On average, 30 people in the US die in drunk driving crashes every day, or one person every 50 minutes.
Though your risk of death is unlikely, the stark reality is that even if you drive defensively, there’s a chance another driver may be too impaired for you to predict their erratic movements.
When any accident occurs, the moment of impact can leave you stunned and hurt. However, it’s important to know what to do if you’ve been in a crash—especially a DUI accident.
Here are the steps you need to know in case one occurs:
Remain Calm After the DUI Car Accident
When an accident occurs, it’s hard not to feel stressed, anxious, or emotional—especially if you’re unsure if you or any passengers have been injured.
However, it’s important to keep a cool head and follow the best practices you should take after an accident. These steps hold true whether you were the driver of another vehicle struck by a drunk driver, or whether you were a passenger in the drunk driver’s vehicle, as with a recent case in the Sweetlaw.com news.
Respond to Injuries and Safety Hazards
First, assess the situation. Is the car in a dangerous position that could cause a safety threat to you or other drivers? If so, move it—but if not, leave it where it is until police arrive.
Next, check for injuries. If you or any other passenger has been injured, follow through with basic first aid.
Call 911 to report the accident to police services, and ask for emergency medical services as well if there are injuries.
Document the DUI Accident
Don’t forget to capture photo and video evidence of the accident scene, any vehicular damage, the traffic signs and signals involved, and any injuries to your party. You should also search for any witnesses willing to provide contact information for your legal and insurance follow-up.
At this time, you may also want to write down what happened to preserve your memory.
This is especially important if there are indications that a driver was drunk. This is easier if you are a passenger who knows the driver was drunk. However, if you were driving another car, you may have seen telling signs like swerving or weaving, slow driving, or straddling the center lane marker.
Explain to the police what happened when they arrive. Ask for a copy of the police report, or find out how to obtain one later. You may also want to contact a DUI accident lawyer in advance, if you are reasonably sure the other driver was drunk.
Organize Your Case
In the weeks after the accident, you should gather proof of medical costs, lost wages, and repair costs to bring a drunk driving accident claim. Keep notes about repairs to your vehicle and your ongoing care. You’ll also want to attend any traffic or criminal court hearings for the drunk driver in order to provide evidence about their charges.
You may want to work with a DUI accident attorney during this time to ensure you get the compensation you deserve for damages and suffering.
Know How to Handle a DUI Accident
Knowing what to do in the case of a DUI accident can help ease your worries. It’s impossible to prepare for every situation, but following these best practices can put you in a good position to finish with compensation for your vehicle damage and suffering.
For more of the best practices you should know—just in case—be sure to check out our other blog posts.