Drunk driving is extremely dangerous, and the crashes that impairment causes are completely preventable. Each day, drunk driving accidents around the nation kill 29 people, and alcohol-impaired driving accounts for more than a quarter of all traffic fatalities in the United States. Drunk driving accidents can lead to serious injuries for all those involved and can be life-changing. For many who have been injured in drunk driving accidents, receiving compensation is their best chance of recovering from the financial strain of paying medical bills and lost wages.
If you were injured or have lost a loved one due to a drunk driving accident, talk to an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer in St. Louis at The Cagle Law Firm about your eligibility to seek compensation for the full cost of your injuries.
How Does Alcohol Impair an Individual’s Ability to Drive?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol impairment begins after only two drinks. With a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent, individuals begin to have difficulty rapidly tracking an object and experience a decline in their ability to master two tasks at once. At 0.05 percent—about three alcoholic drinks in and still within the legal limit—individuals will also experience reduced coordination, inattentiveness, difficulty steering, and a decline in their ability to react appropriately in emergency driving situations
By the time one reaches the legal limit of 0.08 percent, which equals about four alcoholic drinks, a person will experience declines in concentration, short-term memory, speed control, information processing capability, and impaired perception. At a blood alcohol content of 0.15, which is about seven alcoholic drinks, a driver would have a reduced ability to maintain his or her lane and brake appropriately, as well as substantial impairment to vehicle control, attention to driving tasks, and necessary visual and audio processing.
These drinks comparisons vary from person to person, and it is never advisable to drive after consuming any amount of alcohol.
How to Spot a Drunk Driver
It’s impossible to know for certain whether or not another driver is under the influence. However, there are a few characteristics of drunk driving that all drivers should be alert for, including:
- Driving in the opposite lane
- Driving well below the speed limit
- Excessive braking
- Weaving in and out of lanes
- Striking nearby objects and curbs
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, certain groups of people have been and are likely to drink and drive. For example, men make up the majority of drunk driving accidents. Drunk drivers are also often binge drinkers and have driven drunk multiple times before their first arrest.
It is never too late to change a statistic. Don’t drink and drive regardless of your gender, age, or past driving history.
What Compensation Can You Receive?
If you were injured by a drunk driver, you should seek compensation for your injuries through a third-party insurance claim with the negligent driver’s insurance. You will need a personal injury lawyer who specializes in handling drunk driving accidents. To obtain compensation, you must show negligence on the part of the at-fault party and prove that you suffered damages, which you can get help with from an experienced lawyer.
The compensation you can receive for a drunk driving accident may include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Lower quality of life
- Loss of loved one
If you’ve lost a loved one due to a drunk driving accident, consult an attorney regarding your eligibility to file a wrongful death lawsuit, which, in Missouri, you generally must file within three years from the date of the death. When evaluating a wrongful death claim, our attorneys evaluate many factors, including how the death occurred, medical treatment, and final expenses.
Many other factors such as loss of financial support, loss of consortium may be included. Depending on how the death occurred, the liable party may be responsible for pain and suffering inflicted upon the decedent prior to death. Each wrongful death claim is as unique as the loved one lost. Our attorneys seek to learn about your loved one so that we may share the complete story of what your family member meant and contributed to your family and community. Wrongful death suits may be filed by family members, including spouses, children, dependent grandchildren, parents, or surviving siblings.
In some cases, there may be more than one liable party in your case. Dram shop laws can hold bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and other establishments liable if they over-serve a patron who later causes a drunk driving crash. However, the evidence must show that the server at the establishment knew that they were serving alcohol to a visibly drunk individual who was likely to drive. An experienced drunk driving accident attorney can help determine if other parties can also be held responsible for your accident.
Call Our Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys Today
Drunk driving accidents are devastating. They are even more horrific because they are preventable. Obtaining the financial recovery you need can be difficult, and we can help. At The Cagle Law Firm, we help those who have been seriously hurt in drunk driving accidents to get the compensation they deserve. If you were injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver or someone who may have been impaired, we would like to help you understand your legal options.
If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, you need to get legal help as soon as possible. Contact The Cagle Law Firm today for a free consultation toll-free at (1-800) 685-3302 or locally at (314) 276-1681.