If you are hit by a car that is believed to be driven by a drunk driver, there are some important steps that you need to take. Many people don’t know what to do in this situation, which can lead to more problems down the road. Here are eight steps that will help you protect yourself and make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve.
1. Get to a safe place
The first thing that you need to do is get yourself to a safe place. If you can, move your car off of the road. If you can’t move your car, turn on your hazard lights and try to stay out of traffic. Namely, when you are dealing with a drunk driver, you want to minimize the risk of being hit by another car. It is also important to try and stay calm. This can be a very stressful situation, but it is important to think clearly so that you can take the appropriate steps. Once you are in a safe place, you can assess the situation and see if anyone needs medical attention.
2. Call the police and get the driver’s information
After the accident, one of the first things you should do is call the police. By filing a report, there will be official documentation of what transpired. Even if the other driver leaves before law enforcement arrives, having a record of the crash will be useful later down the road when dealing with insurance companies or taking legal action. Furthermore, talking to the police can provide guidance for your next steps following the accident.
Also, if the other driver is still on the scene, it is important to get their information. To fill out the insurance claim, you will need the other driver’s name, address, phone number, and insurance information. It is beneficial to take pictures of both cars’ damage as well. This can be helpful when you are dealing with your insurance company.
3. Consider hiring a DUI lawyer
If you were injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you may want to consider hiring a DUI lawyer. These attorneys specialize in this area and can assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve. They will also be able to deal with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure that your rights are upheld. So, in case you are looking for a DUI lawyer in Chicago, you can research the lawyers in this area and find the one that works for you. This might be a difficult period, and having a lawyer on your side can assist greatly.
Not to forget, if the other driver is facing DUI charges, you may be able to get compensation from their criminal case. This is known as restitution and can help cover your medical bills, lost wages, and more.
4. Seek medical attention
Immediately after an accident, you might not think your injuries are severe. Even if that’s the case, it is imperative to visit a doctor. Why? Injuries from car accidents sometimes don’t present themselves for days or weeks post-collision. If you wait too long to receive medical attention, then it becomes more complicated to show that your ailments resulted from the initial accident.
It is crucial to keep meticulous documentation of all your medical bills and expenses. This includes prescriptions, doctor’s visits, hospital stays, physical therapy, and more. Later on down the road, this will be key if you need to file an insurance claim or take legal action.
5. File an insurance claim
After you’ve been in an accident, you will need to file an insurance claim. Even if the other driver was at fault, their insurance company may try to deny your claim or lowball you on the settlement. This is why it is important to have all your documentation in order before filing a claim. Make sure that you have a police report, photos of the damage, medical bills, and more.
It is also important to keep in mind that insurance companies are businesses. They are not looking out for your best interests. This is why it is often beneficial to hire an attorney who can deal with the insurance company on your behalf.
6. Know your rights
If you have been in a drunk driving accident, it is important to understand your rights. You may be able to compensate for medical bills, lost wages, and more. Speaking with an experienced attorney can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Namely, you can find out about filing a personal injury lawsuit or joining a class action suit against the driver, bar, or restaurant.
7. Follow through with your therapy and care
Though the process of healing after an accident may seem never-ending, it is imperative that you adhere to your doctor’s and therapists’ orders. Though you may feel as if you are better, cutting corners on your road to recovery will only lead to more problems down the line. Recovering from an accident is a process, so be patient with yourself and follow your doctor’s orders. Also, don’t hesitate to ask for help from family and friends during this time. You can’t do it all alone.
8. Take some time for yourself
After a mishap, it is critical to take some time for oneself. This might imply taking a vacation from work, spending quality time with your family, or doing activities that bring you happiness. It’s critical to give yourself adequate rest both physically and mentally after an accident. Accidents on the road can be traumatic, so don’t hesitate to seek therapy if you are experiencing trauma. It’s also crucial to realize that your injuries might not fully heal right away. It may take weeks, months, or even years for you to completely recover. Be patient with yourself and believe that you will make it through this difficult time. When you’re ready, you may start living your life again.
Taking these steps after a drunk driving accident can help you obtain the compensation and justice you deserve. Justice for victims of drunk drivers is crucial in order to hold accountable those who break the law and put others at risk. If you or a loved one has been impacted by a drunk driver, don’t hesitate to take legal action. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and get the best possible outcome for your case.