Each time you get on the road, you take care to follow the traffic rules and regulations. Unfortunately, there are others who do not abide by the same rules as you, so there is always a risk of being involved in a car accident. All too often there are people who endanger all of those who cross their path by drinking and driving. When a drunk driver makes the decision to get behind the wheel of their car, they are putting themselves and the lives of all those they come in contact with at risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drunk driving kills one person every 48 minutes throughout the nation. Although a truck accident or car accident involving a drunk driver can happen at anytime, there are certain times of the year when the risk is especially high, such as New Years Eve. If you are the victim of a drunk driver, it is essential to know what to do following the accident.
Any car accident is scary and confusing, but dealing with being hit by a drunk driver can add even more confusion to the situation. First and foremost, it is important to stay as calm as possible and call 911 immediately. Whether you are the driver or a passenger, the first thing to do is check to make sure everyone is okay. If there are other vehicles involved, including the vehicle of the drunk driver, unless you are absolutely positive that you are not seriously injured, do not get out of your vehicle. If you are positive you have not been seriously injured, check on the other drivers and passengers, but do not put yourself at risk of being hit by an oncoming car.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
If a drunk driver is conscious enough to realize what they have done, many will not stay around and wait for the police. For this reason, it is essential to collect as much information as possible before the driver leaves. If your cell phone is handy, take a picture of their license plate, the vehicle and the accident site. If you are able to speak with the driver before they take off, try and get their insurance and drivers license information. Any information you can get will be helpful for the authorities as well as your personal injury attorney.
It is important to keep in mind that car accidents are stressful for everyone, especially drunk drivers. Combine the stress with the intoxication and you may encounter a volatile person. You should never attempt to restrain a drunk driver and do not accuse them of being drunk and/or being the cause of the accident. These actions may increase their agitation, which can put you at risk of being harmed.
It is important that you know and understand your rights if you are hit by a drunk driver. As with any truck accident or car accident, it is essential that you receive all of the treatments required for your injuries. You are also entitled to hire a personal injury attorney to assist you with claiming damages for:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment
- Medical care
If your spouse died or was seriously injured as the result of being hit by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to lost wages and earning capacity of your spouse, funeral and burial expenses, and loss of consortium.
Other expenses that you incur as a result of the accident, including future, long-term medical care and treatments
In a DUI case, you may also be entitled to punitive or exemplary damages. These punitive or exemplary damages are in addition to any other monies you may receive as compensation for your injuries and medical expenses, so it is extremely important that you contact Springer & Lyle personal injury attorneys as soon as possible to ensure you receive compensation for all damages and injuries that you are entitled to.