What to Do When You’re Hit by a Drunk Driver
A serious auto accident is frightening enough, but when you suspect the driver who hit you is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the threat level escalates. It’s important to keep a cool head and manage the incident without exposing yourself to additional harm. Here are a few things to remember:
- Control your anger — It’s infuriating to realize that your car has been wrecked and you and your passengers injured because someone chose to drink and then get behind the wheel of a car. But take a breath. You’ve got important tasks to attend to, and you can’t get sidetracked.
- Don’t engage with the driver — Under normal circumstances, at the scene of an accident, you want to exchange identifying information with the other driver. However, intoxicated individuals are unpredictable, and you can’t risk an altercation. As soon as you discern the driver is under the influence, retreat to your car, locking the doors if necessary.
- Record the license number — Drunk drivers may flee the scene of an accident they have caused. Jot down the license number, make a voice message of the number, or snap a photo of the plate. If you can snap a photo of the driver without provoking a reaction, do that, too.
- Tell the police — As soon as you suspect the driver is intoxicated, communicate your belief to the authorities. Tell the emergency dispatcher, either when you make your initial 911 call or with a follow-up call after you observe drunken behavior. Tell the police again when they arrive on the scene.
- Don’t fixate on the issue — Remember that you have got work to do. You need to get your car and yourself to a safe place at the side of the road. If your car is immobilized, you may have to set flares to divert oncoming traffic around you. You must tend to your own injuries and your injured passengers. All these tasks require a clear head, so fuming over the drunken driver’s criminal stupidity isn’t going to get you or your passengers out of danger.
The good news about drunk driving accidents is there is rarely a question about who is at fault. However, DUI recidivism is a very real problem, so it’s possible the driver who hit you has been cited for drunk driving before. That means he might be driving with a suspended license and without insurance. Such cases require capable legal representation.
If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident, contact Rudberg Law Offices, LLC to schedule a free consultation.