If you have been involved in an accident that involves a drunk driver, there are some important things you must remember at the scene of the accident as well as after you have left. By taking the following steps and pointers into consideration you will have a better chance of preserving your rights and obtaining the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Remain at the scene until help arrives.
After the accident has occurred it is important to stay at the scene until the emergency services arrive. If you are not seriously injured, take a note or picture of the license plate of the other driver, just in case they attempt to flee the scene of the accident. Then call the police and emergency services to the scene and check to see if the other people in your car and involved in the accident are injured.
If you are physically capable of doing so, administer first aid to anyone who needs this including yourself. You will also need the information of the other driver including their insurance information, name, contact information and registration number. Also take notes of anything they may have said or done or any other details that lead you to believe they were driving under the influence of alcohol.
Take pictures and videotapes.
There are many things that can indicate drunk driving and it will be important to make note of them all. If the driver is slurring, stumbling or you see empty bottles or cans of beer falling from the cab. Take some time to photograph any evidence of drunk driving. You should also take videos and pictures of the scene of the accident and the damage sustained to both vehicles.
Take a picture of all traffic signals, speed limit signs, road debris, and skid marks that can provide clues as to what happened. In addition to pictures, video evidence can contain many more clues to the occurrence and it is good to capture video content as well. Be sure to take pictures of any injuries that you or anyone else has suffered in the accident.
Talk to the officer and any witnesses.
When the police arrive to make the report be sure to tell them everything you have observed in the accident. Be sure to mention all the details you notice that may lead you to believe that the other driver was operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol. For example, if their movements seem unsteady or staggered, speech was slurred or their eyes were bloodshot, mention this to the officers making the report.
There are many instances that the officers at the scene of the accident may not detect any of the signs that the driver is drunk and you should point them out. With this information, they can request that the other driver take the BAC test.
Make sure you speak with the other people who have witnessed the accident as well. You will want to get their contact information, email address, full names, etc. You should also request that these witnesses stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive. You may need to hire an auto accident attorney.
Get medical attention.
After you have spoken to the police you will want to make sure to have any injuries you have sustained examined by medical professionals. Even if you think the injuries you have sustained are relatively minor, the adrenaline rush and excitement of the situation may be concealing more serious injuries and a medical examination will be important to avoiding serious problems, even life-threatening problems.
Make sure that you follow the recommendations provided by the medical professionals examining your injuries. Failure to do so could result in questions about the severity of your injuries and affect your rights to compensation. Be sure to keep careful records of your process or recovery treatments received, medications prescribed, medical appointments, and everything else.
Attend the drunk driver’s court hearings.
You should also make it a point to attend the court hearing for the drunk driver. You can be a help to the prosecution by providing your testimony. If the drunk driver is convicted of their crimes this will add heft to your civil case against them.