Drunk Driving Accident FAQs

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According to the NHTSA, every day, about 37 people die in drunk driving crashes – that’s one person every 39 minutes. The worst part about a drunk driving accident is that it is preventable. So, what do you do when you’re in an accident where the other driver is driving drunk? Use these basic drunk driving FAQs to help you and call us to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.


What is the difference between criminal and civil liability?

A civil action is a lawsuit filed by a private person, not the government, against another private person. In general, the lawsuit seeks monetary damages for injury or loss that the party suing (the plaintiff) alleges the party sued (defendant) caused. In other words, in a car accident case, the lawsuit would be filed by the person injured in the vehicle accident against the driver of the vehicle who caused the accident.

A criminal action is prosecuted by the government of an individual for violating a provision of the criminal code.

To receive compensation for your injuries from a drunk driving accident, you would file a case in civil court.

When is a driver considered legally drunk in Missouri?

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Drunk driving accidents are preventable.

Drivers are considered alcohol-impaired by law if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. In addition, Missouri follows a “zero tolerance” policy. This means that drivers under the age of 21 are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is 0.02% or higher.

What common injuries do you find in drunk driving accidents?

Some of the most common include:

  • traumatic brain injuries, including motor function or cognitive function issues, coma
  • back and spine injuries, including paralysis, spinal disc injuries, back strains and sprains
  • broken bones, including loss of limbs or physical disabilities
  • skin lacerations or burns, including serious skin damage, permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • psychological concerns, including depression, anxiety PTSD

Will the drunk driver’s insurance pay?

If the drunk driver is determined to be at-fault, their insurance should be responsible for your damages no matter if the accident was caused by the driver being intoxicated or not.

Missouri’s law requires juries to determine the percentages of fault for anyone involved in an auto accident, even if the other driver is drunk.

What compensation can victims of a drunk driving accident receive?

The at-fault party can be responsible for various types of civil damages which include past and future medical bills, lost wages, lost earnings capacity, and past and future pain and suffering.

Punitive damages may sometimes apply in drunk driving accidents. These damages punish the drunk driver for his or her reckless conduct; however, your attorney can help determine whether you may be able to receive punitive damages.

Questions? Call us at (877) 284-6600.

How much is a drunk driving accident claim worth?

There is no set in stone formula for calculating how much a car accident claim is worth. Your case will depend on the specifics of your situation; however, there are many factors that will be looked at, such as:

  • the severity of your injuries
  • your diagnosis and recommended course of treatment
  • whether your injuries are permanent
  • any pre-existing conditions you had
  • the circumstances of the accident
  • who was at-fault
  • weather conditions
  • whether there is evidence that the driver was drunk or on drugs

How long do I have to file a claim from a drunk driving car accident in Missouri?

You must file suit before the statute of limitations deadline. In general, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim relating to a drunk driving accident is five years from the time of injury in Missouri.  Your personal injury attorney will ensure you file your claim before the applicable statute of limitations expires.

How can an experienced drunk driving accident attorney help me?

Please know, you are not required to hire an attorney; however, it is advisable for many reasons.

Our legal team has decades of experience managing the claims process. We will work closely with you, providing a caring, supportive environment every step of the way so that you have the time to recover and heal.

We will evaluate your case and may take actions such as:

  • Investigate and gather evidence to help prove that the drunk driver’s negligent behavior caused the accident. Evidence may include: police reports, proof of a BAC above the legal limit, field sobriety tests just to name a few.
  • Prove damages suffered as a result of the accident.
  • Negotiate a settlement on your behalf to recover what you deserve or take your claim to court if necessary.

Our attorneys will handle the insurance companies and help you obtain a fair settlement offer. There are many tactics they use to minimize the amount they pay for claims. For instance, insurance companies may take advantage of someone without an attorney and make a lowball settlement offer.


Have you been seriously injured in car accident with a drunk driver? Call Nash & Franciskato at (877) 284-6600. We have a successful track record helping accident victims collect the compensation they deserve. One of our experienced staff will speak with you personally and will provide you with a free, no-obligation review of your case.



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Past results afford no guarantee of future results and each case is different and is judged on its own merits. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published May 28, 2021. It was reviewed on December 26, 2022 and again on December 19, 2023 and updated for content and accuracy.

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