What Should I Do If I’m Injured by a Drunk Driver?
While harsh penalties exist for those caught driving under the influence, many people still get behind the wheel while intoxicated and put others’ lives at risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone is killed in a wreck involving an alcohol-impaired driver every 45 minutes. However, even for those who survive these deadly encounters, the road ahead can be physically challenging, emotionally draining, and financially crippling.
If you were hurt in an accident involving a drunk driver, you might be unsure about what to do next. You probably want to hold them accountable for the damage they’ve caused, but making sense of the claims process can be difficult.
In this article, we share a few steps you should take in the wake of a drunk driving wreck that might help strengthen your personal injury case:
Visit the Doctor
After an accident, it’s not uncommon for victims to forgo a doctor’s visit. Some believe their injuries aren’t severe enough to warrant a trip to the hospital, while others don’t have time to undergo a medical assessment. However, even if your injuries seem minor, you should schedule a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible.
Many serious conditions can take hours or even days to manifest symptoms. Left unchecked, your condition could deteriorate, leading to additional—and ultimately avoidable—health complications. Visiting the doctor will also ensure you have official records of your injuries and treatment, which you will likely need to support your personal injury claim.
Gather Evidence at the Scene
The wreckage is often a treasure trove of evidence providing you with many different types of proof that you could use to establish liability and damages. For instance, dashcam footage could help you prove fault if, for instance, it shows the other motorist driving recklessly in the moments before impact. Alternatively, pictures of road markings could help an accident reconstructionist piece together the events of that fateful day.
Other types of evidence that might be important to your case can include:
- Official accident reports,
- Surveillance camera recordings,
- Eyewitness statements,
- Photographs of your injuries,
- Toxicology reports,
- A written firsthand account of the accident, and
- Personal belongings such as the clothes you were wearing on the day.
Document Your Damages
A collision can lead to many unanticipated expenses, from your medical bills to alternative transportation to replacement services. In the weeks after a wreck, it can be easy to lose track of these costs, leaving you at risk of accidentally omitting these damages when estimating a fair settlement. As such, you should be diligent about making copies of any relevant receipts, estimates, and invoices, stashing them away in a safe place where they won’t get lost.
Lay Low on Social Media
In a bid to find evidence to dispute your claim, the opposing party’s insurer may turn to social media to find any posts that could be leveraged to challenge your credibility. As such, you should limit your activity on sites such as Facebook and Instagram, taking steps to ramp up your privacy settings to restrict who has access to your pages. In most situations, it’s wise to deactivate your profiles entirely, as this will prevent anyone else from poring through your post history.
Speak to a Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured in a collision with a drunk driver, turn to the legal team at Maier Gutierrez & Associates for reliable guidance, aggressive representation, and round-the-clock support. Our distinctions include Martindale-Hubbell AV ratings, Super Lawyers, Top Attorneys by Nevada Business Magazine, and many others. Dial 702-629-7900 today or head to our Contact Page to request a free case review with a Las Vegas car accident attorney.