What to Do If You Were Struck by a Drunk Driver
On average, someone in the United States is killed by a drunk driver every 45 minutes. Many more—the lucky ones—are injured. Of course, if you were seriously hurt by an impaired motorist, you’re probably not feeling very lucky.
A drunk driving accident has the potential to alter the trajectory of your entire life. Thankfully, while there is no way to erase what happened, there are steps you can take to pick up the pieces in the aftermath.
If you file a personal injury claim, for example, you may be able to secure compensation for the associated damages. This, in turn, will help protect your family’s financial security, despite the many unanticipated costs that tend to accompany accidental injuries.
Should this be the road you’re thinking about taking, it’s important to start building your claim as soon as possible. More specifically, you should make sure to do the following, so your claim has the greatest chance of success:
1. Take Care of Yourself
If you were able to walk away from the scene, visiting a doctor may not have been a priority. There’s always so much to do following a wreck, after all, that victims are often inclined to overlook their health.
Since not all impact injuries manifest symptoms right away, though, it’s advisable to undergo a comprehensive exam as soon as possible. Even if you feel relatively fine, you may need medical intervention, and putting it off can only lead to complications.
Once you do seek care, make sure to document everything. Save all the records associated with every appointment and keep a log tracking the ways in which you follow your doctor’s orders. This log will come in handy later, when you must convince the insurance adjuster that you took reasonable measures to mitigate damages.
2. Start a Journal
The non-economic damages that can result from a drunk driving accident—e.g., diminished quality of life, mental anguish, and emotional distress—are typically devastating. Thankfully, they also happen to be recoverable. First, however, you’re going to have to prove that you actually incurred them.
This is where a journal can come in handy. Daily entries about your condition post-accident and how it’s keeping you from living the life you want to lead will bolster your damages claim, especially regarding non-monetary losses.
3. Save Potential Evidence
A resourceful car accident lawyer should be able to gather all kinds of evidence that ultimately help you prove both liability and damages. You can support their efforts, however, by preserving any proof that happens to come your way. Examples include:
- Medical records,
- Invoices and receipts for replacement services,
- The official police report,
- Photographs of the wreckage,
- Dash camera footage,
- Toxicology reports, and
- Correspondence with the opposing party.
Discuss Your Case with a Car Accident Attorney in Stuart
At Donaldson & Weston, we’re determined to advocate for those who have been wronged by others. If you were hurt by a drunk driver and your life hasn’t been the same since, we can help.
Get the knowledge, resources, and experience of a powerhouse practice backing your every move during the claims process. To schedule a free initial consultation with a car accident lawyer in Stuart, call 772-266-5555 or complete our Contact Form.