Being the victim of a drunk driver is a serious and at times life changing matter. Here, the DUI attorneys at Parker, Pallett, Slezak & Russell provide information on the steps to take if you have suffered due to another’s negligence or wrongdoing behind the wheel.
Alert the Authorities Immediately
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 29 people die every day as a result of drunk driving crashes. This works out to be one person every 50 minutes. Drunk driving accidents are often very serious, and calling 9-1-1 as soon a possible allows the police and paramedics come to your aid within a critical timeframe. On-scene, the police will be able to write up an accident report and determine the BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of the alleged drunk driver. This may prove to be invaluable evidence for your claim.
It is also important to accept medical assistance from the paramedics when they arrive, even if you do not look or feel injured. Immediately following an accident or traumatic incident, adrenaline can mask any pain or discomfort you may feel. As such, being examined by a medical professional is essential to ensuring you receive any treatment you may need, and that any injuries are properly documented.
Document the Crash
It is also important to document the crash as best you can. The more documentation you have, the better chances you have to support any legal or insurance claims you may need to file. Do not, however, publish images of your crash on social media platforms, as insurance companies will conduct thorough research online and may use any information posted online against you.
Having proof, in terms of pictures or video, can be monumental in terms of supporting your claims in court or against an insurance company. Specifically, this type of documentation can help to provide evidence of injuries sustained at the crash, the progression of injuries over time, and damages to property suffered at the time of the crash. If you do not have documentation of your injuries or any damages, a jury, judge or the insurance company may perceive your injuries or suffering as less serious than they actually are, thus directly impacting the amount of compensation you may receive.
File a claim with the Driver’s Insurance
File a claim as soon as you are able, but be wary of a suspiciously fast offer of settlement from the insurance company. You should never accept the first offer as they will be determined to settle the case quickly, and this compensation can—and often is—much lower than what you likely deserve. Wait until you are fully recovered from your injuries, and have a chance to consult with an experienced attorney before discussing any kind of compensation offer.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
Although a drunk driving case may seem like a straightforward claim, there are still several factors that can influence a positive or negative outcome for your case. An experienced personal injury attorney from Parker, Pallett, Slezak & Russell will have the necessary skills to confront the insurance companies and fight for the compensation that you deserve. If you have been involved in a car crash that involved an impaired driver, we urge you to call us today for a free consultation!