Follow these steps if you are struck by a drunk driver
This article looks at some of the steps people should take if they have been injured by a drunk driver.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 4,600 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in Pennsylvania between 2003 and 2012. Furthermore, 1.8 percent of Pennsylvanians admit to having driven within the past 30 days despite being too drunk to do so. With drunk driving causing far too many vehicle accidents on Pennsylvania’s roads, it is important for responsible drivers to know what to do if they are struck by a drunk driver. Drunk driving accidents may lead to unique legal and financial considerations that can significantly impact an accident victim’s claim after a crash.
At the scene of the crash
By far the most important first step to take after an accident is to call 911. Even if an accident does not appear too serious or if no injuries are apparent, having a police record of the crash will make a future claim much easier to process. Especially if the other driver appears to be drunk, it is necessary to get the police involved so that the driver is not allowed back on the road. Be sure to also get contact information from the other driver, including their insurance information, and contact information from any witnesses. Take pictures of the scene and the vehicles.
At the hospital
A car accident can be a shocking experience, which is why it can be so difficult to determine the extent of your injuries while at the scene of the accident. Some serious injuries, including brain injuries, may be hidden, but they could have devastating consequences later on. The best choice is to seek medical care even if no injuries are apparent. Not only could doing so save your life, but the medical records themselves will prove important in any future legal action.
Financial compensation for people who have been injured by a drunk driver differs slightly from other types of accident-related compensation. For example, Pennsylvania law considers people injured because of a DUI to be full tort, meaning that even if you chose limited tort on an auto insurance policy, you can still pursue full compensation. Also be aware of any statute of limitations, which is generally two years from the date of the accident, although if the case involves a driver from a government agency then notice will have to be filed within six months.
Getting legal help
Pursuing financial compensation after a drunk driving accident is not always easy, and compensation is never automatic, even if the other driver is convicted of DUI. A personal injury attorney should be contacted in order to go over the various legal aspects of your case. With such legal help, injured accident victims will be much better equipped to pursue financial compensation for things like lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.