Figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that up to 29 people die each day in drunk-driving accidents. If you are involved in an alcohol-impaired car accident, then you can file a civil lawsuit to claim damages.
In cases where the drunk driver has caused you bodily harm or the accident has resulted in the death of a family member, you may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
This guide lists the crucial steps you need to take if you are involved in an accident caused by an intoxicated driver.
Immediately following an accident, place a call to the police. State laws give police officers the right to conduct breath alcohol tests on the motorists involved in an accident. If the driver who caused the accident tests positive, then you will be able to build a strong personal injury lawsuit.
To make your case, you will need to prove that due to their high intoxication level the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care while operating a motor vehicle.
Stay Alert and Monitor the Situation
Do not attempt to engage with an intoxicated driver. Instead, gather as much information as possible on everything that goes on at the scene of the accident. If possible, use your smartphone to take pictures and videos.
Watch out for any attempts by the drunk driver to conceal their intoxication or to tamper with evidence and report this to the police when they arrive.
Secondary on-site accidents are common after the initial accident. If possible, try to prevent other injuries at the accident scene. Ensure that you, anyone in your vehicle, and other motorists are safe from potential hazards such as fires, collisions, and collapsing structures.
Take precautions such as turning off the ignition, moving the vehicle out of the way, and making the car noticeable to oncoming traffic. Use good judgment to keep the situation from worsening.
Provide Truthful Details to the Police
The police officer will investigate you and other motorists involved in the accident — you must cooperate. Explain to the officer how the accident happened. If you have any videos or pictures, then present this information too.
As distraught as you may be, do not provide false or inaccurate information as this will reflect poorly on your lawsuit and you may be unable to claim the compensation you deserve. For example, never tell the police that you are unharmed even if you think you aren’t. Many injuries can show up a day or two later, so you shouldn’t assume you’re uninjured.
See a Medical Professional
As mentioned above, after an accident, any injuries you might have sustained may not be immediately apparent. In fact, many people only notice their injuries after the adrenaline and emotions have subdued.
Seek immediate medical attention after your accident to ensure that any injuries are diagnosed and treated. Records from a medical expert will also be vital for your personal injury lawsuit.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
An experienced accident injury attorney will play a crucial role in ensuring that you receive adequate compensation for any damages, losses, and injuries resulting from the accident.
Based on the evidence — which includes polices reports, witness reports, and reports from a medical professional — a personal injury attorney will advise you on the viability of your case and help you present a strong argument in court.
If you are looking to hire a personal injury attorney, contact The Cochran Firm for an initial consultation, expert advice, and professional legal representation. Our accident and personal injury attorneys have the expertise to investigate and put together a case that will secure you the compensation you deserve.