Struck by a Drunk Driver? 5 Steps to Take Immediately
Drunk drivers are responsible for approximately 28 traffic fatalities—and many more injuries—every single day. Since there is almost no excuse for getting behind the wheel while impaired, those who get hurt in drunk driving accidents almost always have grounds for legal action.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you’re guaranteed a payout if you were struck by an impaired motorist. In order to recover compensation for the damages you incur, you’ll have to put together a strong personal injury claim.
While a resourceful car accident attorney can take the reins and handle most of the logistics of your case, there are steps you should take from day one to contribute to your claim. Some of the most important steps include the following:
- Visit a Doctor
If you were able to walk away from the scene, seeking medical treatment may not have been a priority. It’s imperative that you visit a doctor as soon as possible, however, as you may have sustained injuries that aren’t immediately obvious. Some of the most common impact injuries that aren’t apparent for days—or even weeks—include whiplash, internal bleeding, and brain damage.
Once you do start treatment, make sure to follow all medical advice. That might mean staying home from work, taking prescription drugs, doing physical therapy, and attending follow-up appointments. This will demonstrate a commitment to mitigating damages, so you can pursue the maximum payout possible.
- Start a Personal Injury Journal
A daily log that details how your injuries are affecting your everyday life will help demonstrate the extent of your non-economic damages. Examples include emotional distress, loss of enjoyment in life, and pain and suffering.
- Deactivate Your Social Media Accounts
If your online activity gives the insurance adjuster reason to challenge your credibility, it could seriously hurt your chances of recovering a satisfactory payout. As such, it’s wise to disable your accounts until your case has been resolved. If that’s not an option, at least make sure to enable to strictest privacy settings, so it’s harder for the opposing party to access your content.
- Preserve Important Documents
You’re going to have to present all kinds of documentation to pursue the compensation you deserve, Make sure to store the following documents in a safe place until you can give them to your legal team:
- The official police report;
- Statements from eyewitnesses;
- Diagnostic images;
- Photographs of any visible wounds;
- Hospital logs;
- Receipts for injury-related expenses; and
- Paystubs detailing your missed work.
- Seek Legal Counsel
The sooner you hire a personal injury attorney, the sooner you can start building your claim. Hiring a lawyer right away will also ensure you don’t have to correspond with the opposing party at all. Should the insurance adjuster reach out for a statement early in the proceedings, you can simply refer him or her to your legal team.
Speak with a California Car Accident Lawyer
At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand the utter devastation that drunk driving accidents can leave in their wake. If you or someone you love was struck by an impaired motorist, we’ll help you gather the evidence needed to hold him or her financially accountable. Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS or complete our Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a car accident attorney in California.