Drunk driving is an American epidemic. Roughly 4,100 drunk drivers are arrested every single night. Even worse, millions of drivers self-report driving under the influence without getting caught. With so many people intoxicated behind the wheel, it’s important to know what you should do when you’re hit by a drunk driver.
Calling for help is the best thing you can do after a crash with a drunk driver. Roughly 10,000 Americans die in DUI-related accidents every year, and many more are seriously injured. When you’re hit by a drunk driver, the first thing you should do is call 911 and get someone to the scene as quickly as possible.
Having professionals at the crash will allow you and the other driver to get proper medical treatment for any serious injuries. Additionally, a police officer present can remove the driver from the road and ensure they don’t cause additional harm. If you don’t call the police, you risk the drunk driver getting behind the wheel of a damaged vehicle and potentially hurting more people.
Manage the Situation
While waiting for police, you should do your best to avoid provoking the drunk driver. There’s no way to know how alcohol is affecting them. Alcohol impacts everyone’s mood differently. Some drunk drivers may be sad and remorseful, while others may be angry and looking for a fight.
Try to remain calm. Don’t get angry about the crash, even if you were not at fault. Drunk drivers are unpredictable, especially in adrenaline-inducing situations, like a car crash. If you feel comfortable talking to the drunk driver, make an effort to exchange insurance information. Otherwise, you can collect their information from the police officer.
If you’re worried the drunk driver may try to hurt you, you may want to wait in your car until police arrive. On the other hand, if the other driver seems confused and uncoordinated, you should make sure they don’t stumble into oncoming traffic or try to flee the scene. If the other driver is calm or regretful, keep them talking in one place until the police arrive.
File a Report
With a police officer on the scene, you can file a formal report. This creates a paper trail documenting the crash. A police report helps verify your case to insurance companies and can help your lawyer file a claim with the court. Additionally, a police officer can collect the other driver’s insurance information when they are uncooperative.
While the officer is writing their report, you should take a moment to get pictures of the scene. Be sure to include a picture of your car, the drunk driver’s car, and the surrounding area. Pictures help your insurance company verify the extent of the damage to your car and can help your attorney evaluate your case.
Seek Medical Treatment
If you don’t need immediate medical treatment from the scene, you should see a doctor within three days of a crash. Getting a check-up can uncover potential injuries and internal damage. Additionally, going to the doctor sends a message to the other driver’s insurance company that your injuries were serious enough to require treatment. Failing to visit a doctor after a crash can negatively impact your insurance claim and your auto injury case.
Call an Attorney
If you were seriously injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, you might want to have an attorney evaluate your case. An attorney will navigate the maze of legal paperwork and court filings while you rest, recover, and return to normalcy.
If you or someone you love were injured in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver, you might have a case. If you’d like to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Atlanta auto injury attorney from Buddoo and Associates, please give us a call at (404) 800-3755 or send us an email.
About the Author: Lawrence Buddoo
Attorney Lawrence Buddoo has dealt with a wide range of personal injury cases, including DUI accident cases. He has more than 21 years of experience fighting for the rights of the injured.