If a drunk driver caused your automobile crash, you could suffer serious injuries such as back injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage, or traumatic brain injury, and these could require you to be off work for months or longer while you recover. There are important steps to take if you want to hold the intoxicated driver responsible for your injuries, build a strong case, and receive the full value of your claim.
Important Steps After a Drunk Driving Wreck
You may have a strong case against a drunk driver, but you must still prove your right to compensation. Taking these steps will help with your case:
- Obtain medical care. If you or any other victims suffered apparent injuries in the crash, call 911 for immediate medical assistance. Even if you believe your injuries were “minor,” you need to be examined by a doctor within a day or two of your wreck. The symptoms of some injuries such as traumatic brain injury or back, neck, or spinal injuries may not develop for days or weeks after your accident. You can protect your health and avoid disputes with the insurance adjuster by seeing a doctor right away.
- Obtain police report. You need to call the police at the scene of the wreck, and obtain a copy of the police report. The report will contain the other driver’s statement, the officer’s conclusions as to the cause of the wreck, and other helpful information to prove the drunk driver’s negligence.
- Take pictures and videos. Take pictures and videos of the accident scene, damage to any vehicles involved in the crash, your injuries, and anything else that could be helpful to your case. If you are too injured to do so, ask a passenger in your vehicle or witness to do this for you.
- Collect contact information. Collect the contact information for the drunk driver, his insurance company, and any witnesses. You should not rely on the police to obtain contact information for witnesses. Get this essential information yourself before it is lost.
- Do not give a recorded statement. A recorded statement is a tape-recorded question and answer session between the insurance adjuster and you. You are not required to give one to settle your claim, and you could say something that inadvertently hurts your case.
- Don’t settle too quickly. You want to avoid accepting the first settlement offer from the insurance company as it will most likely be for far less than you deserve. You should never settle a drunk driving accident claim without first consulting with an experienced car accident attorney to be certain you receive a fair settlement.
- Contact an attorney. One of your first steps following a drunk driving accident should be to retain an experienced car accident attorney. He can guide you through the process of filing your claim, investigating your accident, and negotiating your settlement for you.
Were you injured in a drunk driving accident? Our experienced legal team is here to help. To discuss your accident and your legal options for compensation, call our office today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.