Getting hit by a drunk driver can be a terribly scary experience. And because of how recklessly drunk people tend to drive, the injury and property damage is often severe for the other parties involved. As the victim in a drunk driving crash, it’s important to put your health and wellness first. Here are ways that you can protect your rights in the aftermath of a drunk driving collision:
- Inform the officer if you smelled alcohol coming off from the driver or saw drug paraphernalia on their person or in the vehicle. Tell the officer if you see the driver using eye drops, washing their hands, throwing out garbage from the car, or other behaviors that look like they are trying to hide substance use.
- Prior to law enforcement arriving, observe who was driving. Drivers who are under the influence may switch places with a passenger who is sober, so they won’t get in trouble for drunk driving.
- Tell your side of the story to police for the report, and get a copy of this in the days to follow. You can request a copy at your local law enforcement office.
- Follow up on the criminal charges against the drunk driver to see if they were convicted or plead guilty. It can help strengthen your civil case and insurance claim if the driver faced repercussions for the crime.
- Get medical care immediately. Even if you don’t think you sustained injury, you may actually have but don’t know it yet, since adrenaline can disguise physical injury until your system has calmed down.
- Save copies of all receipts and medical documentation. Your lawyer will inquire about these as a way to estimate how much you could receive in compensation from the drunk driver and/or insurance company.
- Keep evidence organized, such as video and pictures of the scene, the clothes you were wearing at the time, witness statements, street cam recordings, and anything else that may influence your case.
As a DUI lawyer from Cohen & Cohen, P.C. can attest, victims of drunk driver accidents can suffer the very worst of injuries, property damage, and financial loss. By taking the steps above, you can help protect yourself while building a strong case for compensation.