Can You Sue a Drunk Driver for Causing an Accident?

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by | Jul 6, 2016 | Horn Law News

In a recent Horn News publication, we highlighted how Walmart Supercenter located on 7207 NM1 Highway had become an alcohol access point for teenagers in the Gladstone community. This 24-hour location was the prime spot for alcohol theft for underage drinkers, and a large majority of shoplifters were removing hard alcohol products that were not protected by a bottle alarm.

Alcohol is one of the leading causes of fatal accidents in the United States, so it should be no surprise that the team here at Horn Law wants to highlight this ongoing issue. When an accident is caused by a drunken driver, and you suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one as a result, you may wonder if you could sue that driver for his or her actions.

Can You Sue a Drunken Driver?

If the motor vehicle accident was caused by a drunk driver, it can certainly impact your life. If the crash resulted in serious bodily harm or death, it could affect you for the rest of your life. From long-term hospitalizations to disability and even disfigurement, the injuries associated with drunken driver accidents are often very severe. In the case of a death, funeral costs and other associated out-of-pocket expenses could burden surviving family members tremendously.

The unfairness of the entire situation may motivate you to file a lawsuit against the drunken driver. If you do decide to recover damages, you are entitled under the law to do so – because the driver was acting negligently. But, just because the driver was intoxicated and arrested for drunken driving does not mean that you will automatically win your claim. You still need an experienced attorney by your side to assist you.

What Can You Sue a Drunken Driver For?

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving while under the influence is one of the leading causes of injury and death on United States highways. If the impaired driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more, then he or she is considered legally impaired, and should not be driving. Drivers who choose to drive while intoxicated, and cause vehicle crashes due to such impairment, will not only face criminal charges, but are subject to civil lawsuits, as well.

Seeking Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are not always awarded in personal injury cases, but in the event that you are injured by a drunken driver, you could possibly seek punitive damages – depending on the circumstances of your accident. As the victim of a DUI accident, you may qualify for punitive damages if the driver was arrested, or if it was proven that he or she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. This could add thousands to your total settlement.

Aside from the opportunity for punitive damages, you could seek compensation for costs that include:

  1. Medical expenses
  2. Therapies
  3. Medical supplies
  4. Prescription medications
  5. Income losses
  6. Pain and suffering
  7. Property damage
  8. Funeral expenses (if a death occurs)
  9. Punitive damages

Speak with a Car Accident Attorney Right Away

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, you will need to consult with a Kansas City attorney right away. To discover the legal options that may be available to you, speak with an expert attorney at Horn Law today. If you do decide to pursue a claim, our attorneys will prepare the court documents and file the lawsuit on your behalf. We will aggressively seek compensation and hold those responsible for their reckless behavior to the fullest extent of the law. Schedule a free consultation now at 816-795-7500, or fill out our online contact form to get started.