The Palmer Law Group is here to assist you, as it can often be daunting to know what to do in the wake of a drunk driving accident.
At your first appointment, we can go through the particulars of your case, discuss what you can anticipate from the legal process, and prioritize the result our team will be aiming for.
The Palmer Law Group’s ultimate objective is for you to move forward with your drunk driving accident attorney feeling confident, knowledgeable, and prepared to defend your rights in court.
FAQs About Drunk Driving Accidents
Below are some common questions you may have if you have been involved in a drunk driving accident in Kansas:
What are the Steps You Should Take if You Have Been in a Drunk Driving Accident?
If you have been in a drunk driving accident in Kansas, there are several steps you should take from a legal perspective:
Call the Police: If you or someone else is injured, you should call 911 immediately. The police will arrive at the scene and begin an investigation. They will also file a report, which you will need later when filing a claim with your insurance company or if you decide to pursue legal action.
Seek Medical Attention: If you are injured, seek medical attention immediately. Even if you do not think you are injured, it is essential to get checked out by a doctor. Some injuries may not show up immediately, and it is better to be safe than sorry.
Gather Information: Collect as much information as possible about the accident. This includes the contact information and names of all parties involved, insurance information, license plate numbers, and the names and contact information of any witnesses. Take pictures of the accident scene, including damage to vehicles and any injuries.
Contact Your Insurance Company: Promptly contact your insurance company to report the accident. They will begin an investigation and determine liability. They will also need a copy of the police report, so be sure to obtain one if the police do not provide it at the scene.
Contact an Attorney: If you have been injured or have suffered significant property damage, it is best to contact an attorney experienced in drunk driving accident cases. They can guide you through the legal process, help you in filing a claim with your insurance company, and represent you in court if necessary.
Document Everything: Keep track of all medical bills, expenses related to the accident, and any lost wages. This documentation will be important when calculating the damages that you are entitled to receive.
Follow Up: Stay in contact with your insurance company, attorney, and medical providers throughout the process. It is essential to follow up and ensure that everything is being handled correctly.
Why Should You Hire an Attorney If You Have Been in a Drunk Driving Accident?
If you have been in a drunk driving accident in Kansas, it is crucial to hire an attorney as soon as possible.
Here are a few reasons why:
Understanding of the Legal System: A skilled attorney understands the legal system and can help you navigate it. Drunk driving accident lawyers will know the laws and regulations surrounding drunk driving accidents, as well as the court system in Kansas. They can help you through the process and ensure you receive the best possible outcome.
Proving Fault: Proving fault in a drunk driving accident can be complicated, especially if the other driver is denying responsibility. An attorney can investigate the accident, gather evidence, and build a compelling case to prove fault. They may also work with accident reconstruction experts and other professionals to collect and analyze evidence.
Insurance Companies: Dealing with insurance companies can be difficult, especially if you are still recovering from injuries. An attorney can communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf, negotiate settlements, and ensure you receive fair compensation for all your injuries and damages.
Court Representation: If your case goes to court, you will need a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer to represent you. They can argue your case in court, cross-examine witnesses, and present evidence on your behalf. A skilled drunk driving attorney will have the knowledge and experience to effectively argue your case and fight for your rights.
Statute of Limitations: In Kansas, there is a statute of limitations for personal injury cases. If you do not file your case within a specified period, you may lose your right to compensation. An attorney can ensure that your case is filed on time, so you do not miss out on the compensation you deserve.
Hiring an attorney after a drunk driving accident can greatly increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
They can guide you through the legal process, investigate the accident, negotiate with insurance companies, represent you in court, and ensure that you meet all necessary deadlines.
What If You are at Fault in a Drunk Driving Case?
If you are at fault in a drunk driving accident in Kansas, there are several steps you should take from a legal perspective:
Stay at the Scene: It is important to stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive. Leaving the scene of an accident might result in criminal charges and other profound consequences.
Cooperate with Law Enforcement: When the police arrive, be cooperative and provide them with all necessary information. This includes your name, contact information, insurance information, and driver’s license information.
Do Not Admit Fault: Even if you believe you are at fault, do not admit fault to the other driver, passengers, or law enforcement. Admitting fault may be used against you in court, and it is best to wait until you have spoken to an attorney before making any statements.
