Alcohol related car accidents are an increasingly common problem today. According to the United States Center for Disease Control or CDC, lawmakers have enacted laws making it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content over 0.08 percent. In addition to tougher laws, police have implemented more sobriety checkpoints and ignition interlock devices for those convicted of driving under the influence. Unfortunately, even with these extra efforts by law enforcement many people drive drunk daily. Below are some things you can do if you have been hit by a drunk driver.
Calling 911 is the first step you should take if you have been involved in an accident. The dispatcher will send trained EMT’s to the crash site that will evaluate you and treat your injuries. In addition to medical personnel, a 911 call will also send police to the scene. Alert the office as soon as possible that you are concerned the other driver may be drunk, this may give probable cause for a field sobriety test. Some signs he may be impaired are glassy eyes, the smell of alcohol on his breath and slurred speech. The policeman will access the scene and obtain a BAC or blood alcohol level from both you and the other driver. In the event the other driver is seriously injured, a blood draw may be performed in the ambulance or at the hospital to determine his BAC.
Get The Other Driver’s Information
You must get the necessary information from the other driver at the scene of a crash. This may not be easy if the other driver is seriously impaired and combative. Write down his license plate number, as well as the model and make of the vehicle. If possible, get the driver’s license number, insurance information and telephone number. Obtain this important information as soon as possible, just in case the other driver decides to flee the scene before law enforcement arrives.
Never Take Cash To Settle The Dispute At The Scene
If the other driver is drunk and wants to avoid going to jail, he may try to convince you to let him pay you some cash so he can leave the scene. This is more common in less serious accidents or fender benders. While this may be a tempting offer, taking money may leave you few options if you have problems later on. In some cases, you may not realize you are injured until a day or so after the crash. If you need medical care, it will be an out-of-pocket expense for you and it could be very expensive. In addition, if your car needs repairs later on you may not be able to recover those costs.
If you or someone you love is the victim of an accident at the hands of a drunk driver, there is help available. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a case and the best way to recover money for your injuries and expenses. An attorney will be able to find out of the other driver has any arrests or previous drunk driving convictions. This will give you information that may be helpful in settling a claim with the insurance company outside of court. If it is necessary to file a lawsuit, you will want to have an experienced lawyer by your side to help you navigate the process.
Contact a personal injury lawyer today for a consultation if you have suffered injuries in an accident with a drunk driver. Prompt action is key to getting help with your medical bills, car repairs and legal fees.