WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE
HIT BY A DRUNK DRIVER
April 30, 2022
Car accidents are traumatic events that can leave victims with physical and emotional injuries as well as property damage. What can make these events even more distressing is if the car crash was caused by a drunk driver. If you or a loved one has recently been the victim of a drunk driving car accident and aren’t sure what your next steps should be, contact us at the Shep Law Group to discuss your options. We’re able to serve clients in Boise and Meridian, Idaho, as well as those in Ada and Canyon counties.
Steps to Take if You are Hit by a Drunk Driver
Even though it may be hard to move forward after an event like this, the steps you take in the days and weeks after a car wreck can help you reach a settlement that truly covers the full scope of your damages.
After an incident with a drunk driver, you should take these actions:
Seek Medical Attention: This is the single most important thing you can do for yourself, and this is true even if you think your injuries are minor. Injuries that occur after a car accident can take several days to show up, and many people don’t realize they’ve been hurt until it’s too late. Only a trained medical provider can adequately assess your physical health. Keep copies of all the doctor’s notes and make sure you attend all subsequent appointments and follow all treatment plans.
Talk to the Police: The police should be called after an accident like this, especially if the at-fault driver was drunk. Cooperate with them throughout their investigation as the evidence and reports they make will be essential in building your case.
File a Claim: If you were able to get the contact information from the other driver, you should file a claim with their insurance provider as soon as possible. If you were unable to get it, you can make a claim on your own.
Do Not Say Anything to an Insurance Adjuster: Within a day or two of filing, an insurance adjuster will likely call you and ask you to make a statement. You do not have to do this. Instead, you can give them basic information and say you’ll be submitting a statement soon. If they ask about your injuries, simply tell them you’re still receiving medical attention.
Hire an Attorney: You don’t always need an attorney for insurance claims, but in cases of drunk driving, it’s likely you’ll need to file a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced attorney can help build your case so you’re in a better position to fight for your deserved compensation and can negotiate with adjusters so you can focus on your healing.
Liability in Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving accidents can be very complicated legally. In many cases, there could be more than one party found liable. Of course, the driver of the car will hold the most liability, but a police investigation will also look to see the last place the driver was and whether or not they were over-served. Because of this, you may also receive damages from a restaurant or bar that last served the driver alcohol.
Damages for Drunk Driving Accident Injuries or Wrongful Death
Like any car accident, you’ll be able to pursue damages from the at-fault driver to cover your property damage and medical expenses (as well as costs associated with them, such as lost wages due to missed work). Idaho is an at-fault state, meaning the driver who was responsible for the crash is also responsible for any damages that occur because of it. You may also be able to seek punitive damages in a drunk driving case.
In the horrific event that someone dies because of the crash, you can also seek damages by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. With this, you can receive compensation for funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses, future lost income, or loss of consortium. In Idaho, there is no cap on the damages you can seek in a wrongful death case.
Skilled Legal Guidance
If you’re in the Boise or Meridian, Idaho, area and would like to speak to an experienced attorney about how to proceed after a drunk driving accident, contact our firm today. No one should have to go through this difficult time on their own, and we can help you through this process.