Getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is one of the most dangerous decisions an individual can make. Yet, people still do it all the time, with drunk driving-related accidents making up a significant percentage of car accidents in the United States each year and causing one third of traffic-related deaths.
However, if you’re lucky enough to be alive after being hit by a drunk driver, your next steps will be different than if you were hit by a sober individual. If the driver that hit you is clearly intoxicated, follow the steps outlined below.
After the initial shock of the accident, the first thing that you should do is call 911. It is important that they are on the scene as soon as possible, regardless of the severity of the accident. Not only does this provide legal documentation of the incident, but the police will be able to collect necessary evidence and send emergency services if needed. Notifying the police will also establish that you are the victim in the situation, which is important to clarify immediately.
Inform the Police of Suspected Intoxication
If it’s clear that the other driver is under the influence, it’s best to inform the police before they arrive on the scene. By doing so, the authorities will then be prepared to deal with someone that is intoxicated, and ready to take necessary legal steps against them. Informing the police of the situation is your civic duty and also establishes that the other driver was breaking the law when the accident occurred, which has a significant impact on insurance and other legal issues. Providing the police with the other driver’s license plate number is also critical information in case the driver attempts to flee the scene.
Get the Driver’s Information
If it turns out that neither of you is seriously injured, if you’re comfortable with speaking with the other driver, try and collect as much information from them as you can. Their name, insurance, contact information, everything, and anything will all be extremely valuable if you find yourself in need of a car accident attorney. Nevertheless, if you aren’t comfortable approaching the driver, wait until the police have done their own investigation and ask them for it.
Seek Medical Treatment
Even if you feel that you are unharmed, it is imperative that you accept medical treatment when offered. Some injuries may not be visible or noticeable, but can even prove to be fatal in some circumstances. Allowing the medical team to perform a thorough medical investigation right after the accident will allow them to catch any potential underlying injuries.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney
In the event that you are involved in a car accident with a drunk driver, a car accident attorney can prove to be an invaluable resource. Accidents are a messy business, especially with a drunk driver involved, and a car accident lawyer can ensure that the legal process runs smoothly. Don’t try and solve the problem on your own. Hire an expert to ensure that the situation is handled appropriately and you receive all that you are entitled to.