3 Critical Steps to Take After Getting Hit by a Drunk Driver – Legal Reader
Remember that anything you say can be used against you in any legal case. So be very careful with what you say.
Getting into a car accident is an unfortunate experience for everyone. It is very natural for you to be overwhelmed with emotions, especially when your loved ones are involved. If you happen to be the one driving under the influence, the process of settling your case during the pandemic may be different than it was before. On the flip side, if you are on the receiving end of this stressful event, here are some important steps to take after a drunk car accident.
Remain calm and assess the situation
While it is tempting to let your emotions get the best out of you, you need to stay calm and try to keep your emotions in check. Avoid disputes with the other party and limit interactions as much as possible. It’s easy to assume that the drunk driver is at fault, but to make sure your litigation is as lean as possible, don’t have unnecessary conversations. Try to maintain a level of prudence and be aware of your actions.
Immediately call 911 and the police and check yourself and others for injuries. You may not have any visible injuries immediately after the incident, but there is a chance they could manifest later. Therefore, pay attention to the possible symptoms. Seriously injured people should stay in the vehicle and not try to move them as this can cause further damage. Refer any discomfort or bruising to the paramedics or first responders, however minor or irrelevant, as refusing to seek medical attention could affect your future litigation.
Unless the authorities recommend otherwise, move your vehicle to a safer location to avoid secondary accidents. Make sure to turn off the ignition, turn on the hazard warning lights, and take all available safety measures to make your car visible to other vehicles passing by.
Secure all available evidence
You need to document everything as any evidence produced at the scene of the accident will prove indispensable to your case. Snap photos or videos of the crash scene, including the license plate number of the drunk driver, the current condition of the damaged vehicles, and incriminating details like empty beer cans or liquor bottles. You can also record the current condition of the driver as they may be showing signs of intoxication.
Image by Matias Lepera via Unsplash.com.
Check the area for possible witnesses and surveillance cameras. Get the contact information of the witnesses and remember to exchange the necessary information with the other party. Make sure you get a copy of the official police report and make sure you work with the cops who respond. As difficult as it may be, try to be polite when speaking to everyone on site. Obtain all necessary financial documents showing the amount to be compensated.
Know your rights and look for a professional
Remember that anything you say can be used against you in any legal case. So be very careful with what you say. The first time you’re in a car accident, you may be intimidated by the other party. It is therefore important that you assert yourself and remember that you are entitled to your rights. Before signing any billing documents, read them carefully and make sure there are no gray areas.
It is also important that you find a legal counsel or personal injury attorney to assist you with your case, preferably someone who has experience with drunk driving cases. The driver’s insurance company can contact you. So let them know to get in touch with your lawyer instead.
It is difficult to put yourself in a calm state in a car accident because the emotions can be high. Even so, regardless of how annoying it may be, it’s best to take a diplomatic approach to the situation.