Accidents happen suddenly and are difficult to prepare for, so many people do not know what to do when a car accident occurs. Some things you need to know apply in any vehicle accident, but a few things could be different when you are hit by a drunk driver.
What to Do Immediately
There are many simple tips to follow after an accident occurs. Even if the wreck is small or you do not end up filing a suit, it is better to collect all the information you need. Make sure to get contact details for witnesses because the police might not offer this to you. If you suspect impairment, do not share this with the witnesses, and only talk about the accident with the authorities.
Insurance providers are included in who you should not talk about the accident with because companies sometimes try to minimize a victim’s damages to avoid having to pay a large amount. An attorney such as those with Bronson Jones and Co. can help when filing a claim and speaking with a driver’s insurance company. If a company offers a settlement amount that will not cover your expenses, you may decide to go to trial instead.
Even though the other driver was drinking, you could still be held partially responsible for an accident. Some states have comparative negligence laws that mean the percentage of an accident you are at fault for is deducted from any damages awarded. In other states, a defendant’s attorney or insurance company could try to blame you in order to diminish your claim. If you were distracted or breaking any traffic laws when the collision happened, this may influence a settlement or legal strategy.
Drivers may be liable for accidents when their negligence led to someone’s injuries. Drinking and driving fits under negligence because a driver breaks the law and breaches a duty to others on the road to act responsibly. If your case goes to trial, the evidence would need to show that the accident and your injuries occurred because of the other driver and likely would not have happened otherwise. Reports from authorities, witness statements, any sobriety or breath tests conducted and toxicology results could all help prove a driver was intoxicated and not fit to drive.
Accidents are hectic, scary situations, but the days after them can be frightening too. Knowing what to do when a drunk driving accident happens may help your financial and emotional recovery.