The number of drunk-driving incidents in the US reaches beyond a hundred million each year and continue to persist, despite endless campaigns against drunk driving. Needless to say, anyone can be a victim of a drunk person behind the wheel.
And if you become one of them (and are lucky enough to survive the accident), here are the steps you need to take:
1. Call the police
After any type of accident, the first step you should take is to call the police, assuming that no one on the scene is gravely injured. If you require immediate medical attention, call emergency services.
When the police arrive on the scene, they can help you document the accident and apprehend the drunk driver if needed. If you fail to contact the police, the drunk driver can flee and cause more accidents in their wake.
The authorities will then ask for your statement regarding the accident. Refrain from lying or exaggerating the details of your account. Tell the truth from your perspective and exclude speculations. Sticking to the facts will greatly help you receive compensation as soon as possible.
2. Gather information
After an accident, it is normal to feel shaken up by the gravity of the situation. Nevertheless, try your best to gather as much information as you can by taking pictures of the scene, taking down the contact information of the other driver and possible witnesses, and the insurance information of the drunk driver (if possible). If you or your passengers have visible injuries, take pictures of them as well. Collecting this pertinent information will significantly help your case against the person at fault.
3. Receive medical attention
Even if you don’t feel or see any injuries on your body, it is still imperative that you go to the doctor for a medical exam. Not only is this crucial for your insurance claim, but receiving medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident rules out any possible hidden injuries. Sometimes, it may take hours or even days to feel the effects of the crash. Don’t run the risk of getting a late diagnosis on your injuries, even if you feel perfectly fine.
4. Contact your lawyer
Find a reputable drunk driving injury lawyer in your area to assist you with your insurance claim and/or a lawsuit against the drunk driver. A civil lawsuit is separate from criminal proceedings. If you have to get involved in the latter, having a lawyer by your side makes the process much easier for you.
5. File the insurance claim
After collecting the necessary information regarding the accident and everyone involved, file your claim with the drunk driver’s insurance company. If they offer you a settlement, consult with your lawyer to determine whether you should take it or not. Moreover, watch out for bad faith insurance practices that can affect your compensation.
Getting into a vehicular accident is one of the scariest things that one can experience, not to mention the injuries and damages that it causes. That said, take all of the steps needed to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. If you need legal help, find a personal injury attorney in Denver or other areas right away.