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Drunk driving accidents often cause catastrophic injuries and death. The drunk driver often doesn’t try to avoid the accident or slow down, which means that he or she could hit you at a high rate of speed. In some cases, drunk drivers leave the scene of the accident, leaving you wondering how you will recover compensation to cover your injuries and other losses. After suffering injuries or losing a loved one to a drunk driver in Kansas, contact a Topeka drunk driving accident lawyer for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
According to statistics provided by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving claims about 32 American lives every day – that’s one victim roughly every 45 minutes. Although there have been marked improvements in the fatality rates of drunk driving-related incidents, more than 11,600 people still die every year as a result.
A careless, split-second decision to drink and drive doesn’t just have the power to damage property and injure an innocent victim; it can also painfully alter the lives of countless family members and loved ones for years to come.
Although Kansas state law has established 0.8% as the legal limit on intoxication, it’s important to understand that impaired driving can occur at levels much lower than that. The NHTSA notes that at even just 0.2%, a decline in visual functions and issues with divided attention can impact driving ability. By the time an individual has reached a level of 0.8% blood alcohol concentration, otherwise known as the Kansas legal limit, concentration, speed control ability, perception, coordination, and memory are all drastically affected.
Being involved in any type of motor vehicle accident is a frightening experience, but a drunk driving incident is particularly difficult. Here are a few basic steps to remember if you are faced with this situation:
In addition to what you should do if you are involved in an accident, there are some things you shouldn’t do, including:
The injuries you might sustain in a drunk driving accident could range from minor scratches and bruises to catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries. Injuries depend on several factors, including the weight and size of the vehicle that hit you, the way the vehicle hit you, whether head-on, T-bone, sideswipe, or rear-end, and the speed at which the vehicle hit you. Additionally, whether the drunk driver hits you directly or pushes another vehicle into you could determine the severity and type of your injuries.
Drunk driving accident injuries include:
You could also suffer secondary injuries, such as infections. Open wounds, whether caused directly by the accident or by a doctor repairing accident injuries, could become infected. Additionally, accident injuries could exacerbate existing illnesses and injuries. The defendant is also responsible for paying costs related to the worsening of any existing illnesses and injuries.
Kansas allows you to recover two types of damages: Compensatory damages and punitive damages. Most people recover compensatory damages in the form of economic damages. Others might qualify to recover non-economic damages.
It is difficult to recover punitive damages, but when your injuries are catastrophic, or you lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, it is worth the extra time and effort it takes. You must be able to prove that the defendant’s actions or inactions were grossly negligent or intentional since the court only orders a defendant to pay punitive damages as a form of punishment.
Sometimes referred to as special damages, economic damages have a monetary value. Most people who suffered injuries in drunk driving accidents recover economic damages, including:
Sometimes referred to as general damages, non-economic damages do not have a monetary value. Additionally, not everyone can recover non-economic damages. Generally, only those who lost a loved one or suffered catastrophic injuries recover non-economic damages. These are for injuries that cause long-term or permanent disabilities. While insurance companies might have their own definition of long-term or permanent disabilities, the Social Security Administration defines them as resulting in death or lasting more than 12 months.
Non-economic damages include:
A Topeka drunk driving accident attorney works with expert medical professionals to determine what a fair and reasonable settlement is based on your injuries and the approximate cost of those injuries and other losses over your lifetime.
When you or a loved one has been involved in a drunk driving accident, it can be difficult to know where to turn. In addition to physical injury and emotional distress, the burden of dealing with insurance companies, law enforcement, and other entities can make the experience extremely difficult. But choosing the right drunk driving accident attorney can be the difference between navigating the process alone and having a legal advocate on your side, prepared to fight for what’s right.
The Palmer Law Group, a Topeka drunk driving accident lawyer, is proud to be one of the top law firms in Kansas, serving the city of Topeka with decades of combined experience and a commitment to putting our clients first. With integrity, dedication, and skill, we’ve helped countless victims of drunk driving pursue justice and the best possible legal outcome. When you choose a drunk driver accident lawyer from The Palmer Law Group, you’ll not only gain a valuable expert in the courtroom but also a knowledgeable guide through the entire legal process.
Our compassionate and caring team sees each client as more than simply a legal case – here, every person that walks through our doors is an individual deserving of the utmost respect, care, and attention.
Knowing the right steps to take after a drunk driving accident can often be overwhelming, but The Palmer Law Group is here to help. During your initial consultation, we can discuss the specifics of your case, what you can expect from the legal process, and the outcome our team will be working towards.
Ultimately, our goal is that you will be confident and informed moving forward with your drunk driving accident attorney from The Palmer Law Group, ready to stand up for your rights in a court of law.
For more information about how our Kansas drunk driving accident attorneys can help you, contact The Palmer Law Group at (785) 233-1836 for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
”My husband and I were involved in a car accident August of 2019, we went to Meaghan she was really amazing, she really did a great job. She is very knowledgeable, and professional. Meaghan and Kristy were in constant contact with us. The suit was handled in a timely manner. Meaghan is always available, Kristy was easy to work with and handled all the paperwork with a real knowledge of the case. Both of these woman are really great at what they do. We had a very good experience, We would recommend this firm to anyone.” – Tammy Shinn (Google Review)
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]