Like any auto accident, the moments after the initial collision can be really important to your safety and your case later on. You should always ensure that you and any passengers in your vehicle are safe from harm before doing anything else. Once you have moved yourself or your vehicle to a safe area, call 911. You’ll need immediate medical assistance even if you don’t feel injured. Plus, the police will be able to make a report of the accident and the situation.
If you were hit by a driver that you suspect may be under the influence of alcohol, you should follow the same safety tips and make sure the police arrive at the scene. However, there are a few special tips to keep in mind when dealing with a potential drunk driver that could make the aftermath of the accident run smoother for you.
Stay calmly in your area, and do not confront the other driver. Clearly express your concerns about the other driver’s sobriety to the police officers on the scene and allow them to investigate the situation. After securing the scene and making sure all traffic is controlled, the officers are likely to ask the other driver to submit to a field sobriety test. The process in which the law enforcement implements them is beyond your control, but you have succeeded in starting the physical record of suspected drunk driving.
Although you should never personally investigate the suspicion of drunk driving, you can stay watchful as the other driver interacts with their surroundings and the police. Keep an eye out for any attempt to hide or discard bottles or any other proof that may indicate impaired judgment. Do not apologize to anyone on the scene or admit fault in any way.
Although law enforcement should thoroughly record all the pertinent information from the incident, information is power when it comes to proving liability or insurance claims. This means it’s still a good idea to collect your own information or record on the scene. Things like the driver’s name, license number, address, number and insurance information are good to have on you. If you notice any witnesses nearby you can collect the same info from them in case you need another account of the incident.
It is also a good idea to take note of what you can physically see at the scene. Taking pictures and recording observations about the location, environment, debris and injuries only strengthen your ability to prove what happened. Plus, you don’t have to depend entirely on the police report or the other driver’s evidence.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer or auto accident lawyer is always a great idea in any car collision to ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve, but it’s even more important in a drunk driving accident. The driver could be convicted, insurance companies could fight the claims or you could be injured from the accident and unable to fight for yourself. These are all excellent reasons to allow an experienced lawyer to navigate the tricky legal waters of drunk driving litigation.
If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, don’t waste time. Call the dedicated team at Cesar Ornelas Law to support you through recovery and fight for what you deserve. Whether you have been injured, lost income or your property has been damaged, we’re here to stand up for you. When you need a trustworthy hand to help you out, contact Cesar Ornelas for expert legal advice.