Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs places everyone on the road at risk. Impaired drivers have slower reflexes and poor concentration skills. According to the CDC, drivers who operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs cause over 25 percent of all vehicular accidents
Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI) is against the law in every state. Drivers that cause an accident while impaired will be arrested and charged. Being charged with a DUI or DWI does not, however, relieve these individuals of their obligations to the injured party.
If you are a victim of a drunk driving accident, you are encouraged to contact a DUI accident attorney as soon as possible.
Drunk Driving Accidents Associated With More Serious Injuries In Car Accidents
Impaired driving is associated with more deaths and catastrophic injuries than any other type of vehicular crash. The reason for this high rate of fatalities and serious injuries is because of the lack of judgment and reflexes of the impaired driver.
Drivers who are operating under the influence often do not have the same reflexes during a dangerous situation. Where a driver who is not under the influence may hit the brakes to prevent an accident, the driver under the influence pauses to decide what to do and impact occurs. High-speed accidents are also associated most often with drunk drivers.
Steps To Take After A Drunk Driving Accident
From the very second that the impact occurs in a drunk driving accident, your life is changed. You will face many challenges, physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. Your everyday routine will change to accommodate the injuries and losses from your accident.
As a drunk driving accident victim, you have the right to sue for compensation for these injuries and losses. However, the steps you take after the accident can affect your rights to make a claim. You are encouraged to use the following steps as close as possible after the accident has occurred.
Provide Basic Information To Emergency Responders – Never Assume Fault
You will want to provide basic information to the police so that an official report can be made. You will want to include insurance company information. You will want to refrain, however, from assuming any fault. Statements like “I never saw them coming” or “I should have hit my brakes sooner” places some of the fault for the accident on you. Insurance adjustors seek for simple things like this to use to decrease your compensation package.
Get A Medical Evaluation Right After the Accident Is Cleared
If you are fortunate enough to not have to leave the scene by ambulance, then you are encouraged to go directly to the emergency room after the scene has been cleared. You should have a physical exam by a doctor to make sure that you are okay. Many injuries, including serious issues like concussions, neck injuries, and internal bleeding, are not easily detectable at the scene.
Contact Your Insurance Company
You want to report the accident as soon as possible to your insurance company so that you can continue to receive all of the medical care you need for your injuries. You should only provide a basic statement to them at this time. Do not give any absolutes about injuries, losses, or future treatments. If your insurer demands that you give a full statement at this time, politely decline and state that you do not feel comfortable providing an official statement without all of the facts. Regardless of what the adjuster will tell you, you have the right to decline at that time.
Contact A Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
You are encouraged to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Your attorney will help ensure that you are receiving the care and benefits you are entitled to under the terms of your insurance policy. Your attorney will also manage all your interactions with the insurance company and help negotiate a complete settlement once you have reached your maximum medical improvement and know about any potential future losses.
Avoid Social Media Posts About Accident Or Injuries
You should avoid posting anything on social media about your accident, injuries, or lawsuit. Of course, you can put down that you were in an accident but refrain from listing too much more information. Insurance companies will monitor your social media sites looking for information that they can use against your case. You should also avoid posting information about your daily routines, pictures of you having a good time, even if they are “throwback” photos or plans you have made to attend any events.
Compensation Available For Drunk Driving Accidents
When you have been involved in an accident that is the result of the actions of another person, you have the right to claim compensation for your losses. There are several types of losses that may be available to you. Your attorney will discuss with you what types of compensation are available for your case.
Types of compensation available to accident victims:
- Medical expense, current, and future
- Lost wages during your recovery period
- Future earnings if you cannot return to work
- Additional expenses associated with your injuries
- Pain and Suffering
- Punitive damages
In some cases where drunk driving is involved in an accident, the court will award the injury victim special compensation known as punitive damages. These damages are reserved for special circumstances and are a penalty placed against the responsible party.
Contact A Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Today
Being involved in a car accident will change everything about your life. How you manage your days, how you physically and emotionally feel, how you earn a living, and even how you interact on social media. A car accident will also place a significant amount of stress on your financial security.
It will be in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney. Hiring a lawyer to manage your case will give you several advantages over managing the case on your own. Call today to schedule an appointment with South Florida’s most trusted drunk driving accident attorney.