Mark A. Simon
Denver Accident Attorney Offers Tips About What to Do After a Drunk Driving Crash
No one can truly prepare for the potential devastation after being involved in a car accident. When that accident involves a drunk driver, injuries are often serious because accidents tend to be worse when one driver is impaired. It’s best to be knowledgeable ahead of time so you know how to react quickly and safely if it happens to you. This knowledge can also help ensure that your rights are protected both in dealing with insurance companies and if the case goes to trial.
Steps to Take After a Drunk Driving Accident
It’s crucial to stay as calm as possible in the aftermath of an accident. You must also try to determine whether you are injured as well as others. Take these essential steps after your vehicle has come to a stop:
- Use common sense to prevent the situation from getting worse. The crash scene itself can pose dangers, and secondary collisions are not uncommon. Don’t ever stand between two damaged vehicles because of the danger of a secondary impact. Turn off your ignition to help prevent fire. If you cannot move your vehicle out of the way safely, turn on your hazards and raise the hood or trunk to make it conspicuous to other vehicles.
- Remain at the scene. Do not leave the scene of an accident unless there is a significant risk to your safety.
- If your vehicle is drivable, try to move it away from the flow of traffic.
- Call 911 to request assistance. A police report is a written account of the accident by a non biased person. In addition, the responding officers will be able to test the drunk driver’s blood alcohol content in order to determine just how intoxicated they are. Do not let anyone at the scene dissuade you from contacting the police. You will need the police report for the insurance company and for a possible lawsuit.
- Take photographs. After you have called the police, and if you are able to do so safely, start documenting the scene with photographs. If you suspect the driver who caused the crash is drunk, they might try to leave the scene. Be sure to take a picture of their car and license plate number. If you can capture images that show a driver might be drunk—such as beer cans falling out of an open car door—do so.
- Take video. If you can take video of the drunk driver and the scene of the crash, this can be useful for proving your case.
- Keep to yourself whenever possible. Unless you are offering help to someone who needs it, you should limit interactions with the drunk driver. Do not confront or get into an argument with a driver who is visibly drunk; let the police handle this person. Do not discuss details of the crash with anyone at the scene.
- Do not make any statements of apology or admission of fault at the scene. These statements can end up hurting your case. At the scene, do not admit to any wrongdoing. At this point, any statements about who was at fault are likely premature anyway. There will be plenty of time later to address who is responsible for the crash.
Other Ways You Can Protect Your Rights After a Drunk Driving Accident
After you are involved in a drunk driving accident, you should do the same things you would do after being involved in any accident: keep you and your passengers safe, get medical treatment, and get insurance information from everyone involved in the crash.
In addition, keep the following in mind:
- Get the names and contact information from all other drivers and passengers involved in the crash.
- If there are eyewitnesses to the crash, get their contact information—including name, address, and phone number.
- Do not say anything to insurance companies other than reporting the accident itself. You do not need to make a recorded statement, although the insurance company might try to pressure you into doing so. Never make a recorded statement before speaking with an attorney.
- Keep details of the accident off of social media. Posts with pictures or other information about the crash can be misconstrued, ultimately harming your case.
- Be sure to get medical treatment after the accident, even if you think you are uninjured. Sometimes the adrenaline that floods your body after a crash can mask pain, and you could be injured without even knowing about it. In addition, if you don’t seek medical treatment, insurance companies might try to minimize the severity of your injuries. Along those same lines, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions on the treatment of your injuries after the crash.
Damages You Might Be Able to Recover
You might be able to recover the following damages after a crash:
- Cost of medical treatment, including future medical treatment that might be needed because of your injuries
- Other expenses that have come up as a result of the crash
- Compensation for property damage, including your vehicle as well as anything inside of your car that was damaged such as a cell phone or laptop
- Time off work and loss of wages, both now and in the future if you will be unable to work
- Pain and suffering
The severity of your injuries will usually factor into the determination of compensation to which you are entitled. A Denver accident attorney can give you advice on what you might expect.
Contact a Denver Accident Attorney Sooner Rather than Later
The number of details to keep in mind after you are hit by a drunk driver can seem overwhelming—but you don’t have to go it alone. As soon as you contact Mark A. Simon, we will take over and make sure that the appropriate steps are taken to protect your rights and prevent any mistakes from being made that could jeopardize your case. If you have suffered from an injury due to a driver under the influence, contact your Denver accident attorney Mark A. Simon and get the attention your case requires and the compensation you deserve.