Steps to Take After You’ve Been Hit by a Drunk Driver
Being involved in a collision with a drunk driver can be a traumatic experience. There are resources that you can take advantage of to process that trauma as you move forward. Yet, in the moments after impact, it’s important to keep a clear head and to remain as calm as possible to protect your well-being, gather evidence and work to ensure that the responsible party is held accountable.
It isn’t always easy to “keep your wits about you” during such challenging times. Don’t beat yourself up. Just do your best.
First, stay safe
The first priority after any accident is to ensure your safety and the safety of others involved. Take the following steps:
- Move to a safe location: If possible, move yourself and others out of harm’s way, away from traffic and any potential hazards.
- Call emergency services: Call 911 to report the accident and any injuries. Provide them with accurate information about the location and details of the incident.
- Seek medical attention: Even if you don’t feel immediate pain or obvious injuries, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Adrenaline and shock can mask symptoms, and some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
Next, gather evidence
Collecting evidence is crucial in establishing a drunk driver’s liability. If you’re not too hurt to do so, take the following steps next:
- Exchange information: Obtain the drunk driver’s contact details, driver’s license number, vehicle registration and insurance information. Provide your information to the other driver as well.
- Document the scene: Take photos or videos of the accident scene, including the position of vehicles, damage to vehicles, skid marks and any other relevant details. These visual records can be valuable evidence.
- Get a police report: Ensure that law enforcement arrives at the scene, talks to witnesses and makes a report. Cooperate with the investigating officers, provide them with accurate information and mention your suspicion of the driver being under the influence.
- Preserve physical evidence: If there is any physical evidence, such as broken car parts, open alcohol containers or a strong smell of alcohol, inform the police and request that these be documented and preserved.
Once you’ve done these things, you can seek legal guidance to learn more about your rights and options given the challenges of your situation.