What to Do If You’re Injured in an Accident by a Drunk Driver
When you suffer an injury in a car accident, your whole world may come crashing down. Learning that the “at fault” driver was also a drunk driver only adds more complications to your case. While the police focus on the criminal aspects of the drunk driving case, who will look out for your interests? Who will help you figure out what you can do after you’re injured by a drunk driver?
Focus on Your Health
After your accident, your main focus should be on your health. After all, this is your number one priority. As an accident victim, you should seek medical attention immediately after a drunk driving accident, even if you do not believe you are badly injured. Many injuries can only be diagnosed with specific medical testing, such as CAT scans or MRIs. Seeking medical treatment will also help your case significantly as your medical records will indicate the types of injuries you suffered and their severities.
Ways You Can Help Your Personal Injury Case
Seeking medical treatment is just one part of recovery after a drunk driving accident. It is also important to follow your doctor’s orders. You can help your personal injury case significantly by:
- Attending all doctor appointments
- Participating in all therapy sessions
- Filling all prescriptions
- Keeping accurate medical records
- Keeping copies of all receipts, including over-the-counter medications
- Journaling your recovery process
Don’t Trust Insurance Companies
After a drunk driving accident, insurance adjusters may call to talk with you about the accident and your injuries. They seem nice at first and sympathetic to your situation. They say that they want to make things right and expedite your settlement so you can get the money you need. Sounds good right? Wrong. Do not trust insurance companies during the legal process. Their main focus is reducing their own liabilities and paying you as little as possible.
Do Not Give a Recorded Statement
If an insurance adjuster calls, be polite but refrain from answering their questions or giving a recorded statement. Instead, it is important to find an experienced personal injury attorney so you can have someone on your side who has your best interests in mind. Your attorney will be able to evaluate the insurance company’s offer and negotiate a better one. Any settlement you agree to should take into account all of your injuries and damages, as well as any future complications you may have.
Don’t Fall for Fear Tactics
Don’t be worried if an insurance adjuster says this is your last chance. They may even try to intimidate you into signing with a “take it or leave it” approach. This is a fear tactic used to get injured accident victims to settle quickly and for far less than they deserve. Your attorney can fight for a better settlement and will be able to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
Gather Evidence to Build Your Case
After a drunk driving accident, the last thing on your mind is gathering evidence. However, this is precisely the best time to do it. When you suffer an injury, however, gathering evidence is not easy. That is why it is best to let an experienced car accident law firm handle your case from the start. While you focus on your recovery, your attorney can begin gathering the evidence needed to win your case. This may include:
- The police report
- The BAC results
- Field sobriety test results
- Medical records
- Eyewitness testimony
- Bar witness accounts
- Accident reconstruction teams and reports
- Photographs of the site and damage
It is important to know that even if the driver does not face criminal charges for drunk driving, you can still file a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney can examine the details surrounding your case and begin fighting for maximum compensation.
Avoid Social Media
In today’s high-tech world, virtually everyone is on some form of social media. After a serious accident, it is only natural to want to share the details with family, friends, and loved ones. However, this can damage your case. Avoid posting anything to social media while your lawsuit or case is pending. This includes photos of you at birthday parties or out on the town. Insurers will use even simple photos like those to show that you are not as injured as you claim.
As dangerous as it is to post to social media, it is also unwise to delete social media accounts. Instead, talk to your attorney about how best to navigate social media and technology during this time. Your lawyer can give you solid, real-world advice to effectively preserve your case and give you the best chance of success.