The shock of any vehicle accident is challenging to handle, but if you're injured in a drunk driving crash, there are so many other complications. Your medical condition could be much more severe due to the speed and force of the collision, requiring long-term treatment. These injuries might affect how you can work and when you can return to your job—if you're able to work at all. There's also proving that an impaired driver caused the accident, especially if it was a hit-and-run.
Laws in both Kansas and Missouri mandate your right to injury compensation from a drunk driver and their insurance company, but there are key steps you have to take to solidify your case.
Call the Police
It's critical to call the police at the accident scene. They'll conduct an investigation into the cause of your wreck and prepare a police report. You'll want a copy of it because it contains helpful information, such as:
- Details of how the collision occurred
- Statements of drivers, passengers, and witnesses
- Officer’s conclusions as to the cause of the crash
- The suspected offender's blood alcohol content (BAC)
- Traffic citations issued
- Any criminal charges—including DUI—against the other motorist
Obtain Contact Information
If you're unable to gather driver and witness information, ask someone nearby to do it for you. Sometimes this information might be on the police report, but not always. You'll need contact and insurance details from the driver who hit you, as well as contact information from bystanders. Their statements and testimonies can be compelling evidence to support your case not only to the insurance provider for the at-fault motorist, but also to a jury.
Another vital step is to immediately take pictures of the drunk driver’s vehicle and license plate. You also want to take other pictures and/or video recordings at the accident scene before the evidence lost. If you're too hurt to take photos yourself, ask a passenger in your vehicle or a witness to the accident to do it with your cell. Evidence photos include:
- Damage to both vehicles
- The other driver if there are obvious signs of intoxication
- Skid marks, road conditions, and anything else you believe would be helpful in proving the cause of the accident
- Your injuries
Get Prompt Medical Treatment
While you know to get immediate medical care for obvious injuries, you might not realize how important this is if you don't believe you were hurt or only think you suffered minor injuries. In drunk driving accidents, symptoms of more complicated medical conditions such as traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, and spine injuries may not develop right away. By having a medical exam within 48 hours of a drunk driving collision, you protect your health and avoid disputes with the insurance carrier about the cause and seriousness of your injuries.
Hire an Attorney Who Understands These Cases
Your family attorney is a valuable resource for circumstances such as wills and real estate matters, but you need legal counsel specifically skilled in personal injury cases involving drunk drivers. They'll understand how to investigate the collision, secure essential evidence, and negotiate a proper financial reward to cover your losses and protect your future.
Were You Injured In a Kansas City Area Drunk Driving Accident?