Although drunk driving is illegal in Kansas and Missouri, many irresponsible people continue to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. Unfortunately, victims pay the price when they suffer life-altering injuries or are killed in a tragic car accident.
If a drunken motorist caused your crash, you may be entitled to compensation. You deserve to have medical costs, property damage, missed work income, and other losses covered.
However, you'll need the help of a skilled drunk driving accident attorney to manage the complexities of this kind of case for you to ensure your compensation is fair.
What Is Drunk Driving in Kansas and Missouri?
While it's a crime to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in both Kansas and Missouri, what constitutes a violation of this law is different in each state:
A person is guilty of driving while intoxicated (DWI) if his blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. No other evidence of intoxication is necessary for a person to be convicted of drunk driving.
In Kansas, an individual can be found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI) if his BAC is 0.08 percent or higher or if he's unable to drive safely due to consumption of alcohol.
Common Injuries Caused by Drunk Driving Collisions
Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of substances impairs abilities in key ways, such as reaction time, vision, and judgment. In addition, drunk drivers are more likely to speed, weave between lanes, go the wrong way, or engage in other reckless behaviors. As a result, the injuries that victims suffer can be much more catastrophic. Here are some common medical problems.
A victim can suffer a devastating brain injury during a collision due to blunt force to their head or an object penetrating the skull and brain. Traumatic brain injury, concussion, skull fracture, and coup-contrecoup—which can cause brain bleeding and swelling—are a few of the common injuries caused in these crashes. The consequences of a brain injury include:
- Problems with mobility, coordination, and balance
- Difficulties with concentration, memory, judgment, and other cognitive abilities
- Changes in emotions, such as mood swings, anxiety, depression, and aggressive behaviors
- Limitations in understanding speech or communicating with others
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can cause chronic pain and limitations of movement. If someone experiences partial or complete paralysis, they could become completely disabled and need 'round-the-clock help with basic daily needs.
Bones are broken and fractured due to the force of impact. While some victims will fully recover, others could have serious complications, mobility problems, and reduced quality of life.
A person’s limb could be severed or be so severely fractured that it must be surgically removed. Recovering from an amputation often requires surgery, fitting of a prosthesis, physical therapy, and long-term medical care.
Shoulder, Neck, and Back Injuries
Victims frequently suffer injuries to their shoulders, neck, and back injuries when a drunk driver smashes into their vehicles. Common injuries include:
- Herniated and bulging discs
- Muscle, tendon, and ligament strains, sprains, and tears
- Compression fractures
- Torn rotator cuff
The symptoms of internal bleeding and organ damage might be apparent immediately after the crash, but these injuries can quickly become life-threatening. Vital organs injured in a drunk driving accident include the kidneys, liver, lungs, abdomen, and spleen.
The force of a collision often smashes knees against the dashboard or another hard surface. Sometimes this compresses the knee joint or shatters the patella or kneecap—both conditions require surgery. Other knee issues include sprains and strains and tears of the anterior cruciate ligament and the posterior cruciate ligament are common.
Facial, Eye, and Dental Injuries
These injuries often cause additional long-term conditions, including vision limitations, blindness, facial deformities, teeth replacement, and scarring.
If a family member was killed due to a drunk driver’s actions, you may be entitled to compensation in a wrongful death action.
How to Protect Your Right to Compensation
After an accident with a drunk driver, the next steps are crucial to protect you and any claim for financial recovery. You, other passengers, even witness can:
- Seek prompt medical care—even if you don't believe that you were hurt.
- Request police come to the crash scene and obtain a copy of the police report.
- Secure all contact information for the negligent driver, his insurance company, and any witnesses.
- Take pictures of the drunk driver's car and license plate, damage to the vehicles, the crash scene, your injuries, and anything else that supports the cause for the incident. It's not uncommon for drunk drivers to flee for fear of arrest.
- Hire an experienced drunk driving attorney as soon as possible. He'll handle all communication with the insurance company, collect the evidence you need, and negotiate your settlement so you receive all you deserve.
Have You Been Injured By A Drunk Driver?
If you've been injured by a drunk driver you need to speak with an experienced drunk driving victim attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.