In the United States, there are around one million arrests for drunk driving each year. As high as this figure is, it’s insignificant compared to the 111 million self-reported annual episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among American adults. With so many drivers taking to the wheel under the influence, the chances of being hit by a drunk driver are higher than you would expect. As such, it’s crucial to know what to do if a drunk driver hits you.
Read on to find out what to do at the scene if you’ve been hit by a drunk driver.
1. Call the Police
The first and most vital step you need to take after a drunk driver hits you is to call the police if you’re able to. This not only ensures that the police apprehend the driver, but also serves as a formal record of the accident. Having the accident documented is crucial when filing an insurance claim or lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident. Not reporting the accident may mean you’ll also lose crucial evidence, and this will then make it more difficult to pursue compensation for any damages or injuries sustained.
Additionally, if you don’t report the accident the drunk driver has caused, they may be more likely to get behind the wheel in a similar state again in the future.
2. Keep to the Facts
When the police arrive at the scene, they’ll want to know how the accident occurred. It is important to provide them with full and accurate explanations of everything you can recall.
Stress and tension may be high after an accident. Do not exaggerate or guess at details if you’re uncertain. It’s essential to keep to the facts and avoid speculating.
After a collision, people involved in car accidents may be full of adrenaline and don’t realize they are in pain until later. Try to calm yourself as best you can and assess the condition of your body. If you’re injured, say so.
3. Gather Information
If you’re able to, gather as much information from the scene of the accident as possible. You might need to act fast and get the drunk driver’s license plate number if they try to flee before the police arrive. Other things that are useful for pursuing a claim include photos of the accident scene, potential witness information, and the at-fault driver’s contact and insurance details.
Of course, if a drunk driver has hit you, you might not feel comfortable talking to them, especially if there’s no one else around. If that’s the case, make sure to get the other driver’s information from the police in the form of a drivers exchange. If the drivers exchange is not made available to you by the police for any reason, at least make sure to get the report number so it can be obtained later.
4. Seek Medical Treatment
For the good of your health, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention after a drunk driver hits you.
No matter how you feel after the crash, we recommend you always get checked out by a medical provider. Some injuries can take hours or even days before you notice any pain. For example, if you’ve been rear-ended by a drunk driver, neck, and spinal injuries that you’ve sustained may not start to cause you pain until a day or two later.
By seeking medical attention at the scene or shortly thereafter, you’ll get a quick diagnosis and immediate treatment for any injuries, whether they’re apparent at the time or not. This makes it less likely that hidden injuries will turn into a chronic pain condition.
Proper medical documentation is also key to a claim as it is the evidence you need to prove injury.
5. Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Before you speak to your insurance company about the accident, it’s vital to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to get the answers to all your questions and the best legal advice possible so you know all of your rights after an accident.
Hit by a Drunk Driver? Choose Marsalisi Law to Help You.
Being hit by a drunk driver can be a nightmare, but it’s important to not let your as an injury can influence your judgment. Following the recommendations above will assist with any potential subsequent legal proceeding.
To find out more about how we can help you after a drunk driving accident, contact us today to arrange a free consultation. Marsalisi Law is Where Law Gets Personal.