What Do I Do If I've Been in an Accident with A Drunk Driver?
A car accident is an upsetting occurrence, especially when you discover that the other driver was drunk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drunk drivers cause more than one-third of all auto accidents. Many of these accidents happen at night, but that doesn’t mean a drunk driving accident can’t happen at any time of day.
If you’ve been in an accident with a drunk driver, you’re probably feeling shaken and disoriented. It’s important that you take certain steps after your accident to protect your potential claim. Keep reading to learn what you should do after an accident involving a drunk driver.
Your Next Steps
When a drunk driver has been involved in an accident, it is highly likely that criminal charges will be filed against them. Because it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will need to make a call to the police if they are not already on the scene. If you’ve been injured or your vehicle has been damaged, you can file a civil claim against the drunk driver.
The most important step to take after your accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you don’t feel injured, you should still seek a medical examination. You may have injuries that haven’t yet manifested, but can cause serious consequences if left untreated. Seeking a medical care after your accident also starts a record of any injuries sustained in the accident.
Next, you should seek legal advice from a trusted personal injury attorney. They can help you through every step of your claim, including gathering evidence, filing your claim, and even fighting for your interests in court. Commonly, you will need to contact the drunk driver’s insurance claim.
It’s worth noting that the other driver’s insurance company or the driver themselves aren’t the only parties that can pay your claim. According to Ohio’s Dram Shop laws, you may be able to hold a business responsible for your injuries. In order to do so, you must be able to prove two things:
- Your injuries are a direct result of the drunken person’s actions
- The vendor knowingly sold alcohol to a “noticeably intoxicated” person or to someone under the age of 21
Your lawyer can help you determine all the parties who may be held liable for your injuries. Because these accidents can be quite severe, it’s critical that you and your attorney leave no stone unturned. Injury law cases can be quite complicated, but your lawyer can help you understand your options and can assist with the steps necessary to pursue these options.
At Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A, we understand the challenges you may be facing after an accident. With more than 100 years of collective experience, our Toledo personal injury attorneys are well-equipped to assist with your injury case. Want to know more? Schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
Contact our office by dialing (419) 318-0772.