Drunk driving accidents occur all too frequently, especially in the busy Atlanta-metro area. Nobody leaves their house or their place of work expecting to be hit by a drunk driver. Victims of drunk driving accidents should have a general idea about what steps they can take immediately following the car accident. The steps that victims of drunk driving take after the accident could have a significant impact on the amount of compensation they receive for their injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in an Atlanta drunk driving car accident, the attorneys at Cambre & Associates can help. Contact one of our skilled personal injury attorneys today to receive a free case evaluation. Learn how our experienced attorneys can help you fight for compensation for your car accident injuries.
Call the Police and 911, if Necessary
The shock of being in a car accident can be severe. It can take a few minutes for a car accident victim to gain his or her bearings again. The first step, after coming to a complete stop and turning your engine off, is to evaluate whether or not you and your passengers are injured. Next, call the police. When you notify the police, they will document the accident by filing a police report. Be sure to tell the police if you suspect that the driver who hit you was a drunk driver. If you speak to the other driver, take notice of whether or not you smell alcohol on his or her breath, or whether or not the driver is stumbling over words or having a hard time walking.
When you file an insurance claim against the drunk driver who caused the accident, you will need a police report. Police reports are also helpful for plaintiffs who file lawsuits against the drunk driver. If the drunk driver does not flee the scene, the police will probably conduct a breathalyzer test. If the test shows that the driver was driving drunk, this information will be helpful if you pursue a lawsuit against the plaintiff. Even if the suspect is not convicted of a Georgia DUI, you may still be able to file a lawsuit against the driver for damages in a civil lawsuit. Drunk driving is considered negligent or reckless driving.
Cooperate with the Police and Medical Professionals
When police officers arrive at the scene, they will evaluate the situation and ask pertinent questions about the accident. Provide as many details as possible as to what happened. Being in an accident can be very stressful. Do not exaggerate or elaborate on what happened. When answering questions, be direct and honest. It can be easy to admit fault because of the high level of emotions involved, but try not to do this. Leave out details that speculate or veer away from the direct line of questioning.
Do not tell the police that you are not injured. It is common for accident victims to be unaware of the extent of their injuries. The adrenaline that begins pumping after an accident can make it difficult to feel one’s injuries. It is best to say “I don’t know” or “I need to see a doctor” when asked about injuries. Many clients begin feeling significant back and neck pain days after the accident.
Gather Information From Everyone Involved
If you are not injured, gather as much information as possible at the scene of the accident. Ask the at-fault drunk driver for his or her insurance information, take pictures of his or her driver’s license and interview any potential witnesses. Use your cell phone camera to take pictures of the positions of the vehicles. Take pictures of any damage to your car and any injuries that are visible on yourself or your passengers. If you do not want to have a conversation with a drunk driver, you can ask the police to submit an exchange of information form with you. Ask the police officers for the claim number on your accident report so you can request a copy of your police report after it is ready.
Seek Treatment from a Medical Professional
Even if you do not feel like you have been injured, it is wise to seek medical attention immediately. When a drunk driver hits you, it is essential to document any potential injuries. Never refuse medical treatment when it is offered. Some injuries can take several hours or even days to become apparent. If you do feel pain, describe your pain to a medical professional. A medical professional can help check the specific area of pain. Treating the injury caused by the drunk driving accident could allow you to treat your injuries before they turn into serious chronic pain conditions.
If your medical doctor recommends alternative treatments, be sure to follow up on those recommendations. If you need to see a chiropractor, physical therapist, or orthopedic surgeon, be sure to make the necessary appointments. Keeping records of all of your doctor’s appointments is also essential. Most medical offices will print out a visit summary after your visit. Add all medical information to a car accident file for easy access as the legal process goes on.
Seek the Help of a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney
It is essential that those injured by drunk drivers seek out the representation of experienced personal injury attorneys. Under Georgia law, drivers must use reasonable care when driving. Choosing to drive while drunk breaches the duty of care required by Georgia drivers. When drunk drivers breach their duty of care, they may be able to seek compensation for their injuries.
Emotions and stress run high after a drunk driving accident. The car accident attorneys at Cambre & Associates can help you navigate the process of claiming insurance benefits and filing a lawsuit on your behalf. We conduct thorough investigations into the car accidents of our clients. We work hard to secure all available evidence that proves that the other driver was driving while intoxicated when the accident took place. Contact our law firm today to receive your free case evaluation.