What should I do if I’ve been hit by a Drunk Driver?
Every day in 2015, 27 people are killed, which totals over 11,000 people a year and 290,000 people are injured in drunk driving accidents across the U.S. There was an increase of 300 accidents in 2015 even with the strong influence of MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. More people are driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol than ever before.
The age of the majority of DUIs is no surprise; the 25-29-year-olds account for 20 percent of DUI accidents. This is the Millennial generation, and they have the least responsibilities and are the least responsible of all drivers, but DUIs are found in all ages, sexes and nationalities.
Research shows that only one drink will decrease the driving abilities, especially reaction time, to 40 percent and the second drink typically up to 80 percent. The effects of driving while intoxicated are serious.
Every crash, injury or death that results from a drunk driving accident does not only affect the drivers of the vehicles but impacts every person involved in the accident, the cars surrounding the accident and the families and friends of those injured or killed. In the year 2015, the estimated cost totaled $132 billion for the costs of the drunk driving accidents, but there is no cost for the death of a loved one.
Alternatives to Driving Drunk
Drunk driving accidents with injuries occur every two minutes, but the statistic doesn’t deter most of those drivers who drive while intoxicated or impaired. Today, there are more options, though, so when it’s time for those drinking to leave one location and move to another or go home, companies like Uber and Lyft have emerged, in addition to taxis. Simply, partiers can call for their next ride!
If You Have Been in an Accident
Whether you have been in an accident where you believe the driver is driving under the influence or not, personal injury attorneys suggest that you follow these guidelines, in case you may need legal assistance as the result of this accident. Here are seven steps to take if you find yourself in an accident.
1. Get ahold of yourself; an unexpected crash will shake you up. Take a breath. Safety comes first.
2. Keep an Emergency Pack in the glove compartment with copies of vehicle registration, insurance card and emergency contact information.
3. Move all vehicles off the road to a safer area, if impossible; turn on hazards.
4. In some cities, police only respond when there are injuries. Check everyone for injuries, and call 911 because even in minor accidents the police report will prove invaluable in proving fault. The dispatcher will inform you as to the protocol of that county. Always be checked by a health care professional even if you feel “OK” at the scene.
5. If you suspect the other driver is impaired, call 911 immediately.
6. As much as possible document the scene including pictures of all vehicles, license plates, surroundings, street names and the badges of the police officers that respond. Exchange names, numbers, and insurance companies if the other driver is willing, never putting yourself in danger.
7. File an insurance claim. Many insurance companies have apps for your smartphones, which are very convenient.
All of this information will be vital if you need to contact an personal injury lawyer after an injury in a DUI accident. The personal injury attorney will file a claim for the full compensation for your vehicle including hospitalization, rehabilitation and missed time from work.
National insurance companies do not fully compensate for these costs; they typically repay only 60 percent. If you or someone in your vehicle has been injured in an accident, the next step is to contact an personal injury attorney to proceed further and collect all the funds you are entitled to. Police officers will arrest any drivers driving under the influence and convict.