Accidents Caused by DUI Drivers
The vast majority of drivers do their best to stay safe while on the road. They don’t want to suffer the results of an accident and they wouldn’t want to harm someone else. Unfortunately, if someone is intoxicated behind the wheel, these concerns may no longer be something a driver pays attention to. Drunk drivers are especially dangerous because, not only do they lack concern for those sharing the road for them, they also tend to ignore things like stop signs, traffic lights and lanes.
What to Do after an Accident Involving a DUI Driver
Assuming you’re not badly injured, the first thing you should do after an accident is call 911 and check on the other car (provided you can do so safely).
Sometimes, when people do this, they realize the other driver is intoxicated. If this happens to you, be sure to tell the police when they show up on the scene. Just tell them you smell alcohol on the other driver or otherwise suspect they’ve been drinking.
While this may seem unnecessary, many people have been pulled over for drunk driving and were able to go about their business because they concealed it. Watch the other driver to see if they use mouth spray, gum, cologne, or perfume to conceal the smell. Look for signs that they may have had an open container. If you see them toss a beer can or liquor bottle somewhere, take note and alert the officers.
Generally, if you tell a police officer that you think another driver has been drinking, they’ll issue a field sobriety test which may confirm your suspicions.
Hire an Attorney Immediately
Any time you’re in an automobile accident, it’s important that you hire an attorney as soon as possible. Even those accidents that seem cut and dried are best handled by a professional.
This is especially true in cases involving a drunk driver. Again, you may think the case is black and white, especially if they failed a field sobriety test. However, if they hire an experienced attorney, you might be surprised by the result of a case. While they may not completely get their client off, the lawyer could know how to get any charges reduced and leave you hanging in terms of damages.
There’s no reason you should have to pay for someone else’s negligence. You’ve already been inconvenienced and probably had quite the scare because someone else decided to get behind the wheel while they were drunk. That’s why the court may award you various damages if the other driver is found guilty of DUI.
Damages can cover all kinds of costs. You’ll need your car fixed, of course. However, you may also have medical bills that you incurred through no fault of your own. Unfortunately, these bills might be ongoing if the extent of your injuries was severe. Some people could even need some type of counseling to help them deal with such a scary event.
With the right lawyer on your side, you’ll stand a much better chance of getting the damages you deserve. Often, the other party’s attorney will want to work out some kind of settlement. An inexperienced lawyer may accept one that greatly reduces the amount you end up with, simply because they didn’t know any better. This is also a mistake most people make when they try to represent themselves.
Being involved in an accident where the other party was intoxicated is something no one should have to experience. However, because of someone else’s poor choices, you might anyway. Hire a qualified attorney who has experience with these ordeals, though, and at least you will stand a better chance of being properly compensated.