How to Recover Damages from an Accident by a Drunk Driver?
On average, close to 30 people die in crashes involving impaired drivers every day across the United States, and many more people suffer serious injuries and losses. Drunk driving is strictly prohibited by Kansas law (like every state), yet drivers continually make the dangerous choice to get behind the wheel when they are intoxicated, and they can cause serious harm.
There is no excuse for drunk driving, and if an impaired driver causes you injuries, they should be held fully responsible for your harm and your losses. How do you go about doing this? Will you simply receive compensation?
Unfortunately, the process requires action on your part, which can be daunting after suffering traumatic injuries. You should not wait to seek help from a Salina drunk driving accident attorney who can handle the process for you.
A Criminal Case is Not Enough
After a crash, police officers might place the drunk driver under arrest and haul them away. The driver can then face criminal charges, and you might think that the criminal justice system will stand up for your rights as an accident victim. Usually, however, relying on the criminal case is not nearly enough to cover your losses.
Criminal courts are primarily focused on punishing the wrongdoer and taking care of victims takes a faraway second. While the criminal court might order the driver to pay a certain amount of restitution as part of their sentence, it is likely nowhere near enough to compensate you for all of your past and future losses. For this reason, taking action on the civil side is necessary for victims of drunk driving crashes.
Filing Your Claim
When you think of holding a drunk driver responsible, you might imagine taking them to court. However, this is the last stage of a personal injury claim. Instead, the process starts with insurance claims and, in Kansas, this would begin with your own insurer.
Kansas is a no-fault insurance state, which means that no matter how at-fault a drunk driver was for your injuries, you will need to start by filing a claim with your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy. This coverage should provide medical and wage loss benefits for your losses no matter who was to blame. Even though you pay your premiums, your insurer can still try to limit your payment, so you want a lawyer handling your claim.
If your losses from serious injuries exceed $2,000 or you meet other requirements under the law, you can then file a claim against the drunk driver’s insurance or a lawsuit against the driver in civil court. This is where you get paid for pain that may cause loss of function, and other non-economic damages and harm.
Seek an Experienced Salina Drunk Driving Accident Attorney to get fully compensated for the harm caused. Hold the drunk driver responsible.
At Neustrom & Associates, we have witnessed firsthand the harm that drunk drivers can cause, and we are ready to stand up for the rights of injured accident victims. Contact us online or call 785-825-1505 for your free case evaluation.