Schmitt Mulhern, LLC

Drunk driving continues to be an issue in Missouri

We have all heard the message: Drinking and driving is dangerous. People are killed every year, and thousands more are injured, due to drunk drivers. However, even though law enforcement and nonprofit organizations, have repeatedly shared this message with the public, there are sadly still plenty of drivers who take the risk and drive while intoxicated.

The statistics speak for themselves. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, in 2014, 205 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents where alcohol was involved. That same year, another 3,480 people were physically hurt in alcohol-related crashes.

Looking at these numbers, while 2014 did see a decrease in the number of fatalities and injuries from the previous year, all of these are preventable. There is simply no reason that a driver needs to get behind the wheel while drunk.

For the person who is hurt in a crash caused by a drunk driver, the damages are great. There are not only the physical injuries, but also the medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and possible lost wages -- both short term and long term. The bottom line is that an accident with a drunk driver can literally be life-altering.

Punitive damages aim to defer future accidents

While it certainly does not take away from the tragedy that already happened, those hurt in accidents caused by drunk drivers should keep in mind their rights, such as the right to seek compensation, including punitive damages. With punitive damages, this sends a message that dangerous behavior will not be tolerated, as this is the type of damage that is intended to defer the drunk driver from engaging in this type of behavior again.

In addition to punitive damages, those hurt can also seek compensation from the insurance company. However, never just accept a settlement offer, as it may not really cover the scope of the damages. Rather, seek out legal representation, as an attorney will look out for the best interests of those hurt -- not the best interests of the insurance company.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Ben Schmitt

Attorney Ben Schmitt

Mr. Schmitt has over 25 years of legal experience in Missouri and Kansas, and he has been first chair in over 100 jury trials in state and federal courts. He is recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal, Super Lawyers, Avvo.com and Martindale Hubbell as one of the best personal injury lawyers in Missouri and Kansas.

Matt Mulhern

Attorney Matt Mulhern

Mr. Mulhern has over 25 years of legal experience and a 100 percent success rate arguing before the Missouri Court of Appeals. He has a unique knowledge of the inner workings of insurance companies and how they will dispute your injury claim. He practices in both Missouri and Kansas.