Being in any car accident can be scary but being hit by a drunk driver can be particularly traumatic and devastating.
Once the initial shock wears off and you assess your injuries and damage, you might feel anxious, overwhelmed, confused, and even angry. It’s ok; this is all normal.
Having somewhere to turn for advice on the steps to take after an accident can ease your stress and anxiety. That is why we created this guide.
We invite you to use this as an overall guide on what to do after being hit by a drunk driver. But remember, every situation is unique.
It is possible that some of these steps will not apply to you, or you might have to take additional steps not listed here.
No matter the case, our California car accident attorneys are here to guide you through your accident claim.
We can help you determine if you have a viable claim against the responsible party and, if so, how much in damages you may be entitled to. And we can take care of all the legal details while you recover.
Wondering What Steps to Take After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver?
Undoubtedly, the moments, hours, and days after being hit by a drunk driver can be physically and emotionally taxing. Here are four steps to take after an accident.
Crashes that result from drunk driving can be severe and sometimes result in catastrophic injuries.
You will often receive emergency medical services on the scene and in your local emergency room shortly after the crash.
But regardless of whether you were whisked away to the emergency room in an ambulance or you were lucky enough to walk away without immediate and severe injuries, you need to see a doctor who can assess your physical state.
This may mean following up with your primary care physician or scheduling appointments with specialty providers such as orthopedic surgeons or physical therapists.
Even injuries that are not life-threatening should be evaluated and treated by a medical professional. Medical treatment can vary but often includes the following:
- Primary care services,
- Physical and occupational therapy,
- Surgical repair,
- Pharmaceutical services,
- Orthopedic treatment, and
- Radiology testing and services.
You may be entitled to compensation even if your injuries appear to be minor and temporary.
Don’t dismiss the idea of getting compensated for your expenses just because you suspect your injuries are not serious enough. Talk to a professional who can assess your claim.
If you are the victim of a drunk driver, an important step to take following the accident is to collect and gather evidence. Sometimes, this means gathering evidence at the accident scene; other times, this involves requesting documents later.
Types of evidence you should try and gather are as follows:
- Photos and video of the accident scene,
- Eyewitness information,
- Nearby video surveillance,
- Copies of police reports,
- Medical records and billing statements, and
- Car repair estimates and invoices.
It is also a good idea to jot down anything you remember from just before, during, and after the crash. You never know what information may be important later.
However, don’t worry if you didn’t gather this information on your own right after the crash. It is a best practice, but it might not be possible.
Our seasoned accident attorneys will help you request and collect all relevant evidence for your case.
Do Not Speak to the Other Driver’s Insurance Adjuster
After any car wreck, you should only speak to the responding police officer. Do your best to accurately and calmly relay what happened.
You should not provide a statement to anyone without first consulting a lawyer. The other driver’s insurance company may request a recorded statement from you, but you should not provide one until you have spoken with an attorney.
Even though the other driver may be responsible for the accident, especially if drunk, their insurance company may try to blame you. Avoid speaking with them without your lawyer present.
Consult a California Car Accident Attorney
After any car accident, especially a drunk driver accident, you should consult with an accident injury attorney as soon as possible.
If the other driver was driving while intoxicated, they could be held liable for your injuries and trauma.
An experienced attorney can guide you on the steps to take following the accident and your best course of action for a successful emotional, physical, and financial recovery.
Whether the driver faces criminal charges or not, you can still pursue a civil lawsuit for damages but do not wait too long. Accident victims typically only have two years to file their lawsuit.
Hit by a Drunk Driver? A Lawyer from Our Firm Can Help
At the Law Office of Chuck Geerhart, we believe in providing personalized attention to each client.
We will limit the number of cases we take on at any given time to ensure our clients receive the representation they deserve.