Accidents seem to come from nowhere.
You get in your car after a party for what you think is a safe and quiet ride home. Stopped at an intersection, the light turns green and your friend pulls into the intersection. Suddenly two bright headlights come speeding towards your door, the other car ignoring the red light.
There’s no time to react. Everything happens in slow motion. The car smashes into your door, spins the car around before everything comes to a screeching stop.
Both cars are totaled.
The other driver gets out of the car to see what happened. They stumble, not because of the accident, but because they’ve been drinking too much.
Great. Your car is wrecked. Your body hurts and the guy that hit you has been drinking.
You’re worried about your car and medical bills – they’re worried about a stay in Tent City.
You’ve Been Hit by a Drunk Driver, Now What?
There are three things to focus on when involved in an injury accident with a drunk driver. You want to make sure that you keep yourself safe, that you get information for your injury claim, and to protect your rights.
Keep yourself safe
Make sure that as soon as you’re safe that you (or someone else) calls 911. Be sure to stay calm until police and paramedics arrive.
If the other driver was drinking, they may be in some serious legal trouble. Be mindful of that and don’t engage with the other driver more than is necessary – they may be more likely to react angrily and even violently under those circumstances.
And even though you might feel fine, get checked at the scene and then seek additional medical attention as needed.
Some injuries can take days or even weeks before you notice them so it’s a good idea to get checked out by a doctor as soon as you notice something is going wrong – it could be a sign that something serious is going on.
If you’re able, get contact information from witnesses and insurance information from the other drivers involved in the accident. If you are not able due to injury (or because they won’t cooperate) Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer will get the information needed for your case.
Also, it never hurts to get pictures of the scene of the accident. While we’ll seek other evidence as needed, there are times we find it useful to review cell phone images of the scene that can provide more information about what happened and why.
Gather evidence quickly
In cases of drunk driving, it is important to move quickly to collect the evidence that other driver was in fact drunk. If we can prove that the driver’s intoxication was a proximate cause of the accident, you may be entitled to punitive damages (damages intended as punishment) in addition to compensatory damages (damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages).
Punitive damages, if awarded, can be substantial making it important to not only gather evidence but to seek the assistance of Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer, an experienced car accident attorney with a track record of successfully pursuing punitive damages in drunk driving accident injury cases.
Protect your rights
Don’t talk to or sign documents from insurance companies until we review your case. By signing, you may be agreeing to settlement terms that are not in your own best interest.
Remember that it’s in the best interests of their insurance company to get you to agree to terms as quickly as possible. You’ll want to make sure that you talk to us before you talk to them.
Stay off social media. You may want to let people you know what happened but sharing your experience online can hurt you. What you say on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media platforms can be used against you in the settlement process.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an injury accident involving a drunk driver, contact Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer right away. The sooner we’re involved, the sooner you can get the outcome you deserve.
At Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer, we work on behalf of our clients to get them punitive damages, compensated for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.