Being involved in an accident that is not your fault can be very problematic. Consider, for instance, that you were driving down a road one night and, out of nowhere, a drunk driver crosses into your lane and collides with you. You end up with broken bones and various injuries, while the drunk driver walks away unscathed. This can be both distressing, as well as infuriating.
Whatever the outcome of the accident, as the victim, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the person who caused the accident. Missouri highways are prone to some of the worst drunk driving accidents. In many of these cases, one or more individuals have died.
Drunk driving is dangerous, and the consequences are severe, if not fatal. Though, there are very strict laws in place to ensure motorists are safe from drunk drivers, there are many drivers who choose to disregard these rules and drive while intoxicated anyway. In Missouri, as well as the other 49 states, there are laws to protect motorists and passengers from drunk drivers.
One measure Missouri uses is the sobriety checkpoint. These checkpoints are designed to allow police officers to stop drivers to ensure that they are not inebriated, by both visual confirmation and field sobriety tests.
What are rights does a driver have in the state of Missouri?
As a motorist, you should know your rights when driving in Missouri. You may not operate a motor vehicle in the state if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) above 0.08%. If the driver is under the age of 21 these laws are even more strict. Anyone driving under these conditions is subject to prosecution.
If a driver or passenger has suffered an injury due to a drunk driver, they have the right to file a lawsuit against that individual. Compensation can be sought for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses that have been affected the victim. In the event that a driver or passenger dies, a lawyer will usually file for a wrongful death suit, as to recoup compensation for loss of companionship, funeral services, grief counseling, and other financial burdens that the loved ones of the departed suffer.
The lawyer may also have the right to include punitive damages. Punitive damage is a monetary charge that is meant to punish the drunk driver, which will hopefully dissuade them from doing it again in the future. Drunk driving is always a risk, not just to the intoxicated driver, but for any other drivers on the road. Keep that in mind the next time think about driving while under the influence.
If you are driving, and are under the age of 21, it is best not to text while driving. If you do, and are caught, you will receive points on your license as well as a hefty fine. The more points on your license, the more likely you will lose your license for an amount of time usually decided the state and/or the highway department.
Tips for choosing a good personal injury lawyer
If you find yourself involved in an auto accident, and it wasn’t your fault, you should seek out the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer. By hiring legal counsel, you will ensure that you get the best compensation for injuries.
Having a personal injury lawyer is extremely helpful when you are filing a lawsuit. If the accident has left you immobile or unable to work, your lawyer will be able to help you receive, not only the money you deserve, but also that you need to support your family.
Finding a lawyer focused on providing you the best defense is crucial. Depending on the amount of time you have available to research which lawyer can greatly affect your outcome. Once you have found a lawyer you think is right for you, set up a consultation with them. Take the time to meet them and find out if you feel comfortable with them taking your case.
Do they seem to be concerned for your welfare? Are they more focused on what they will get paid than on winning your case? Do you feel comfortable? Do you feel like they might take advantage of you? Ask yourself these questions during the consultation. There are many lawyers who are skilled and compassionate, but there are some that are only out for themselves and your money. Do not feel that you can only have one consultation. If one lawyer doesn’t seem right meet with another until you find one who is right for you.
If you’re still struggling to find legal representation, ask friends, family members, or work associates for suggestions. They may have gone through a similar experience and already know a great lawyer. Take their suggestions and use the internet to read more about the lawyer and their firm. You will be able to find out what services they offer and what their fees they charge. A quality law firm will usually have an easy to use website where you can find any information you need. Also, see if any previous clients have posted about them on forum pages or blogs, you wouldn’t want to hire representation that only has negative reviews.
A hard-working car crash lawyer in Kansas City will not hesitate to quote you a price for their service. In some cases, they will have a non-negotiable fee, but it is under the condition that they will win your case and you will receive the best compensation possible for your injuries. A good lawyer is not out to get your money; they want to defend you and your rights. Most of the time they will not expect payment until the end of the case and will accept payment from your settlement.
Ensure your representation has experience. Having the right legal help is vital to you receiving the money you are entitled. Be thorough in your research, and don’t feel you must hire the first lawyer you meet with. Remember to make sure they are taking your case to help you, not to profit from you. Don’t waste any time because you deserve to be compensated for the injuries that you have suffered.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.