Contact Your Insurance Company: Promptly contact your insurance company to report the accident. They will begin an investigation and determine liability. Your insurance rates will likely increase, but it’s important to be honest with your insurer to avoid further legal consequences.
Contact an Attorney: If you are facing criminal charges or civil lawsuits related to the accident, it is essential to contact an attorney experienced in drunk driving accidents. They can guide you through the legal process and ensure your rights are protected.
Follow Court Orders: If you are charged with a DUI or other criminal offense, it is important to follow all court orders. This includes attending court hearings, completing any required alcohol or drug treatment programs, and complying with any other requirements.
Learn from the Experience: A drunk driving accident can be a life-changing experience. It is important to learn from the incident and take positive steps to prevent it from happening again in the future.
What are Some Possible Outcomes of Drunk Driving Cases?
In Kansas, drunk driving cases can have various outcomes, depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
Here are some possible outcomes from a legal perspective:
Criminal Charges: If you are charged with drunk driving in Kansas, you may face criminal charges. The severity of the charges will depend on the circumstances of the case, such as your blood alcohol level, whether anyone was injured, and whether you have any prior convictions. Criminal charges can result in fines, probation, community service, and even jail time.
License Suspension: If you are convicted of drunk driving in Kansas, your driver’s license may be suspended. The term of the suspension will depend on the circumstances of the case and any prior convictions you may have.
Civil Lawsuits: If you are at fault in a drunk driving accident in Kansas, you may face civil lawsuits. These lawsuits can be filed by anyone who was injured or suffered property damage as a result of the accident. If you are found liable, you may be required to pay damages to the plaintiffs.
Ignition Interlock Device: In some cases, the court may require you to put an ignition interlock device into your vehicle. This device measures your blood alcohol level before allowing you to start your car. If your blood alcohol level is above the legal limit, the car will not start.
Alcohol or Drug Treatment Programs: If you are convicted of drunk driving in Kansas, the court may mandate that you attend alcohol or drug treatment programs. These programs can be inpatient or outpatient and can last anywhere from just a few weeks to several months.
Increased Insurance Rates: If you are convicted of drunk driving in Kansas, your insurance rates will likely increase. In some cases, your insurance company may even cancel your policy.
The possible outcomes of drunk driving cases in Kansas can be severe. It is important to take steps to prevent drunk driving, including using a designated driver, using ride-sharing services, or staying overnight if you have been drinking.
How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Drunk Driving Case?
The length of time it can take to resolve a drunk driving case in Kansas can vary depending on many factors, including the complexity of the case, the availability of evidence and witnesses, and the court’s schedule.
Here are some general timelines to consider from a legal perspective:
Arrest and Booking: If you are arrested for drunk driving in Kansas, the process typically starts with your booking at the police station. This process can take several hours, including the completion of paperwork, fingerprinting, and taking your photograph.
Arraignment: The arraignment is your first court appearance, where you will be formally charged with the offense. In Kansas, this typically occurs within a few days to a few weeks of your arrest.
Pre-Trial Motions: Your attorney may file pre-trial motions, such as a motion to suppress evidence, which can delay the case for several weeks or months.
Plea Negotiations: If you and your attorney decide to negotiate a plea deal, this can take several weeks or months to finalize. Plea negotiations may involve several rounds of negotiations between your attorney, the prosecutor, and the court.
Trial: If your case goes to trial, this can take several days or weeks, depending on the case and the availability of witnesses and evidence.
Sentencing: If you are convicted of drunk driving, the court will schedule a sentencing hearing. This can take several weeks or months to schedule, and the length of the hearing will usually depend on the severity of the offense and any mitigating factors.
Overall, the timeline for resolving a drunk driving case in Kansas can vary widely. It is essential to work with a competent attorney who can help you through the legal process and ensure your rights are protected.
Attorney LJ Leatherman
LJ Leatherman passionately believes in fair and dedicated representation for individuals who have been affected by automobile negligence, electrical injuries, firearm litigation, wrongful death, and third-party claims against insurance companies and all other areas of personal injury litigation. [Read More]