1 in 3 of Us Will be Injured by a DUI Driver — What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself
Every two minutes, someone is injured by a drunk driver, and about one third of all drunk driving problems, such as arrests, injuries and death, are attributable to repeat offenders of DWI.
What Should You Do If You or a Loved One Has Been the Victim of a Drunk Driver?
It can be difficult to even think straight in the aftermath of a car accident, particularly one as traumatic as in the case of a drunk driving incident.
This is why it’s very important to know your rights. If you have been the victim of a drunk driver, your chances of having a very favorable outcome legal action are high.
Hire a Trusted Attorney
The first step is to retain a lawyer who can help you make sense of the red tape. Make sure to choose an attorney who specializes in personal injury and has experience handling DUI cases.
Have all of your information with you when you speak to your attorney, such as medical bills, police reports, estimates from your garage about how much damage was done to your car, and witness statements, if any. This will help your lawyer get a clear picture of exactly what happened and the best steps to take moving forward.
Review All of the Options With Your Attorney
This is your case and ultimately you have the final say in how you proceed, but take the advice of your lawyer seriously as he has experience and knowledge of the law that you don’t. You may also have judgment that’s clouded by emotions about the unfairness of the accident and your current situation stemming from it that can make it hard to see the best route to take.
This is understandable, but finding out what the law says and what you’re entitled to with a calm head can clear things up significantly.
In some cases, your lawyer may advise that you go after the other parties insurance company first, instead of suing the person directly. Insurance companies often don’t feel like the headache of protracted legal battles that they are unlikely to win, and may offer a settlement right off the bat that is acceptable to you or can be negotiated to your satisfaction by your attorney.
Other times, a personal lawsuit against the other party may be the most advantageous to you. A good personal injury lawyer will know the best route to take and can advise you on the next steps to take.
What Not to Do After an Accident Involving DUI
Let your attorney handle all communication between you and the other party, don’t attempt to work things out yourself with the person who caused your accident. If you get mail from another attorney representing the other party, refer it to your lawyer to handle.
If the other party is arrested for DUI, ask your attorney if you should attend the DUI hearing. If you are subpoenaed directly, make sure your lawyer knows and can attend the trial or hearing with you, both for support and for legal reasons.
Take legal advice on discussing the accident with other people. In some cases, you may be asked to not discuss details of your accident with the world. If this is the case, do your best to follow any guidelines discussed with regard to what happened. Sometimes, this can make a big difference in the ultimate outcome of your case.
Remember that each case is different, while your attorney can give you a general idea of the likelihood of success of your case and how much money you could be awarded, ultimately the end result will be dependent on many variables. Keep a calm head and open communication with an attorney you can trust.