Accidents caused by drunk drivers are devastating, causing endless amounts of pain and taking the lives of many. In the United States, there is a death caused by an alcohol-impaired driver every 50 minutes. This is equal to 29 people per day, totaling nearly 11,000 deaths per year on average. This number also doesn’t include the many who are in these crashes and survive.
If you’ve survived the harrowing experience of a drunk driving accident, you need to know what to do next. Keep reading and discover what you should do if you’re in a crash caused by a drunk driver.
What should I do after a drunk driving accident?
In the moments right after the wreck, it’s likely that you’ll be incredibly stressed and unsure what to do. If you can focus on these three steps, you can ensure you’ll receive the help you need:
- Contact the authorities. As soon as the wreck happens, contact the authorities. If you suspect the person may be intoxicated, do not confront them on your own as they may react violently. Wait until the police show up to get out of your car and start poking around the crash. If you think that alcohol was involved in your wreck, make sure to mention this to the police so they can check for signs of intoxication.
- Get as much information as possible. Once you are out of the vehicle, start documenting the wreck as best as you can. Take pictures of the impact and any parts of your car that have been damaged. If you have any injuries that are immediately noticeable, snap a picture of those too. Get a business card from the cop who is writing your accident report and request a copy of the report as soon as possible. Also, follow up to see if the person who hit you was convicted of a DUI — if so, it may help your case significantly. If any witnesses were on the scene, collect their contact information so you can reach out to them to get their testimony in the future.
- Receive medical treatment. After a crash, you may be in shock and not yet feel any injuries you’ve incurred. Due to this, it’s important that you receive medical attention as soon as possible. If you wait, not only could you be putting your health at risk, you will make it more difficult to prove to an insurance company that your injuries resulted from the crash. This can potentially impact your total settlement amount.
Do I need a lawyer?
In order to get the maximum benefit that you deserve, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Don’t take the first settlement that you are offered by an insurance company. They are trying to get the case closed as soon as possible and aren’t looking out for your best interests. If you agree to a settlement, you can’t make any further claims related to the accident. By speaking to a lawyer first, you can ensure you receive the money you are owed.
Filing a personal injury claim can help you pay for:
- Medical bills that you have incurred as a result of the accident
- Time spent in pain due to the crash
- Lost wages
- Any additional out of pocket costs that relate directly to the crash
Do you need legal assistance following a car accident involving a drunk driver?
Contact Tolbert Beadle. We will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.