There is no other way to put it: Drunk drivers are a menace on American roads.
Not only is driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol a selfish act, but it also can lead to a devastating accident that severely injuries or even causes the death of another driver and/or passenger. If you suffered one or more injuries caused by the negligence of a drunk driver, you should act with a sense of urgency by contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer.
How Does Alcohol Impair Drivers?
Public awareness campaigns educate us about the danger of drinking and driving. However, many of us are unaware of the negative impact alcohol has on driving skills.
Alcohol considerably slows down reflexes. Driving at a high speed while drunk makes it impossible to take corrective action quickly. Consuming alcohol also impairs vision, especially at night when a drunk driver tries to navigate roads that lack adequate lighting. Research demonstrates alcohol diminishes the ability to concentrate, as well as lower comprehension skills. As a type of depressant, alcohol limits hand-to-eye and foot-to-eye coordination.
What Should I Do After a Drunk Driving Accident?
You might be aware of how to act after an auto collision. However, reacting after a car crash with a drunk driver requires you to act with a sense of urgency for one reason.
The drunk driver might try to flee the scene of the auto accident.
You cannot expect to detect alcohol consumption right after a car crash. The other driver might initially remain inside the vehicle. Regardless of the reason why you got involved in a car collision, you should call the nearest law enforcement agency or if the crash is serious, contact 911. You need to do this as quickly as possible and if you are not in the condition to take action, ask a witness or another driver to make the call for you.
Having law enforcement arrive at the scene leads to the filing of the official police report, which is the most important document given to your personal injury lawyer.
Write Down the Driver’s License Plate
Even if the other driver is not impaired by the consumption of alcohol, the other driver might still try to leave the scene of the accident. Writing down the other driver’s license plate gives law enforcement critical information when it comes to tracking down the other driver. You do not want to confront a drunk driver. Alcohol can trigger a sudden outburst that places you in harm’s way. Let law enforcement handle the gathering of personal information, such as name and contact information, as well as the name of the other driver’s auto insurance company.
Write Down the Actions of the Other Driver
Before law enforcement arrives at the scene of the accident, you should subtly write down how the other driver reacts. Pay attention to physical cues, such as erratic behavior and lack of coordination. If the other driver interacts with you and you suspect intoxication, take mental notes about how the other driver interacted with you.
Ultimately, it is up to law enforcement to detect intoxication, but you can give police officers a head’s up when law enforcement arrives at the scene of the accident.
Seek Medical Attention
If you suffer serious injuries that are caused by a drunk driver, you need to seek immediate medical care. Call 911 and activate the emergency response team. Even if you do not suffer from serious injuries, you should eventually schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to undergo a series of diagnostic tests. Some medical conditions such as whiplash and back pain do not develop symptoms right away after a vehicle collision.
Receiving medical care helps you build a case for seeking monetary damages during a civil lawsuit.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Getting legal representation is the difference between getting an insurance claim approved and getting one denied. Legal counsel also provides you with the support you need to win a civil trial against the drunk driver. If a loved one died because of the actions taken by a drunk driver, you should contact Schiff & Associates to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our wrongful death lawyers.
File a Civil Lawsuit
The drunk driver who struck your vehicle might face criminal charges for driving under the influence. That does not mean you cannot pursue litigation against the drunk driver. In fact, the favorable outcome of a criminal case against a drunk driver should boost the chances of you winning monetary damages during a trial.
The Bottom Line
Drunk driving causes more than 10,000 deaths each year in the United States, which represents nearly one-third of all auto accident deaths. If you suffered injuries from a car accident caused by a drunk driver, take action by working with a state-licensed personal injury lawyer. Schedule a free case evaluation with Schiff & Associates to learn more about our personal injury law firm.