5 Steps to Take After Being Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident
Being in a car accident can be a scary, painful, and frustrating experience. However, it is even more frustrating when you are injured due to another person’s conscious decision to drink and drive, thereby putting you, and others like you, at risk of serious injury and even death. Although the total number of DUI-related accidents in Tennessee have decreased over the years, they unfortunately still happen frequently. Although no one wants to think about the potential of being in an accident like this, you should be prepared to take the appropriate actions, if you do find yourself in this situation. Here are 5 steps to take after being injured by an impaired driver:
1. Call 911
The first thing you should do when you’ve been in an accident is stop and assess the situation. Immediately, after assessing yourself and your passengers for injuries, you should call 911. Do not accept an offer from another driver to settle the matter without involving the police. Without a police report to document what happened, it significantly increases the risk that the at-fault driver and/or his or her insurance company may attempt to deny fault later. Also, it is important to contact the authorities, even if the other person flees the scene, in order to get everything properly documented so that you can make an uninsured motorist claim. Always promptly contact the police and stay at the scene until they arrive and take your report.
2. Collect Information
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, you or someone you are with should collect information. Take pictures of the incident, record video, and watch the other person you were in the accident with to collect as much information as possible. Write down the other driver’s name, phone number, and insurance information. If the other person cannot give you that information, get it from the authorities when they arrive. While doing all of these things, however, be careful not to antagonize the other driver, which is of particular concern, if you suspect them of being intoxicated.
3. Seek Medical Care
Whether you have been seriously injured or appear to only have minor injuries, you should promptly seek medical evaluation and care. Some impact injuries have latent symptoms, which means that your symptoms may not even develop until a few days after the crash. Therefore, you should be aware of any changes in your body in the days following the drunk driving accident, and ensure that you promptly report any and all symptoms that you experience to your medical provider. Prolonged delays in medical treatment can not only possibly aggravate or worsen any injuries you may have, but will always decrease the settlement value of your case and increase the likelihood that a lawsuit will be required. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE AND/OR CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY FOR YOUR MEDICAL TREATMENT UP FRONT, WE CAN HELP; WE CAN ARRANGE FOR ALMOST ANY MEDICAL TREATMENT THAT OUR CLIENTS NEED FROM QUALIFIED MEDICAL DOCTORS, WITH NO MONEY UPFRONT. Simply contact our office for more details on how we can help you get the care you need.
4. Keep Up With Repairs, Medical Bills, and Lost Wages
An important part of a court case is keeping up with all related documentation. If you end up with medical bills from medical care, hold onto them, and keep copies of all documentation of repairs to your vehicle. It is much easier to collect these items as you obtain them, rather than attempting to locate and collect them later.
5. Contact a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
If the person involved in your accident is arrested for a DUI, you cannot assume you will get any compensation and you should never assume that you will be fully compensated without the assistance of an experienced attorney. The best course of action is to promptly consult with an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer. They deal with these kinds of cases every day and can help you throughout the process.
Hopefully, you will not be in a drunk driving accident. However, if you are, you can follow these steps to be better prepared. Are you in need of a drunk driving accident lawyer? Contact us today, and we will review your case and provide you with a free consultation.