Victim Of A Drunk Driver? Here’s What You Need To Do
By Space Coast Daily // April 8, 2020
Sometimes, we assume people are as responsible as we are, while can be a misplaced assumption. Almost 30% of all car crashes happen because of a driver who was driving under influence.
A lot of people overestimate their ability to drive while “buzzed” or after a couple of drinks.
While you may not know it yet, your reaction time and motor functions are already affected by the alcohol in your body.
There is no way to ensure that you’ll be able to drive safely even if you’ve only had a small drink. While some states may legally allow driving as long as you don’t exceed a certain blood-alcohol level, it’s still highly advised to avoid drinking completely if you’re planning on driving later. Unfortunately, the probability of you being a victim of a drunk driver is pretty high. So,
Here is a little guide that can prepare you to overcome the negative experience of a DUI accident:
Call For Help
The first thing that you should if you’ve been hit by a drunk driver is to call 911. Even though some injuries can appear harmless or minimal, they can still have a huge impact on your body if left unchecked.
In many cases, drunk drivers can hit and run, making it crucial for you to try to take any photos or remember the license plate and model of the car.
Once you’ve made sure that you’re not suffering from serious injuries that require hospitalization, you should think about your options.
Document Of The Accident
You want to make sure that you have as much evidence as possible of the damages caused by the other driver. You can simply use your phone to take pictures of all the important details from the scene of the accident.
Take pictures of your car and the other car from different angles, make sure that the license plate is visible. You should also try your best to describe the accident details as accurately as possible to the police officer who arrives at the scene.
Lean On Insurance
While no one can blame you if you rush to the courthouse and file a pretty solid lawsuit, it’s wise to consider talking to the insurance to reach an amicable settlement in your favor.
But before you rush to call the insurance company, you should be aware that insurance companies are experienced in circumventing fair settlements by using certain tactics.
You should find more info here on how the involvement of a personal injury can turn the tide in your favor before you talk to the insurance company.
It’s much wiser to let your lawyer do the talking with the insurance company if you really want to get the best deal on the table.
Insurance companies are extra afraid of DUI cases because convictions can usually cause them to pay up way more than a settlement.
There is very little room for error in genuine DUI cases because once the police arrive at the scene, they’ll use a breathalyzer to know if the driver is drunk or not.
Once it’s in the reports, getting a conviction in the court isn’t really that hard, which is why insurance companies know that fighting a DUI settlement is an uphill battle.
Contact Your Lawyer
You must contact your lawyer right away after you’re done with the health check as they can analyze the situation better than you can, from a legal standing point, not to mention that you may not be fit to make sound decisions after an accident.
Most lawyers would probably advise you to pursue a settlement from the insurance company, but in some cases, the driver may already have a DUI conviction, making this case a felony with very serious repercussions.
Have A Say In The Criminal Process?
While you don’t legally have the right to stop a prosecutor from offering a plea bargain to the defendant, you can still make it clear that you’re against a plea bargain to both the prosecutor and the judge.
Fortunately, the majority of judges won’t allow light plea bargains to be brought to the table if the accident has resulted in injuries or death.
You or your family can either speak with the prosecutor directly or have your lawyer relay the message that a plea bargain is not something that you’re ready to accept.
Emotions can run high after an accident, impairing your ability to make sound judgments. This is why it’s important to have a pre-made plan in your head in case you ever become the victim in a DUI accident.
Having a lawyer on speed dial can alleviate a lot of the stress caused by the accident.
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