5 Steps to Take After a Drunk Driving Accident
Although the precise figure varies from year to year, impaired motorists are responsible for roughly 30 percent of all traffic fatalities. They also injure hundreds of thousands of motorists, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians annually.
Thankfully, if you were hurt in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to both compensatory and punitive damages from a personal injury attorney. Even if the liable party is convicted, though, there’s no guarantee that the insurance company or opposing party will offer a fair settlement. To give your personal injury claim the best chance of success, there are certain steps you must take while still at the scene and over the days and weeks that follow.
Here, we’ve compiled a handy list of some of the most important steps to take after being struck by a drunk driver, recommended by our personal injury attorneys:
1. Call the Police
It is critical that you call the police right away, even if the impaired motorist tries to convince you otherwise. Responding officers are the only ones who can perform chemical tests, the results of which can serve as powerful evidence of negligence and will be essential if you try to pursue punitive damages. Officers will also create an official report, which the insurance company and your lawyer will want to review when investigating your claim.
2. Photograph the Wreckage
If you didn’t sustain life-threatening injuries and you’re able to get up and walk around, take photos of the scene from all angles. Accident reconstruction experts may be able to determine what might have happened in the moments leading up to the crash by reviewing these images and other evidence.
3. Seek Medical Care
Visit a doctor as soon as possible after leaving the scene, even if you received emergency care from first responders. A paramedic’s primary job is to stabilize patients, especially if their life is in jeopardy. Your doctor, on the other hand, will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose all resulting injuries and to develop a treatment plan.
4. Start Tracking Damages
In the state of Florida, drunk driving accident victims who are seriously injured can seek compensation for a wide array of economic and non-economic damages with the help of a personal injury attorney. Examples include healthcare bills, property repairs, lost income, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.
To ensure you can include all applicable damages in the settlement negotiations, begin tracking them from day one. You can do this by starting a personal injury journal and saving all applicable records, receipts, and invoices.
5. Call a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
It is wise to call a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following a drunk driving accident. This will give your legal team plenty of time to gather time-sensitive evidence while it is still available. It will also prevent you from making critical mistakes early in the proceedings that might jeopardize the case down the road.
Call 772-266-5555 to Speak with a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in Florida
If you or someone you love was hurt in a drunk driving accident, contact Donaldson & Weston to determine the most strategic way to proceed. We have recovered several multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients. Call our personal injury attorney at 772-266-5555 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a drunk driving accident lawyer in Florida.