Every drunk driving death is preventable. However, that doesn’t stop intoxicated people from getting behind the wheel daily.
On average, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 32 people die every day because of drunk-driving crashes, or roughly one person every 45 minutes. Additionally, 11,654 people died in 2020, a 14% increase from 2019.
While the statistics of fatal drunk driving accidents are alarming, the number of people injured by a drunk driver is even higher. In these cases, those injured will recover but potentially live with life-long complications.
If you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver, there are critical steps you should complete to help get your life back on track.
Contacting Law Enforcement
After an accident, you should contact law enforcement right away. Even if you do not feel there is significant damage to your vehicle or serious injuries, having law enforcement on the scene is essential. Especially if you suspect the other driver was drunk, law enforcement should be present to evaluate that person’s mental state.
Once law enforcement is notified of the accident, it’s best to do a personal check of your injuries, any passengers you may have in the vehicle, and the other driver. You know law enforcement is on the way, so if there are serious injuries, it’s best to alert law enforcement as soon as they arrive.
Even if you don’t feel your injuries are critical, you should always seek medical attention. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent. A doctor can evaluate your condition and rule out any serious injuries. While vehicles can be repaired, you can best help yourself by seeing a doctor immediately. Seeing a doctor immediately after the accident can prevent you from suffering life-long repercussions from the crash.
Survey Both Vehicles’ Damages
If you can stand up and walk after the accident, then the next step you should take is to survey your vehicle’s damage. If the vehicles are driveable, move them out of the way so traffic can continue to flow while the vehicles’ damages are being assessed.
Law enforcement will most likely take pictures of the vehicles once they arrive. However, having your own set of records showing the damage can be beneficial for any future claims you may file. Make sure to take pictures of the vehicles from all angles - even parts that you feel weren’t impacted by the crash. It is better to have more than what you need than not enough. Additionally, the officer may not take a picture of something you feel is significant, so having this information is indispensable.
Also, make a note of anything that stands out on the vehicle. For example, is there a company logo on the car? If that’s the case, it’s possible that the other driver was potentially drunk on the job, which is crucial information for you and law enforcement.
Get Information About the Other Driver with Law Enforcement
It is part of law enforcement officers’ responsibility to get information on all who were involved in the accident. If you can, try to get the other driver’s information from law enforcement or ask for the other driver’s information with law enforcement present. This will be necessary information for you, your insurance company, and anyone involved in the next steps after the incident. This is also a good time to figure out where the driver was coming from, if they admit to drinking beforehand, and if so, how many drinks they had. Some drivers may not share this information, but if they do, that information will be crucial for the follow-up of your accident.
Contact Your Insurance Company
As with any accident, let your car insurance company know you were involved in a crash. They will ask you for the necessary information so your agent can begin working on your claim.
Contact a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Attorney
After contacting the insurance company, your next call should be to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. Even if you feel your injuries aren’t serious enough to file a personal injury claim, reviewing all your options is best.
When working with The Roth Firm, LLC, your first consultation is free. That means you are out nothing by speaking with our dedicated Georgia and Tennessee personal injury attorneys to determine whether you have enough for a claim. Let our award-winning team fight for the justice you deserve — contact us online or by phone to get started. (404) 777-4899