clients get back on their feet after an accident.
How Can Bradley Law Help You After a DUI Accident in St. Louis?
Drunk driving accidents often result in severe injuries and death. Often, law enforcement will hold a drunk driver criminally responsible for a DUI accident. However, accident victims can also hold a drunk driver civilly liable for damages arising out of the crash. You might even be able to hold an institution that overserved them liable also.
If you were injured in a DUI accident, a car accident lawyer in St. Louis can help you recover compensation Bradley Law has over 30 years of experience in personal injury law. We’ve recovered over $70 million for our clients, including some of the largest verdicts in Missouri history.
When you hire us, you can expect us to:
- Investigate your accident to gather proof the driver was drinking while driving
- Calculate your damages after the crash
- Handle all administrative and filing tasks
- Negotiate with insurers and defense attorneys for a fair settlement
Contact our office today for a free consultation. Our St. Louis personal injury lawyers are standing by.
Why is Drunk Driving Dangerous?
Alcohol impairs several essential functions that a person needs to operate a vehicle safely.
Alcohol affects driving in the following ways:
- Reaction times are slowed by alcohol
- A person’s vision and tracking may be reduced
- More difficult to perceive hazards and process information
- Motor skills and coordination decrease when someone has alcohol in their system
- A person’s ability to brake, control speed, and steer are negatively impacted
- The ability to respond to emergencies decreases
Even a small amount of alcohol in a person’s system can increase their risk of causing a drunk driving accident. For example, after just two beers, a driver may experience a loss of judgment and have trouble performing two tasks simultaneously. After three beers, the person may have difficulty steering and experience reduced coordination.
What Are Common Injuries Sustained in DUI Accidents?
The injuries sustained in a DUI accident range from mild to catastrophic injuries. Accident victims may sustain:
- Fractures and broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis, fractured vertebrae, and ruptured discs
- Internal organ damage or failure
- Loss of limbs and amputations
- Severe burns and disfigurement
The cost of treating crash injuries can be enormous. A person with a permanent impairment may require ongoing medical care or personal care for the remainder of their life. For that reason, the damages for a DUI accident can total hundreds of thousands of dollars.
What Types of Damages Are Included in a DUI Accident Claim?
Damages caused by a DUI car accident can include the financial losses (economic damages) that a victim incurs because of an accident and their injuries. Also, victims may sustain non-economic damages, or “pain and suffering” damages.
Examples of damages in a St. Louis DUI accident claim include:
- The cost of diagnosing and treating accident injuries
- In-home health care and personal care costs
- The loss of income and benefits, including future decreases in earning potential
- Pain and suffering damages, including mental anguish, physical pain, and emotional distress
- Disabilities, impairments, scarring, and disfigurement
- Reduced quality of life or loss of enjoyment of life
The value of the damages caused by a drunk driver depends on the facts of the cases. Claims involving wrongful death, catastrophic injuries, or permanent impairments generally are worth more because of the lifelong consequences caused by the accident.
Valuing damages can be challenging, especially calculating the value of pain and suffering damages. However, carefully documenting injuries and damages through medical records, photographs, medical bills, receipts, and journals can help maximize compensation.
Will Car Insurance Cover DUI Accidents?
Missouri requires all drivers to have at least $25,000 per person in bodily injury liability insurance coverage ($50,000 per accident). Liability insurance pays accident victims for their damages after an accident caused by the insured driver.
Therefore, if a drunk driver caused your accident, you may recover compensation for your damages by filing a claim with the driver’s insurance provider. However, the insurance company is only liable up to the policy limits. If the driver has minimum insurance coverage, your damages may far exceed the policy limits.
What can you do if liability insurance does not cover your claim? You could file a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver. However, you may or may not be able to collect on a personal judgment.
If you have underinsured motorist coverage on your insurance policy, you might receive additional compensation from your insurance provider. Underinsured motorist coverage pays you the difference between the other driver’s insurance coverage and the value of your damages. The compensation is limited to the amount of your policy.
What Should I Do if a Drunk Driver Hits Me in St. Louis?
Call 911 to report the DUI accident and wait for help. Never confront a drunk driver. Instead, tell the emergency operator and the police officer that you suspect the driver might be intoxicated and allow the police to handle the matter.
Always seek prompt medical attention for your injuries. Prompt medical care gives you the best chance of recovering fully from your accident injuries. It also improves your chance of receiving fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
It is advisable to seek legal advice before you discuss the accident with the insurance company. Insurance representatives and claims adjusters protect the insurance company’s best interest, which means finding ways to deny or undervalue your injury claim. Make sure you understand your legal rights and how to protect your best interests before you talk with anyone about the accident.
Contact Our St. Louis DUI Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Has a drunk driver injured you or your family in a St. Louis DUI accident? If so, our personal injury attorneys at Bradley Law can help you fight to recover the money you deserve for the pain and suffering caused by an intoxicated driver.
Our personal injury lawyers have over 30 years of legal experience handling injury claims at Bradley Law. We have recovered over $70 million for our clients in settlements and jury verdicts.
Contact our law office today to schedule your free consultation with a DUI accident attorney in St. Louis. We are here to help you as you continue to fight to get back your life after a drunk driver injured you.