4 Simple Steps to Follow After Being Hit By a Drunk Driver
If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, you’ll want to make sure you remain as calm as possible, ensure everyone is safe, call law enforcement, seek medical treatment, and contact an attorney. Not abiding by these steps can result in a reduced award to you, and you want to make sure you get the full compensation you deserve after such a traumatic incident. Here are four simple steps to follow after being hit by a drunk driver.
1. Remain Calm and Assess Your Immediate Dangers
It is normal to feel shaken up after being hit by a drunk driver, but try to remain as calm as possible so you’re able to think clearly and ensure that you and others around you are safe. If you or anyone around you is injured, make sure to call 911 immediately so medical help arrives as quickly as possible. Other safety precautions to take after an accident include turning off the car ignition to help prevent a fire, turning on your hazard lights or raising your car hood to make yourself more noticeable to oncoming traffic, and not standing in between the two cars in case oncoming traffic fails to see you and hits one of the cars. Under Georgia law, you are not required to move your vehicle to the shoulder or emergency lane if anyone is injured or if the car is undrivable.
2. Call the Police
As soon as you’ve ensured that everyone at the scene of the crash is safe from immediate dangers, call the police. The other driver or others at the scene may try to persuade you not to call the police, but it’s actually mandated by Georgia law to call the police in an accident that may involve more than $500 in property damage.
Once the police arrive on the scene, make sure you cooperate with the police and provide any and all information you have to them. Do not make any statements of apology or fault to the police or to anyone else at the scene. Stick with the facts and what you know or believe to have happened in the moments surrounding the car crash. After the police report is completed, make sure you ask the police officer for the claim number so you can request a copy of the report as soon as it is available.
3. Document Everything at the Scene
While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, try to document everything at the scene. Take photographs and video footage of the vehicles involved, injuries incurred, and surrounding road conditions as soon as possible in case objects are moved between the time of the crash and the police officers’ arrival.
If you feel comfortable approaching the intoxicated driver and any nearby witnesses, make sure you take down their information and statements about what happened as well. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, make sure the police officers do this when they arrive at the scene.
4. Seek Medical Help
Even if you feel fine after the accident, make sure you abide by the medical professionals’ suggestions for treatment and go into the hospital for an examination just in case something is wrong that you are not aware of. Also, should you realize days or weeks later that you suffered injuries from the accident and you refused treatment on the day of the accident, you will have a much harder time making an argument in court that you were in fact injured from the accident.
Once you have ensured that you are safe and healthy, make sure to call an attorney as soon as possible so they can get to work on getting you the compensation you deserve. Call us at (404) 259-7635 or visit our Atlanta car accident attorneys for your free consultation, and let us help you today.