March 30, 2023
Motor Vehicle Accidents
St. Patrick’s Day may be the day to wear green, but it’s also one of the biggest days for drunk driving accidents. If you’re involved in an accident with an intoxicated driver, you may be wondering what your rights for compensation are, as well as what you should do to preserve evidence.
Drunk driving accidents are often severe and the aftermath is time-consuming, so be prepared that it may take months to resolve your case. In addition to knowing this, there are several important steps you should take in the months following a drunk driving accident that we’ll discuss below.
Steps to Take Following a Drunk Driving Accident
The steps you’ll take following a drunk driving accident aren’t that much different than the ones you’d take after any type of motor vehicle accident. Here’s a breakdown of the steps to take after a DUI accident:
After checking on your passengers, call law enforcement to the scene. There are two reasons for doing this.
First and foremost, law enforcement can help clear the roadways and keep you and your passengers safe. Unfortunately, some motor vehicle accidents will force vehicles to the middle of the road, so cops can keep the area free from additional hazards.
Second, they will bring paramedics with them, who can tend to any injuries. Even if you feel fine, it’s recommended that you get checked out medically. Oftentimes, car accident injuries don’t present themselves right away, so seeking prompt medical care is key to keeping yourself in good shape.
The other reason why calling law enforcement to the scene is beneficial is because they will generate an accident report. This accident report will have critical information your personal injury lawyer needs, such as contact information of both drivers, the date and time of the accident, as well as witness statements, and the location of where it happened.
Oftentimes, insurance companies won’t approve a claim without an accident report, so getting one is one of the most critical steps to take after a drunk driving accident.
Though it’s against the law for drunk drivers to flee the scene of an accident they caused, it doesn’t mean they won’t leave or attempt to leave. If you can, try to snap a photo of the drunk driver’s license plate or at the very least, the make and model of their vehicle so police can track them down, if necessary.
In addition to this, take photos of your vehicle, any injuries or bruises you have, nearby road signs, the layout of the road and/or intersection where the accident took place, and weather conditions.
All of these can help an accident reconstructionist determine how your DUI accident occurred. Usually, these accident reconstructionists are used as expert witnesses should your personal injury case go to trial.
Notify Your Insurance Carrier
Following the accident, you should contact your insurance carrier to notify them of what happened. The timeframe in which you have to do this varies on the insurance carrier, but you should be able to obtain this information from your policy.
When reporting a drunk driving accident, just stick to the facts. Don’t offer up your own interpretation of what you believe happened, as the insurance carrier can use this as justification for underpaying your claim. Remember, insurance companies are not on your side. Instead, they are only focused on their bottom line.
Cooperate With the Prosecution
Earlier, we mentioned that there may be additional steps involved in a drunk driving accident when compared to other types of motor vehicle crashes. This is one of them.
Since drunk driving is against the law, the individual who hit you will likely have to go to court to face additional charges related to the accident. While you don’t need to attend the drunk driver’s legal hearings, it’s recommended that, if applicable, you work with the prosecution to offer up any relevant information they can use in their case against them.
The moments after a drunk driving accident can be overwhelming. However, this guide can give you some insight into what steps you should take after a drunk driving accident if you’re injured in one, whether on St. Patrick’s Day or not.