Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatizing experience, and the situation becomes even more complicated when the driver at fault is under the influence of alcohol. In such cases, it is crucial to know how to protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve. This blog post will guide you through the necessary steps to take if you are hit by a drunk driver, helping you navigate the legal process and ensuring your well-being.
Prioritize Your Safety
After a car accident, your safety should be the top priority. Once the collision occurs, if you can do so safely, move your vehicle to the side of the road to avoid further collisions. Turn on your hazard lights to alert others to the situation. Check yourself and any passengers for injuries, and call emergency services immediately if medical attention is needed.
While still at the scene, try to gather as much evidence as possible. Take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to the vehicles involved, skid marks, traffic signs, and road conditions. These photographs will serve as visual evidence to support your claim. If there are witnesses present, try to obtain their contact information as their testimonies can play a crucial role in your case. Eyewitness accounts can provide an objective perspective on the events leading up to the accident.
Additionally, make sure to exchange relevant information with the drunk driver, including their name, contact information, and insurance details. Documenting this information will help you when filing a claim for compensation.
Contact Law Enforcement
Even if there are no serious injuries, it is essential to involve law enforcement after an accident involving a drunk driver. Call the police and wait for them to arrive at the scene. When they arrive, provide an accurate account of the incident, including any observable signs of alcohol impairment from the other driver. The police will document the accident, conduct necessary tests, and prepare a police report. This report serves as important evidence to support your case, as it will contain details of the accident, witness statements, and any evidence of the other driver’s intoxication.
Seek Medical Attention
Always seek medical attention following a car accident, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal trauma, may not be immediately apparent. Prompt medical evaluation will not only ensure your well-being but also establish a record of your injuries, linking them to the accident. This documentation is crucial when pursuing a personal injury claim.
Visit a doctor or go to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible after the accident. The medical professionals will assess your injuries, provide necessary treatment, and document their findings. Keep all medical records and receipts related to your treatment, as they will serve as evidence of your injuries and expenses.
If you experience any delayed onset symptoms, such as persistent headaches, dizziness, or back pain, seek medical attention again. Sometimes, injuries do not manifest immediately, and it is important to address them promptly to ensure proper care and potential compensation.
Consult with an Experienced Attorney
To protect your rights and pursue fair compensation, it is crucial to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in handling cases involving drunk drivers. They will guide you through the legal process and advocate for your interests, ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Your attorney will assess your case, collect and preserve evidence, communicate with insurance companies on your behalf, and handle all negotiations and legal proceedings. They will also evaluate the extent of your damages, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain, suffering, and potential future expenses related to the accident.
Additionally, an attorney with experience in handling cases involving drunk driving accidents will be familiar with relevant laws and regulations and can pursue punitive damages, which are aimed at punishing the drunk driver for their negligent actions.
Document Your Damages
Throughout the recovery process, keep detailed records of all accident-related expenses and damages. This includes medical bills, repair receipts, car rental expenses, and any other costs resulting from the accident. These documents will support your claim for compensation and ensure that you are reimbursed for the full extent of your damages.
It is essential to maintain a comprehensive record of the economic and non-economic losses you have experienced. Economic damages include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and future treatment costs. Non-economic damages refer to pain, suffering, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life. Your attorney will help you accurately assess and calculate these damages, ensuring that you receive a fair settlement or award.
Being involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver can have long-lasting effects on your physical, emotional, and financial well-being. By following these steps and seeking legal guidance, you can navigate the complex legal process smoothly and improve your chances of receiving fair compensation. Remember, prioritizing your safety, gathering evidence, seeking medical attention, consulting with an attorney, and documenting your damages are essential for protecting your rights and holding the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
Remember, if you ever find yourself in need of legal assistance due to an accident or personal injury, Joe I. Zaid & Associates are here to help. As Houston personal injury attorneys, we’re committed to your case and ensuring you receive the support and representation you need.
To contact Joe I. Zaid & Associates, call 281-990-5200 or visit our office at 4710 Vista Rd. Suite E Pasadena, TX 77505.