Kansas City Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you are entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. If a drunk driver caused your injuries, you might also be entitled to punitive damages due to the egregious nature of the accident. A skilled Kansas City drunk driving accident lawyer can properly assess the damages you should have coming your way and can fight to ensure you receive them.
Attorney Ryan Bratcher of RKB Law, LLC has extensive experience negotiating with insurance companies and litigating drunk driving accidents in the Kansas City civil courtrooms. Personal injury lawyers like attorney Bratcher work on a contingency basis, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket for professional legal advice. Call today for a free consultation.
DUI and Drunk Driving Accidents
In Missouri and Kansas, it’s illegal for any driver to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08. If the police respond to an accident and believe that a drunk driver caused the collision, they can arrest them based on probable cause. The elements of civil cases for drunk driving accidents are different, though. These cases are handled separately from criminal investigations. To establish that their claims are viable, drunk driving accident attorneys must prove the following elements:
1. Duty of Care
The at-fault driver owed a duty of care to the other parties. All drivers owe a duty of care to operate their vehicles safely and obey all traffic laws, including those pertaining to alcohol consumption.
2. Breach of Duty
The at-fault driver failed in their duty of care. This may or may not have been caused by their intoxicated state.
The breach of duty caused the accident.
Damages refer to monetary damages suffered by the plaintiff. Damages are often economic in nature, such as hospital bills, lost wages, medication, equipment, physical therapy, etc. On the other hand, non-economic damages include things like physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium in wrongful death claims.
How Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys Pursue Damages
Building a case for DUI car accidents is an extensive process. Here are some of the steps that personal injury lawyers like attorney Ryan Bratcher pursue to maximize their clients’ claims.
Even in cases with minor injuries, there is a police accident report, a probable cause affidavit if the at-fault driver was arrested, an additional police report, hospital records, doctor records, and more. If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, your attorney should be familiar with the process for collecting this valuable data.
With serious accidents, the police usually do a thorough job of collecting any photographic or video evidence that may have been captured by witnesses or CCTV cameras. With less severe accidents, they may focus more on the criminal DUI investigation than the collision itself. Your attorney can ensure that all existing evidence that supports your case is discovered. Additionally, they can collect and review any discovery evidence collected by the defense.
A DUI accident attorney should schedule all witnesses to the crash for deposition. This is a recorded meeting where they can ask the witnesses questions about your case. The list of witnesses should include the investigating police officer, passengers in any involved vehicle, anyone who claims to have seen the crash, EMTs that treated your injuries, and medical personnel who may have treated you.
Before your attorney approaches the insurance company, they’ll need to calculate all economic damages from the crash. Adjusters who work for the insurance companies usually include medical bills, property damages, and some lost wages but frequently leave out other economic damages to lowball the payout. In addition to full remuneration for any expenses you suffered as a result of the accident, you are also entitled to compensation for pain and suffering.
Once your attorney fully understands your case, the evidence supporting your claim, and the total amount of your damages, they can enter into negotiations with the defendant’s insurance company. About 95% of personal injury cases settle before trial.
What You Should Do if You’re Hit by a Drunk Driver
If you’ve been involved in a drunk driving accident, it’s important to know what to do to prevent additional injury and avoid damaging your case. This is not to be construed as legal advice. If you’ve been involved in a drunk driving collision in the Kansas City area, contact Ryan Bratcher, Attorney at Law, for professional legal advice and immediate representation.
Get to a Position of Safety
Stay in your vehicle if you’re injured, there’s traffic, or if the other driver seems aggressive. Move your car if your location is unsafe.
The dispatcher will want to know your exact location, a description of the vehicles, and the types of injuries.
Talk to Witnesses
If someone stopped to check on injuries, there’s a good chance they saw the accident. Ask for their contact information. If you don’t have anything to write with, ask them to text message your phone so your attorney can contact them later.
Take Pictures or Videos
You should record visual evidence from a position of safety. Try to include the position of vehicles, street signs or geographic indicators, debris on the road, and injuries.
Allow EMTs to Examine You
You may have unrealized injuries, so allow first responders to examine you. If they recommend going to the hospital, allow them to transport you. If not, follow up with your own doctor as early as possible.
Call A Personal Injury Lawyer Who Handles Drunk Driving Accidents
In Kansas City, RKB Law, LLC has handled hundreds of personal injury cases. Attorney Ryan Bratcher works on a contingency basis, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket for top-tier legal representation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Drunk Driving Accidents
These are some of the most commonly asked questions by DUI accident victims and answers from Ryan Bratcher, Attorney at Law. To have Mr. Bratcher answer your questions, call today.
Does it help my case if the other driver was arrested for DUI?
A DUI arrest does not necessarily mean that there is a viable civil case. For example, if a sober driver runs a red light and causes an accident with a drunk driver, the sober driver is still at fault. However, if the evidence shows that the drunk driver in your case was at fault, it can increase your settlement since you would be more likely to receive punitive damages in a trial.
Why shouldn’t I accept an initial settlement offer?
You will probably be contacted by an insurance adjuster within 24 hours of the accident with a settlement offer. If you accept that offer, you will have to sign a waiver of liability, which means you can’t pursue further damages. Since you don’t really know how much you’ll need for a full recovery, you should decline settlement offers until you can speak with a Kansas City drunk driving accident lawyer.
How much does a car accident lawyer cost?
As a Kansas City drunk driving accident lawyer, attorney Ryan Bratcher works on a contingency basis. That means that his fees come at the end of your case after you’ve received a settlement or court award for your damages. All contingency fees will be disclosed during your initial consultation.
Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer in Kansas City
If you or your loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, you deserve justice. Ryan Bratcher of RKB Law, LLC handles personal injury and wrongful death claims resulting from drunk driving. All consultations are free, and you do not have to pay out of pocket for attorney Bratcher’s legal advice. For immediate representation from a veteran attorney, call today!