What do you do if you get hit by a drunk driver?
We all know alcohol and driving don’t mix. Unfortunately, drink driving is all too common on the streets and freeways of Southern California. Picture the scene; you’re driving home from work at night and you stop at a red light. The driver behind you, drunk and distracted, plows into your car. This can be a scary and confusing time, and everything can be a blur. Try to stay calm and remember these helpful tips:
- Call the police
- Stay safe
- Gather Information
- Contact the car accident lawyers at Ellis Law
This is a police matter
It’s important to get the police involved. They’ll do tests to determine if the other driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If they are arrested for DUI, you’ll have a much stronger position when you file your claim or lawsuit. In order to win damages, you’ll have to prove that the accident was caused by, or made worse by, the other driver’s actions. The police report will be a neutral, 3rd party description of the events surrounding your crash, and will help your personal injury lawyer establish fault. Even if you’re partially at fault, you still may be able to seek compensation if you can prove that the other driver’s impairment was a contributing factor.
Your safety is the number one priority
Your body can go into “flight or fight” mode after an accident. Adrenaline can mask serious injuries, and you might assume you are not hurt at all. If your accident was anything more than a mild fender bender, it’s probably best to move as little as possible until EMTs arrive. They’ll be able to determine if you have any injuries that require emergency treatment. Stay calm and think about your own wellbeing. A minor spinal injury can be greatly aggravated by too much motion, and lead to lifelong back problems.
Gather information if you are able
If you’re certain that you’re unhurt, it’s smart to gather as much information about the accident scene is possible. Use your phone to take pictures of the cars involved, and make sure to get a clear picture of the other driver’s license plates. Exchange information with the other driver, including name, address, insurance company, policy number and driver’s license number. All these details will come together to form a complete picture of what exactly caused your accident.
What if the other driver flees the scene?
Hit and runs happen all the time in the Los Angeles area, and it can be difficult to identify the fleeing driver. Of course, this irresponsible act only strengthens your case should the driver be identified. Police will use video from traffic cameras and surveillance cameras in the area to help ID the vehicle. Any description you (or other witnesses) can remember will certainly help. Keep in mind, that even though a driver may initially stop to see if you’re ok, they could decide to flee at any moment. Try to get a description of them and their vehicle and snap a picture of their license plate right away.
Schedule a free consultation with an experienced legal team
Ellis Law offers 100% free and confidential consultations with our talented team. It’s a no-obligation consultation, and we’re happy to travel to you if you’re too injured to come to our office. A personal injury lawyer will listen to your account of the accident, examine police reports and the information you have gathered, and help you decide what the next steps should be. Though every automobile accident is different, drunk drivers are usually found liable. The only way to know for sure if you have a case is to meet with an expert today.
We work on contingency fees
Should we decide you have a case, we’ll get to work right away with no upfront legal fees. We only get paid if you win a jury verdict or agree to a settlement. We can help you fight for compensation to pay for medical bills, and car repairs, cover missed paychecks or lost earnings potential, and make up for your pain and suffering. In the unlikely event you should fail to receive damages, you won’t owe us a thing. Let us help you win the money you need to get back on your feet.