What Should You Do If You’re Injured by a Drunk Driver?

While strict laws are in place to discourage drivers from getting behind the wheel while under the influence, countless motorists still make the decision to drive drunk. This reckless choice puts others’ lives at risk with thousands killed and injured in wrecks involving intoxicated road users. 

If you’ve found yourself on the receiving end of one of these collisions, you might be unsure on how to proceed. Accidents may be commonplace in California, but the consequences are rarely routine. However, it’s important to think carefully about your next steps as the actions you take immediately after a wreck can have a dramatic impact on how proceedings unfold. 

Let’s look at a few steps you should always take after an accident involving a drunk driver: 

Call the Police 

Even if the drunk driver has fled the scene, you should still contact authorities immediately. The officers will usually investigate the area where the accident occurred, documenting details such as the injuries you suffered, damage to your vehicle, and elements that could help them identify the at-fault motorist. If the liable driver remained at the scene, police officers can conduct field sobriety and/or chemical tests to determine whether the motorist is under the influence. Such findings could play a crucial role in proving liability. 

Document the Scene 

Immediately after the wreck, it’s important to preserve as much evidence as possible as this will make it easier for your attorney to determine what happened. You should take pictures of the vehicles involved, your injuries, road markings, street signs, nearby hazards, and any other aspects of the scene that you think could help corroborate your version of events.  

If there is proof that the other driver was under the influence—such as empty bottles in their car—try capturing photos of these elements, too. You should also take down the names of any eyewitnesses and track down surveillance or dashcam footage of the accident if it’s available. 

Visit the Doctor 

While you might feel fine, it’s possible you suffered injuries that have yet to show any symptoms. Left undiagnosed, your injuries could worsen leading to serious and potentially life-threatening health complications.  

However, visiting the doctor isn’t just about taking care of your health; a prompt diagnosis could make all the difference during proceedings. If it took you weeks to seek treatment, the insurer may have room to dispute the severity of your injuries or argue that you didn’t take reasonable measures to mitigate your damages. 

Speak to a California Car Accident Today 

Were you injured in an accident involving a drunk driver? It may be in your best interests to discuss your case with a skilled personal injury lawyer. At HPIL, our car accident attorneys can help you navigate proceedings, helping you avoid common missteps that might otherwise comrpomise your chances of achieving a successful outcome. Dial 1-800-GO-HARRIS or head over to our Contact Page to lock in a free case evaluation.