The holiday season is known for being a time to celebrate with plenty of food, parties, and alcohol. Unfortunately, because many people have to drive to get to a party, it also means there is a higher chance of people driving while they are intoxicated and causing an accident. These drunk driving accidents can often cause severe injuries and can involve complicated liability issues.
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It is important that you speak to your personal injury lawyer prior to signing anything, speaking to your insurance company, or taking a settlement.
The first things you should do following being hit by a drunk driver are:
Contact the Police. It is important that you contact the police to receive any emergency medical assistance if anyone needs it. In addition to this, the police will fill out a report which states exactly what they saw, what witnesses saw, any citations either driver received, and other important information that becomes the official record of the accident. By contacting the police because of a drunk driver, you are also making the streets safer for others by getting the drunk driver off the road.
Get Checked Out by a Doctor. This may seem like an obvious second step, however, many people believe their injuries are minor after they have been through an accident. Many times the cause of this is the adrenaline is pumping through them. Once it wears off, they could feel much worse. It is important to see a doctor immediately after your accident, as well as going to any follow-up appointments needed. This will speed up your recovery time as well as ensuring all of your injuries and treatments have been well-documented. This will help build your claim against the drunk driver and their insurance company. If you have actual medical records, versus just telling the insurance company you have been injured, it will carry a lot more weight with both the insurance company and the court.
Keep Notes of Everything. Another important step is to write down as much as you can remember about your accident with the drunk driver. You should include where and when it happened, as well as a detailed description of what led up to the crash. There should be contact information for any witnesses present, as well as photos of the accident and your injuries immediately after. Another recommended step is to print a map off of Google maps and draw out what happened. You should not count on your memory being as sharp weeks or months later when you may need to tell your story to the court.
Do Not Communicate with the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company. Right after the accident, you may be called by an insurance adjuster to discuss the accident. The adjuster’s main goal is to find something that will make your claim less valuable and to offer you a low settlement. In most instances, we have found people try and sound as though they are less injured than they actually are. This usually will work against them. It is important to not say anything to the adjuster and let your personal injury lawyer work on your behalf.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer. Car accidents are scary. They are even more frustrating when they are caused by someone making a poor decision of drinking and driving. You deserve to receive compensation for your injuries and to have someone on your side fighting for you. Contact a personal injury lawyer today to schedule a consultation.
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