Editorial

What Happens When a Drunk Driver Hits You?

Drunk driving has been recognized as one of the leading causes of auto accidents in the country. While driving intoxicated is illegal, some drivers still get behind the wheel under the influence, and bars continue to serve intoxicated customers. If someone is under the influence of alcohol and recreational drugs, the chances of causing an accident are high.

Alcohol and drugs can slow down a person’s reaction time and impair their judgment while driving. If a drunk driver causes an accident, they face criminal penalties. They are also liable for the damages of anyone they injure. To claim a personal injury settlement, you need to follow certain steps. Here are some of the things you should do:

Stay Calm and Call the Police

The first action you should take when hit by a drunk driver is checking whether you or any other people have incurred injuries and call 911. Breathe deeply and avoid thinking about the consequences or who is liable. Ensure that you and your loved ones are safe first. Starting fights will only result in additional problems.

If other people are injured, don’t move them as this may worsen the injuries. We’re often tempted to act in such situations. However, this may affect your case in the long run. Medical professionals will offer the necessary help. They understand how to provide assistance without exacerbating anyone’s injuries.

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Stay at the Scene

Only leave the scene of the accident once the relevant authorities have arrived and have told you it’s safe to do so. Even if no one at the scene of the accident appears to be seriously injured, keep in mind that some injuries take time to become apparent. Failure to seek immediate treatment can make it difficult to prove that the accident caused the injuries.

Move Your Vehicle

The rules for moving cars after the occurrence of an accident vary from one jurisdiction to another. Usually, if nobody incurs serious injuries or dies, you should move the vehicle out of the way to avoid causing more accidents because you’re blocking traffic.

If your car is not drivable, you can leave it at the scene. However, the drunk driver should not move their vehicle. This is because they are likely to cause more accidents. There is also probably evidence of their crime at the scene that will need to be preserved.

Call a Lawyer

Contact a legal professional as soon as possible if you want to pursue compensation. The quicker the legal practitioners can get to the scene of the accident, the better. This is because they will access fresh evidence, which will be crucial when seeking compensation. Additionally, they will be able to get witness statements. A personal injury lawyer will offer all the help and guidance you need for a successful case.

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Gather Contact Information From the Witnesses

When you’re negotiating a settlement, you’ll need to have as much evidence as possible to prove that the at-fault party caused your accident. The names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses will be helpful during the investigation. The more eyewitness accounts you have, the easier it will be for you to win the case.

Without witnesses, the court will only rely on police reports. In most cases, the authorities do not witness the incident and may not consider information from all witnesses, especially if the drunk driver didn’t cause serious injuries.

Avoid Admitting Fault

Make sure you maintain minimal interactions with the drunk driver. In the case of a drunk driving accident, the impaired driver is usually at fault. Therefore, when you accept part of the blame, you will hurt your case and get a lower compensation for the traumatic experience. Avoid discussing the accident with the drunk driver. However, you can ask them whether or not they’re okay and get their contact information.

 

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