Injuries experienced in a car accident can be a traumatic experience under any circumstances. It is all the more tragic if struck by a person operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by either alcohol or drugs.
Drunk drivers have always been a hazard to the roadway. The cost in lives and in health and well-being are staggering. It could happen at any time. A car from the opposite side of the road suddenly swerves into your right-of-way path, causing a collision.
Just like any other accident, the first order of business is to make sure everybody is all right in both cars. Then, like any other accident, you inspect the situation for damage. Make sure all the passengers are all right and get them out of the vehicle if you can and get the car out of the main roadway if you can. Put on your emergency flashers, also called four-ways. If you have a camera or a camera on your phone, take pictures of the scene from all angles.
Normally the other driver approaches you and you exchange information. Only in this situation, you smell alcohol on his or her breath, or you receive some other indication that they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol (stumbling, difficulty speaking, glossy eyes, dilated pupils etc.). Being able to handle this the right way is crucial to both the police investigation and any future litigation proceedings that happen as a result. That is why the attorneys of Michael J. O’Connor & Associates urge prospective drivers to treat the situation in a careful manner so that the victims will not be denied the just outcome they deserve.
It is important not to accuse a driver of being intoxicated. Also, never make a statement taking blame for the accident. Wait for police to arrive so they can conduct a proper investigation. Call 911 as soon as possible. The alleged drunk driver might try to talk you out of calling law enforcement saying damages can be settled out of court and he promises to pay everything in full. He might even try to get away before the police arrive. Once the police are on scene, you will want to tell them privately that you suspect the other driver of being intoxicated.
Never agree to an arrangement with the other driver before the police arrive because the driver could always develop a “change of heart” once he goes home and sleeps it off. He will realize that he got away with a DUI penalty, leaving you with no way to prove anything that happened. You will not receive just compensation for the costs associated with damage to your car, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and property damage.
Make sure you get the other driver’s name, license, make of car and license plate number. If the other driver tries to get away, make sure you at least get the license plate number of the car to give to the police. After the police conduct their investigation, contact an experienced attorney to help you fight for your rights.
Consultation and review of your personal injury by automobile or motorcycle accident case are just some of the services offered by our firm. We also specialize in social security disability for cases in which victim is not able to work again as a result. Victims might not feel seriously injured immediately after an accident, but it is important for trained medical personal to make an evaluation.