The holiday season is filled with festive spirits, and we’re not talking about the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. From champagne to eggnog, many people celebrate the holidays with alcohol. Unfortunately, some individuals don’t know when to stop, and they end up jeopardizing the safety of themselves and others by driving drunk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that hundreds of motorists die in preventable drunk-driving-related accidents during the holiday season.
Being injured in a drunk driving accident is a traumatic experience, especially around the holidays when so much is happening. In the immediate aftermath of an accident, you may not realize that your actions following a crash can impact your safety and ability to recover maximum compensation for your injuries. Here’s what to do after a drunk driving accident this holiday season.
Contact Law Enforcement
Contacting law enforcement should be the first thing you do after any accident, but especially after an accident involving a driver you suspect to be drunk or impaired.
Gather Evidence at the Scene
Collect as much evidence at the accident scene as possible if you have the physical ability to do so. Take photographs and videos from multiple angles of the damage to both cars. You should also photograph the immediate area and take special note of traffic lights, signs, and whether there are skid marks or debris on the road. Ask witnesses for a brief statement or their contact information, as well. If the other driver flees, make a note of as many details about their vehicle as you can.
Approach the Other Driver with Care
Alcohol impairs a person’s judgment and reasoning skills. Drunk drivers involved in significant accidents may behave erratically or aggressively—approach drunk drivers cautiously. You may want to wait for law enforcement to arrive on the scene and let the officers gather the driver’s identification and insurance information. You do not want an already intense situation to turn dangerous.
Seek Medical Assistance Immediately
Adrenaline can mask pain and the signs of potentially serious injuries. Seek medical attention as soon as possible for your health and safety. Medical documentation can help strengthen your compensation claim.
Keep Detailed Records
Keep detailed records of all your post-accident expenses, like medical bills, repair receipts, and out-of-pocket expenses. Be sure to track the days you miss from work and get copies of your current paystubs and most recent tax returns to create a complete picture of the value of your lost wages.
Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
You may think you have a slam-dunk claim against an impaired driver, but that isn’t always true. If a drunk driver hits you this holiday season, seek the advice of a skilled car crash attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can outline your options for recovering maximum compensation and help build a compelling claim on your behalf.
If the driver was insured, you might be able to get the compensation you need from an insurance claim. However, if they were uninsured or had insufficient insurance, filing a personal injury lawsuit to pursue full compensation may also become necessary.
Schedule a Case Evaluation with a Car Crash Attorney Today
You have better things to do around the holidays than fight a drunk driver for the compensation you deserve. Focus on your recovery and spending time with loved ones. Let the aggressive legal team at Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC, fight for you. Discuss your situation with our team today. Call our office at (586) 776-1700 to arrange a free case evaluation.