Drunk driving is one of the most widespread, fatal car accident habits plaguing motorists of the United States. Approximately 30% of drivers will be involved in a collision caused by a drunk driver at some point in their lives. This, despite the presence of stringent rules against such.
Drunk driving is a serious crime that’s heavily punishable and yet many aren’t afraid to be caught. Or perhaps they simply didn’t expect to be caught.
The consumption of an alcoholic substance prior to operating a vehicle is incredibly dangerous for the offending individual, but also for others on the road, primarily due to the physiological inhibitions it causes. When you’re drunk, your brain’s functions have been altered that you can’t even walk or talk properly. Drunk driving becomes difficult because your senses are inhibited. This makes it harder for you to have full control over the steering wheel, immediately respond to quick changes, and see other motorists, traffic signs, and even pedestrians. This results in traffic accidents that could’ve otherwise been avoided. Some may result in a few scratches, but others are more serious, needing hospital care or, worse, result in death.
If you have recently been the victim of a drunk driving accident, you still have rights to seek an appropriate recovery. The law doesn’t turn a blind eye on victims so that those who are irresponsible to continue committing the same mistake can finally learn their lesson.
After this type of auto accident, as the victim it important to immediately contact a car accident lawyer to ensure your rights are fully protected. In addition, your primary rights are as follows:
- You have the right to legal defense. Don’t feel compelled to immediately answer all the queries by police officers right after the accident. You have the right to call a lawyer to be on your side. Until then, you can choose to wait before providing any statement. Otherwise, the other party might use your statements as an opportunity against you to lower the compensation you deserve to receive, or may cause you not even receive any compensation at all.
- You have the right to sue for compensation. Don’t worry about the hospital bills that you incur because of the accident. This includes part of the compensation you deserve to receive. Compensation here can also include damages for loss of income and trauma. A seasoned member from the Dominguez Firm’s car accident lawyers can help determine the appropriate damages you deserve.
- You have the right to receive medical attention. Right after the accident, give yourself a chance to recover well. Don’t refuse the medical attention you need and deserve. Above all else, you have to ensure that your injuries are properly addressed.
- You have the right to refuse any recorded correspondence with insurers or the drunk driver’s legal defense. This goes back to your right of not giving any statement until your lawyer is around.
There are a few steps you must take to protect these rights after the crash. The first is contacting the police. The police officers will record every detail of the incident to the best of their ability, reflecting the environmental conditions, all parties involved, the positioning of the vehicles, and their speculation of liability. Depending on the injuries you incurred during the crash, you may need to file the report at the scene of the collision or after a visit to the hospital.
The police report Is critical to building a strong legal case against the individual that wronged you. As you file this report, remember that the law is on your side. Drinking and driving is against the law, and when the officers arrive at the scene, they will issue a breathalyzer test. The results of this test will be included in the report, and if it is anything above the legal limit of 0.08%, you can be sure that the guilty driver will be held accountable for the damages.
At this step, it is critical that you remember your right to refuse to provide any recorded statements to the other party’s insurer or lawyer. As all parties are gathering evidence of the crash, you will both be contacting your lawyers. If you are in the absence of legal counsel at the time, you are under no obligation to provide a statement. In fact, it is best if you refuse to do so, as your words will likely be used against you in court.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Drunk Driving Collision
Your right to legal defense is a critical element in successfully filing a claim after a drunk driving collision. Along with the objective police reports, they will provide substantial documentation proving the liability of the other driver, thereby securing the funds you need for recovery. They will assist you in proving liability using the following steps:
- Demonstrating that the drunk driver had a duty of care to you and other motorists.
- The drunk driver breached that duty of care.
- That legal breach directly resulted in your injuries.
There are many steps that must be taken to exercise and protect your rights after a drunk driving crash. Though it may seem overwhelming, it is not impossible. For your best chance at securing compensation for your incurred damages, and experiencing a peaceful recovery, get in touch with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible.