Keeping calm and knowing what to do after an accident does not come natural to most of us. When the other driver is under the influence, it makes things even more challenging. However, below are some tips we have put together after helping dozens of individuals who have found themselves in this
situation. We hope you find these helpful.
1. SAFETY FIRST
As soon as you are able to, try to make sure that you are OK. Stay aware of your own body and what you are feeling ad take a look around to try to identify visible injuries. If you have passengers with you, ask them if they are OK. Also, inspect them visually if possible. Many times, adrenaline will mask symptoms of injury. Look around and make sure that your vehicle is positioned in a place where you will not be hit by other vehicle. Turn on your hazards until emergency personnel arrives. If your car is in harm’s way and you are able to drive it out of the way, do so as soon as you can.
2. FROM A SAFE DISTANCE, CHECK ON THE INTOXICATED DRIVER
Try to ascertain whether the intoxicated driver is alert and/or moving. It is advisable to do so from a safe distance and to remain in your own vehicle if possible, as you do not know if the person will become enraged or dangerous. Try to pay attention to anything that gives you the impression that you are dealing with an intoxicated driver: for example, if they were driving erratically prior to the crash, if alcoholic beverage containers fell out of their car or were thrown out, whether the driver approaches you and has a strong odor of alcohol. Take photos or video if possible of anything relevant. If the other
driver is belligerent or aggressive, remain in your vehicle with the doors locked and the windows up.
3. CALL 911
Always call 911in this type of accident because even if medical care is not needed, police officers will need to handle the situation appropriately. Cops can perform a breathalyzer and EMTs can also provide medical evidence. This is evidence that will help in a criminal case against the drunk driver and/or in your own civil case against him or her.
4. GET INFORMATION
Sometimes, police officers can forget to provide you with the other driver’s name, auto insurance company name and policy number. This is information that is crucial if you will be making a claim for the insurance company to fix your vehicle, pay for medical bills or lost wages. If you do not get this information at the scene of the accident and a criminal case develops, it may
become extremely difficult to get this information later.
5. MAKE NO ADMISSIONS
It is absolutely normal to feel sorry for a person who has just been in a wreck, even if that person was the drunk driver who caused the accident. This is especially true if the drunk driver is injured too. However, you should refrain from saying you are sorry or admitting fault for the wreck. You can discuss with the police officers the facts of how the wreck occurred to your knowledge and recollection, but you should not be adding anything else. The police officers’ job will be to determine the contributing causes to the wreck.
6. CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER ASAP
The most crucial time when a legal case can be greatly prejudiced is immediately after an accident. You should consult with a personal injury lawyer who has handled drunk driver cases so that you can be informed of your rights. You will also need someone to preserve evidence while you focus on recovering. Call Ramos James Law at 512-537-3369 for a FREE consultation.