No one wants to be hit by a drunk driver, whether the outcome is a trip to the Emergency Room, death of a loved one, or just a tow truck ride to the mechanic. However, these kinds of accidents are out of our control and it’s essential that you know the exact procedure in case you happen to be a victim. Let’s look at what you should do if you’re involved in an accident with a drunk driver.
Call the Police
There are several reasons you want to call the police. The first is to create an independent, third-party record of the accident. The second is that only the police can confirm then and there that the other driver is drunk, and they’re the only ones who can arrest the drunk driver. That aids your case if and when you choose to pursue it.
Make certain you cooperate with the officers, giving them your side of events and letting them do their jobs. If you decide you need to be taken to the hospital, they can arrange it or document that you did go to the emergency room. Always put safety first. For example, if your passenger is bleeding or has a suspected head injury, have them taken in an ambulance to get medical treatment instead of asking them to record a statement on the accident.
As soon as you know everyone is OK, ask for the contact information of the other driver. Ask for their phone number and insurance information. You can ensure that you have the right information by taking a photo of their driver’s license and insurance card. While you’re at it, take a picture of their license plate or write down the license plate number.
Collect As Much Information as Possible
The more information you have, the more evidence you have on your side if you need to take legal action. Take pictures of the accident scene, so that anyone can clearly see the state of the intersection, the street and those involved. Take pictures of witnesses and ask for their full names and contact information. And take pictures of your vehicle, their vehicle, and anything else that was damaged. The skid marks, broken traffic signs, and other damage they left behind is evidence in your case.
Even if you were mildly injured in the accident, you should never decline a trip to the ER. You need to know if your aching shoulder and neck are due to whiplash from the accident or something else. If you did visit the ER or get treated by paramedics, ask for copies of your medical records.
Seek Legal Advice
The next step in this process is seeking expert legal advice. Contact a personal injury lawyer; they handle an incredible number of cases like these. Impaired driver accident statistics say that around 10,000 people a year are killed in drunk driving accidents; that translates to roughly one death every 50 minutes. Almost 300,000 injuries per year result from these accidents.
A personal injury attorney can guide you through the process of documenting all related damages and secure compensation for them. A personal injury attorney will also be able to handle everything with your health insurance and car insurance company, reducing your stress at this difficult time.
Drunken driving accidents remain depressingly common. Fortunately, there are experts who can guide you through the process of pursuing justice and getting compensated for your loss.