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Missouri’s Approach to Drunk Driving Accidents: Legal Insights and Victim Compensation

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Accidents Happen: All Too Often They Can Be Avoided

If you’ve ever been in a car accident, the results can have lasting effects on your physical and emotional beings. If you are in an accident that involves a drunk driver, you may find yourself even more frustrated or overwhelmed. You should never settle for less than what you are entitled to recover from the damages you endured and move forward with your life.

This article will discuss how Missouri addresses drunk driving accidents and what options are available to you. Read on to learn more.

What Types of Damages Can I Expect to Be Compensated?

One can expect to obtain three typical categories of losses following a car accident. The most usual is compensatory damages, followed by non-economical and punitive damages.

Compensatory damages are typically those that are tangible in nature, such as medical bills, physical therapy bills, or other health-related bills.

You can typically also expect to receive compensation for your lost wages. For example, if you missed multiple days of work either tending to your injuries or healing, you can add the time up based on your wages or salary to your overall calculation of damages. Your experienced attorney can also help you forecast what future earnings you may miss out on as a result of the injuries that you sustained.

Property damages are another facet of compensatory damages. The costs to repair your vehicle or other property that may have been damaged during the accident can be calculated and pursued.

Non-Economical Damages

Non-economical damages are more challenging to calculate as they aren’t typically tangible. For example, damages in this category may include emotional distress, anxiety, depression, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that resulted from the accident.

Your experienced personal injury attorney can help you calculate what these losses are worth and ensure that you aren’t settling for less. Everyone deserves to get the help that they need following an accident. If you are suffering or experiencing a loss of enjoyment of your life directly related to the accident, you should be compensated for it.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages won’t apply to every car accident case, but they are typically reserved for those who are incredibly negligent or intentionally harmful to others. Drunk driving accidents typically fall into this category as those who choose to drink more than they should and then decide to drive are deliberately choosing not to care about other drivers on the road.

Courts reserve punitive damages for special cases to ensure that others are deterred from the same actions, such as drunk driving, and that the responsible party is punished monetarily. Punitive damages don’t have the same cap on them as other damages, so they are often far greater than the other two categories.

Compensation for Love Ones Following a Death

If a loved one lost their life due to a drunk driver, there are options for the loved ones left behind. A child, parent, or surviving spouse can choose to pursue damages through a wrongful death suit.

Some of the losses you can choose to pursue are funeral expenses, medical expenses incurred from the date of the accident until death, and more. Loved ones may seek compensation for pain and suffering they have experienced due to the loss, emotional distress, loss of companionship, or other losses. Additional losses such as the comfort, guidance, training, counsel, and more that the decedent would have provided in the future may also play a significant factor in the total losses loved ones seek.

Finally, the loss of income that the decedent would have been able to provide in the future may be something that you wish to pursue. Future wages you can no longer rely on to care for yourself and your family may be sought. Your experienced personal injury attorney can help you estimate this amount and aggressively pursue it when necessary.

Victims of Impaired Driving

Missouri rolled out a unique program in the late 1990s: the Victims of Impaired Driving Program or VOID. Missouri State Highway Patrol and civilian victim advocates work together to help the citizens of Missouri following an accident involving a drunk driver. Troopers act as a point of contact for victims and can help them obtain referrals to necessary service providers and more.

Services also include emotional support, helping victims navigate the system, and helping with police reports and updates on case status. The program also helps victims understand their rights and puts them in touch with valuable resources specific to them and their area.

Putting the Pieces Back Together

It’s never an easy situation to be navigating the aftermath of an accident caused by a drunk driver. Feelings of anger, frustration, and emotional exhaustion are common. Our team is here to ensure that you are aware of the options available so you can begin to grieve, navigate the aftermath of the accident, and begin to put the pieces back together.

You are not alone and shouldn’t settle for less than you deserve. Our office offers free initial consultations to help you get started one step at a time. Our close-knit team understands that drunk driving victim cases aren’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and each must be handled with the respect and tenacity that each victim deserves.

With a small office, we pride ourselves on offering our clients a much more personalized approach, ensuring that they get the one-on-one attention that these delicate cases sometimes need.

Call our office today at (314) 347-3567 to set up your free consultation, and let us help you and your loved ones begin to move forward together.

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