About one-third of all car accidents in this country involve drunk drivers. Although all drivers are told about the importance of driving sober, some motorists take enormous risk with their own and others’ safety by choosing to drive under the influence.

If you’re in a car accident and notice the other driver may have been drinking, it’s natural to feel angry. After all, DUI accidents are preventable and are an extreme example of negligence. Deciding what to do if you’re hit by a drunk driver, however, can be daunting.

What to Do If You’re in an Accident With a Drunk Driver

If you’re in a car accident and think the other driver may be under the influence, there are several things you can do:

1) Contact the police.

Drunk driving is a crime, and you want the police to get a record of the offense. The police will also generally want to gather evidence for charges against the driver. It’s important to contact police at once if you suspect drunk driving — you don’t want the other driver to get away and potentially harm others. Alcohol only stays in the system for a number of hours, too, so you want to contact police promptly to get accurate blood, breath or alcohol testing to prove the other driver was drinking.

2) Get medical help.

Get a full medical evaluation as soon as possible, and if you’re seriously injured, call 911. Medical attention can save your life if you’re seriously hurt. Even less severe injuries need prompt treatment if you want to avoid complications. Seeking a medical professional can also secure evidence of your injuries. That way, if you pursue legal action, you will have proof of injury.

3) Gather evidence.

Take photos at the scene of the accident and get a copy of the police report — including police findings about blood alcohol levels. Get contact and insurance information for the driver as well as contact information of any witnesses. Keep copies of medical reports and photos of any injuries. The more information you have, the stronger a case your attorney may be able to build for you.

4) Contact a personal injury attorney.

The insurance company for the other driver will want to minimize the amount they pay you, and you need an attorney to offer advice and representation if you want to pursue the full amount you may be eligible for. If the other driver was uninsured or underinsured, an auto injury attorney can negotiate with your own insurance company so you get compensation to pay for property damage, medical bills and the other expenses you may be worrying about after your collision.

A Drunk Driver Hit My Car. Can I Sue?

If you have been injured in a drunk driver car accident or have suffered injuries or property damage because of a drunk driver, you may have a claim. A drunk driver may face criminal charges because of their actions, but you may also be able to pursue them in civil court.

To find out whether you qualify, contact Dallas Horton & Associates. One of the personal injury attorneys at our law firm will discuss your potential case with you so you know exactly what you need to do next to protect yourself. If you work with Dallas Horton & Associates, we will handle the details of your claim, leaving you free to spend time with your family and to spend time recovering from your injuries.

photo credit: Head-on Car Accident via photopin (license)

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