What to Do After a Drunk Driver Accident
Instances of drunk driving have been declining in recent years. With people more aware of the dangers, and the rise of ride sharing, there aren’t as many fatal crashes anymore. But that’s not to say the problem is substantially better. For the last decade, around 30% of all fatal car crashes involved alcohol impairment.
If you have been hit by a drunk driver, you need legal help from a car accident attorney. With the right representation, you can be compensated for damages to your property, injuries, and even wrongful deaths that occurred during the crash.
Let Zach Herbert, a car accident attorney serving the DFW area and Oklahoma City help you understand your rights after being hit by a drunk driver.
If You have Been Hit by an Impaired Driver:
After any accident, especially those involving injuries, you should immediate call 911. Notifying emergency dispatch will only strengthen your case if a lawsuit needs to be filed.
Gather Video or Audio Recordings – With any accident, start recording right away. A driver may admit to causing the accident at the time when adrenaline is flowing, but try to recant later. If the driver is visibly drunk, a video is great evidence that they are not in full control of their body.
Pay Attention to the Driver – Drivers that know they have done wrong will try to hide the fact that they are drunk or impaired, at least to diminish the effects of their actions. Take careful note of how they look, smell, and act; especially if you notice alcohol or marijuana smells.
Pay attention if anyone in the other car tries to dispose of evidence such as cans, bottles, or drugs. Alert the police if this happens.
Watch which driver exits the vehicle. If someone that is drunk was driving tries to switch places with a passenger that has a lower BAC, they may be trying to reduce their liability.
If a driver quickly uses eye drops after the accident, they could be covering up the effects of marijuana or medications.
Include anything you notice in a report to the police.
Get Witness Statements – If anyone in the area saw the crash, get a statement before they leave. Some people won’t want to stick around until police arrive, and they won’t want to talk with the police. But if you can get their name and contact information, and a quick recap of what they saw, it will help if your case goes to court.
State Laws Surrounding Impaired Driving
It seems straightforward that if someone is driving drunk, and they slam into you, they are held accountable. There are often more details that come into play when pursuing a case against the driver. For instance, what if the other driver has no assets and no insurance? While you can file the claim with your own insurance, sometimes you can pursue alternative means.
For example, Texas has what are called Dram Shop Laws. These laws can hold a business that serves alcohol liable if they serve to someone that is obviously already impaired.
It may not always be one insurance policy that is dinged. The driver needs to have their own policy, but if the vehicle belongs to a company or to a parent, the policies might be able to be “stacked” and each one responsible for a portion of damages.
In the event that the drunk driver is also killed, it is possible to pursue action against their estate in some cases.
You Might need a Car Accident Legal Help
Drunk driving accidents have the potential to be settled easily. But often, these accidents are not minor fender benders. Instead, they are catastrophic and result in permanent injury and death. When an accident involves more than just property damage, you need legal help from a car accident attorney to help you sort things out. You may be able to recover substantially more damages than you thought possible.
Legal Help from Herbert & Eberstein in Richardson, Texas
When you feel stuck and don’t understand your legal rights, Zach Herbert is here to help. Serving clients in Texas and Oklahoma, he is your car accident attorney and will be by your side after you have been hit by a drunk driver.
Need more information? Fill out the contact form, or just give us a call at 214-414-3808. There’s no obligation to become a client, we can answer your questions.