Don’t panic: Steps to take after a drunk driver hits you

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2023 | Car Accidents |

People who drive after having a few drinks know the risk they are taking. But they may not fully realize the consequences of their actions until after they hit another driver. If a drunk driver hits you, there is a chance that you will suffer injuries and damages. While it is normal to feel disoriented after a crash, staying focused is critical so you can hold the drunk driver responsible.

  1. Call 911. Calling the police will help you put the accident on record and obtain a police report. Tell the police exactly what happened so they can act accordingly. If necessary, the police will conduct an alcohol test on the other driver.
  2. Exchange information. If possible, get the at-fault driver’s name, contact information, license number and address. However, be careful when approaching a drunk driver. You do not want to antagonize someone who is not in the right state of mind, as they could become aggressive.
  3. Document the scene. Take as many photos and videos as you can. Make sure to capture the vehicle damage, the other driver’s car and the surrounding area.
  4. Look for witnesses. Anyone who saw the accident can help strengthen your case. Try to get their names and contact information so you can reach them later.
  5. Seek medical treatment. Even if you feel fine after the accident, it could be the adrenaline preventing you from feeling any pain. Obtaining a medical diagnosis shortly after the crash helps establish that your injuries resulted from the drunk driver’s negligence.

Avoid talking to the at-fault driver’s insurance company

California is a fault-based state, meaning anyone who caused another person to suffer injuries or damages will be held liable. However, you will need to prove that the other driver is at fault.

Car crash victims typically negotiate a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. However, it is not a good idea to talk to the insurance company as their objective is to minimize the amount they pay. As a result, the insurance provider could use various strategies to weaken your case.

Instead, consider hiring a lawyer to negotiate the settlement for you. A personal injury lawyer can review your case, help calculate your losses and advise whether a settlement is truly fair.