Car Accident Liability Involving Intoxicated Drivers

Intoxicated driving often leads to unfortunate situations because the driver is not able to keep control of the vehicle as they would while sober.

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Drunk driving is a criminal offense in Missouri. Those who are found guilty of it can face some fairly harsh consequences, from fines to time spent in jail, and even license suspension.

These laws are in place to keep the state roads safe for everyone. Drunk or intoxicated driving can often lead to unfortunate situations because the driver is not able to keep control of the vehicle as they would while sober.

However, just because a driver was intoxicated while behind the wheel does not mean they are automatically responsible for the accident.

Proving Liability

It’s a mistake to assume the drunk driver is automatically liable for the accident. While it’s true that intoxicated drivers are more likely to cause car accidents, the facts of the case will still matter in your injury claim.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal matter, which means the police will investigate these incidents to see what happened. If you got injured in the accident, then you may file a personal injury claim.

However, it is important to remember that you are the one who has to prove liability to get compensation for your injuries. In most cases, these claims are resolved through the at-fault party’s insurance company, where you or your St. Louis car accident lawyer will have to present the facts and negotiate on the settlements. Just proving the other driver was intoxicated at the time won’t always help you win your case.

For instance, the intoxicated driver could simply be just another party caught in the collision. If the driver in front of them made a mistake (like suddenly stopping the vehicle without warning,) then the intoxicated driver may not be liable for damages, as they did not cause the collision. The police may still impose penalties because they were driving drunk.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you may have a bettter chance of getting compensated by filing a claim against the other driver that made the first mistake, than the intoxicated driver.

What You Need to Get Compensated

Though it is certainly the cause of many car accidents, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs does not automatically mean liability for damages. If you’ve been a victim of this kind of collision and want to file a personal injury claim, you should reach out to a St. Louis car accident attorney before making any decisions.

An experienced lawyer can look at your case and help you understand who the liable party is, and help you build a strong case against them. It’s possible for it to be the intoxicated driver, but it’s better to get the opinion of a lawyer before you file a claim and get denied. The lawyer can also advise if there are any other legal steps to take at this time to protect your right to compensation.

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Updated: July 12, 2021