Impaired driving crashes are a leading cause of roadway injuries and fatalities each year. If you or somebody you care about has been struck by a drunk driver and sustained property damage or injuries, there are various steps that you can take to help both ensure your well-being and secure compensation for your damages. Here, we want to review these steps so that you have an understanding of what to do next in these situations.
If you have been struck by a driver that you think was impaired by alcohol or drugs, you need to call the police and ensure that they get to the same as quickly as possible. Individuals impaired by alcohol can be unpredictable and volatile, so you need to have law enforcement there to handle any situation that could arise. Additionally, calling 911 helps ensure that the appropriate medical and fire personnel get to the scene to ensure safety.
You need to check yourself, your passengers, and any other person in the area for injuries. If you or your loved ones have been harmed, that is the number one priority. You should not do too much moving unless it is necessary for safety purposes (such as getting off of a busy roadway). If you have sustained any type of injury, you need to take an ambulance to the hospital or have someone take you to the closest emergency center for an evaluation.
Obtaining medical treatment is much more important than any other aspect of this list. Not only does this ensure your well-being, but it helps establish a link between the drunk driving collision and any injuries you sustained.
If you have not sustained severe injuries, you may be able to gather evidence at the scene of the incident. If you suspect the other driver is impaired, be careful about how you approach them. You may need to let law enforcement make contact with the suspected impaired individual. However, you can use your cell phone to take photographs or video of the entire scene, including any vehicle damage, license plate numbers, injuries, causes of the crash, debris, skid marks, and more.
If there were any eyewitnesses, either other drivers or passengers or individuals near the roadway, you can get their names and contact information written down before they leave the scene. These individuals may be able to give valuable statements to insurance carriers or to a personal injury jury later on.
You should call a drunk driving accident lawyer in California as soon as you are able to do so. An attorney can get involved in the beginning by gathering any evidence related to the incident. Your lawyer will be responsible for handling all communication with insurance carriers and other parties involved. This will include any negotiations for a settlement on your behalf.
It is imperative for drunk driving accident victims to continue medical treatment, even if they begin to feel better. Stick with the doctor’s orders until you have recovered as much as you are going to with medical care. Your doctor will let you know when they think it is okay to stop the medical treatment.