Steps to Take After Being Injured By a Drunk Driver
There’s no way around it – drinking and driving is a bad idea. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has asserted that almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk driving crashes on a daily basis, a staggering number that means there is a death every 50 minutes. Intoxicated drivers are a leading cause of traffic fatalities right here in Florida. And while drunk drivers often operate on weekends, at night, and around holidays, the unfortunate reality is that anyone on the road can become a victim of an accident caused by an impaired driver any time that he or she chooses to disregard the risks and climb behind the wheel. Therefore, everyone should know the steps to take if they happen to become involved in an accident with a drunk driver.
What Do You Do at the Scene of the Accident?
You may suspect the other driver is intoxicated because you noticed suspicious behavior prior to it occurring such as the vehicle swerving lanes. Or you may encounter the driver at the scene and notice that you smell alcohol. Either way, remembering that your safety has to remain your priority is essential after an accident where you are dealing with someone who has an altered state of mind. Other than obtaining any needed emergency treatment at the scene, you should:
- Assess the situation. Observe the situation prior to offering to help the other driver. Someone whose mental state is altered may be aggressive and act erratically. Your safety is first in this situation.
- Take pictures, record video, and take note of witnesses. Almost everyone has a smartphone these days and this is the perfect opportunity to utilize it. Recording as much as possible now will substantiate your account of what happened if you need it later. Additionally, get contact information from anyone who observed the accident.
- Alert authorities. Call 9-1-1 and alert law enforcement, whether at the scene or on the phone, that the other driver is intoxicated. In addition, make sure that a police report is generated by the officers.
What Additional Steps Should be Taken After the Crash?
- Cooperate with the D.A. It is essential to follow up on any criminal charges the district attorney may file against the drunk driver as a drunk driving conviction can only help strengthen your personal injury claim. Testify if requested, with the guidance of your attorney, and keep your testimony as truthful as you can.
- Continue medical treatment. Even if you feel okay after the accident, it is crucial to get checked for internal injuries. Whether you visit an emergency room or your primary care provider, you should follow all instructions and continue treatment until you are instructed by the doctor to stop.
Reach Out to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident where the other driver was intoxicated, you should turn to the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm. We have been assisting the victims of others’ negligence throughout Florida for many years and have extensive experience helping people like you. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, Ocala, Tampa, Bradenton, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Fort Myers and Daytona Beach areas.