Driving under the influence of alcohol is incredibly dangerous. It’s also one of the leading causes of fatal and injury-causing accidents across the country. If you have recently suffered injuries in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, it’s important to know and weigh your legal options so you can secure the recovery you deserve.
First Steps Following the Accident
Your first priority after any car crash is your personal safety and well-being as well as that of any passengers in your vehicle. Check yourself and others for injuries if you are able to do so and call 911 to report the crash right away. If you are seriously injured, do your best to remain calm and call for medical care if you haven’t. Do not move if you have been injured or you risk making your injuries worse. Click for drunk driving state data and maps.
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If you are able to move around, try to keep the accident scene as undisturbed as possible. Check on the other driver and make sure the vehicles are stopped and their ignitions are shut off. Then, document as much as you possibly can from the accident scene. If possible, use the camera on your phone to take pictures of your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, resting places of your vehicle and the drunk driver’s vehicle, nearby landmarks, skid marks in the road, and as many other details you can see around the crash site while you wait for emergency responders to arrive at the scene.
Address Your Medical Needs First and Document Everything
Your health should be your top priority, so see a doctor immediately if the first responders do not take you to the hospital for trauma care. Your doctor can identify any injuries that have not manifested noticeable symptoms yet and potentially catch life-threatening injuries before they worsen. Seeking immediate medical care also works in your favor from a legal standpoint; you can secure a medical report that details your injuries in full which you can use with an insurance claim or lawsuit.
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Insurance Should Be Your First Avenue for Compensation
When an insurance company knows that one of their insured drivers has caused an accident due to drinking and driving, they know that a lawsuit could lead to them paying a tremendous amount of money to an injured victim. An insurance company in this situation may be more agreeable to a settlement than you might expect. If the at-fault driver is convicted of DUI, then you have a pretty solid case. Defer to your attorney to determine whether accepting the insurance company’s settlement offer is in your best interest.
An accident with a drunk driver can be a traumatizing and damaging experience but following these steps can significantly increase your chances of securing fair compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault today at (419) 843-6663 for more information about the legal representation we can offer if a drunk driver has injured you.
Jonathan Ashton, Partner and Personal Injury Attorney, began his law career at GT&B in 2007 as a law clerk. He was hired as an associate immediately after passing the Ohio Bar in 2008. Jonathan practices in Personal Injury, representing clients who have been injured and need justice and compensation for them to move forward in their lives.