What to Do After Being Hit By A Drunk Driver
Drunk driving keeps piling up victims all over the United States--even though it’s a known leading cause of death. By leading, we mean one death happens every 50 minutes. According to a MADD ranking, Florida ranks at 14th when compared to other states with the most drunk driving deaths. It’s tough to ask all drivers to be careful when not all of them are at fault. But unfortunately, all of them are subject to it every single day. Being hit by a drunk driver is never an expected situation, and figuring out how to act can be just as despairing. Should you confront the driver? Call the cops? Get a lawyer? Or something else?
This article will cover all the steps you should take, as well as the compensation to which you’re entitled.
Hit (or injured) by a Drunk Driver? Here's What to Do:
First Things First: Call the Police
While it’s tempting to confront the driver at the first opportunity, take a step back. Your best decision is always to call the police--even if nobody is hurt. A police report is crucial to prove the accident happened that day, at that time. Proof will have your back when you’re making an insurance claim or filing a lawsuit, if necessary.
Let the police know the driver looks either drunk or intoxicated by another substance so they can check the alcohol content in their blood. This is another important reason to contact the cops ASAP: they might arrest the driver at fault for a DUI (Driving Under Influence) charge.
Take Photos and Videos for Evidence
You’ll most likely have your phone with you if an accident happens. Use it if you can. Take pictures of the incident or film it for better coverage. Don’t forget the other driver’s car, license plate, or any damage caused to the streets and nearby areas and objects. This is important in case the driver at fault drives off without an explanation.
Try to Gather Witnesses
Ideally, you should ask eyewitnesses to stay until the police arrive so they can testify. It helps to find out where the driver was drinking, so a lawyer can get in touch with the restaurant/bar and help you gather even more proof of the incident. But of course, it’s not always possible to figure that out. In this case, asking nearby buildings for security camera footage is a good alternative.
Try to Exchange Contact and Insurance Information with the Driver
You never know how a person will act under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They could be slightly drunk, yet sober enough to talk to you and exchange information politely. On the other hand, they might act up and get violent toward you. Don’t confront them. Wait for the police to get there while you observe their behavior. Take note, as you’ll want to describe their countenance and actions to the authorities later.
Discover Whether You're Allowed Compensation Under Florida Law
Car accidents due to alcohol influence can cost you or your loved ones weeks worth of painful recovery--or in worse cases, death. Why would you pay an even higher price?
If you or any other passengers have been mildly or severely injured by the other driver’s misconduct, you might be entitled to compensation according to the Crime Victim Compensation Act. In this case, some laws apply only if the driver at fault was, in fact, drunk. Only experienced attorneys can determine whether you’re eligible for compensation. If you are, they’ll do everything in their power to make sure you owe the least amount of money to healthcare providers, and that the impaired driver gets their lesson. After all, none of what happened is your fault.
At Erjavec Injury Law, we’ll protect your rights as if they were our own. Focus on your healing while we fight for the compensation you deserve. Talk to us today.