Consider this scenario: you’re driving home from work one evening, ready to get home to your family and relax. And out of nowhere, a driver runs a red light and t-bones your car.
Thankfully, your injuries don’t appear too serious, but you go to the hospital just to get checked out. Your brand new car is totaled and now you’re wondering what to do.
Getting hit by a drunk driver is devastating. An accident can cost you considerably. Including medical costs, replacing your vehicle, and dealing with the pain and suffering that often occurs afterward.
Do you know what to do to protect yourself after an accident and ensure that you are adequately compensated for your expenses? If not, we’re here to help. Read on to learn more about what to do after a drunk driving accident.
Call the Police
Calling the police should be one of the first things you do if you are in an accident with any driver, but especially a drunk driver. The police will secure the scene, conduct a preliminary investigation so they can write an accident report, and arrest the driver if they suspect that they are under the influence.
You will need the police report for any insurance claims and if you want to seek compensation from the drunk driver and their insurance company.
Seek Medical Care
When you call the police or call 911, paramedics will also respond to the crash scene. Whether you get medical care at the scene or visit a doctor later on your own, you need to seek medical care.
Even if you think you only have minor injuries, the adrenaline from the accident may be masking pain or internal injuries that can be serious if left untreated.
If you later file a claim against the drunk driver, you will also need documentation of your injuries. Keep records of all of your doctor visits, any paperwork you receive, and receipts for anything you pay out of pocket. Plus, be sure to follow any instructions given to you by a doctor. If you do not follow your treatment plan, insurance companies will often use that as a way to argue that your injuries aren’t that serious.
Document the Accident
If you are able to do so, and it is safe, document the accident scene and damage as much as possible. Take pictures of the damaged vehicles, other damaged areas (guard rails, signs, etc.), and the entire accident scene. If you can take pictures and videos, that’s even better.
You can also document your injuries, especially if they are visible, such as swelling and bruising, cuts, scrapes, etc. Make a note of the day and time of the accident, the weather, and any other relevant details you can remember.
If there are any witnesses, gather their contact information at the scene. This will likely be included in the accident report, but you will want to make sure that you have that information as well, just in case. When you speak to an attorney, they will likely want to contact any witnesses.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you have received medical care, you will need to contact your insurance company. They will often work with the insurance company of the driver that hit you to determine fault. And will typically go after that driver to cover your expenses.
You will likely need to give your insurance company the accident report and keep in touch with them as the claim progresses. It is important though to remember that you should not talk to the insurance company for the other driver without consulting with your attorney. Anything you say to them can be used against you and you do not want to admit any fault or agree to any settlements without legal guidance.
Hire an Attorney
Insurance companies want to pay out as few claims as possible for as little money as possible. Their focus is their bottom line, so if you file a claim against the other driver, they will do everything they can to either deny your claim or pay you as little as possible.
This is why you need an experienced car accident attorney. They can handle negotiations for you and get you the compensation you deserve.
If the other driver does not have insurance, you will have to sue them directly. Your attorney can help you negotiate this as well. Many attorneys provide free consultations, so speak with a few different attorneys to see if you have a strong case.
Keep Records of Everything
Keep documentation of everything to help your attorney build your case. If you receive any phone calls about the case, make notes of those. Document every person that you talk to, including the date and time of the conversation.
Keep all the pictures and videos from the accident scene and share those with your attorney. As well as, any other receipts, police reports, and witness contact information.
Avoid Social Media
One thing that can often hurt your case is posting on social media. The insurance company of the at-fault driver will often comb through your social media posts. Because they are looking for evidence that your injuries are not as severe as you say.
Avoid posting anything about the accident on social media. In fact, don’t talk to your friends about it, and don’t talk to insurance adjusters.
Hire a Lawyer to Represent You After A Drunk Driver Hits You
If you have been hit by a drunk driver, you need to ensure that you are compensated for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and damaged property. There are not just criminal penalties for driving drunk. A drunk driver who causes an accident is also responsible for your costs as well.
If you are in need of a personal injury attorney to handle your case, contact RHINO Lawyers. We specialize in car accident cases and will provide a free case evaluation.
CONTACT A TAMPA AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.
Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.