We all know that driving drunk is dangerous. However, people still drive drunk anyway. Drunk drivers cause accidents literally every day. If you find yourself in an accident with a drunk driver, it is a frustrating and difficult experience. While most drunk driver cases may seem simple, there are still a lot of things that can happen. You need to take the right steps to build the best case against them. Here are 8 things that can strengthen your DUI case against the drunk driver.
1. Call the police immediately
If you get into an accident with a drunk driver, you need to call the police. They can prove that the driver was indeed drunk with a field sobriety test and breathalyzer.
Even if you don’t want to get the person in trouble, it’s your civic duty. The driver is dangerous, and they need to be apprehended and taken off the road. Getting arrested at the scene of the crime will really help your case, too. It puts a large portion of the fault on them, no matter who caused the accident.
2. Take pictures of the damage right away
You need to be able to prove your damages to the courts and the insurance companies. To do that, take pictures of the damage, right away. Take pictures of all cars involved, and take pictures from multiple angles. Check the settings on your phone to include a timestamp if possible. That will prove that the pictures were taken at the time of the accident. The defendant won’t be able to say that the damages happened at a later date that way.
3. Gather witness statements
In many car accidents, it’s your word versus the other person. It may be difficult for insurance companies to determine the truth in these situations. If other people were able to witness the accident, you should get them to complete a witness statement. Essentially, a witness statement is a formal statement by the witness of what they saw. Never try to encourage a witness to lean a certain way about the accident. Encourage them to be truthful. Also, you should always get statements from a third party if you can. Having a friend or family member who was in the car provide a witness statement may not be as effective due to the possibility of them being biased.
4. Be respectful to all parties involved
People tend to forget about the power of being respectful to others. Despite what the drunk driver did, you should resist the urge to lash out at them. You cannot control their actions, but you can control yours. That does not mean you have to like them or even forgive them. However, you should forgive them. Poor language or behavior can make you look bad in the eyes of the court or the insurance company. Similarly, you should be respectful to all police officers, judges, insurance agents, and lawyers that you talk to throughout the process. They are all human and deserve to be treated with a certain level of dignity.
5. Remain consistent
Accidents can be confusing. Things may not be clear in the heat of the moment. One problem people make unintentionally is that they change their story while handling the accident. Say as little as possible initially to give yourself time to comprehend what happened. Once you’ve cleared your head, you can go over your story. Don’t change the story in any way. You don’t want to look like a liar because it will only help the other party. Many people opt to talk to a lawyer before offering details about the accident.
6. Go to the doctor
Go to the doctor as soon as possible after the accident to get your injuries treated properly. Putting off going to the doctor can make it appear as though the injuries happened later. When you get to the doctor’s office, explain that you were in an accident. The doctor may be able to put in their report if the injuries were consistent with injuries from a car accident. Even if you don’t feel injured now, it’s a good idea to go get yourself checked out by a doctor. In many cases, people don’t feel sore until hours after the accident. You may even have serious internal damage that you can’t see. Examples include concussion or internal bleeding. Go to the doctor and get an evaluation in case you end up with medical costs down the line. You need to make sure they are covered.
7. Take the emotion out of it
Emotions can be high after an accident. You may feel anger, pity, or fear toward the other party. These emotions can cloud your judgment. You need to do everything in your power to look at the situation logically. This will help you make the best decisions moving forward.
8. Hire the right representation
No matter how clear cut the case may seem, you need representation to get you the proper compensation. Lawyers have the knowledge to guide you properly, and that advice can be quite valuable. However, you can’t hire just any DUI attorney.
Hiring the right representation is everything when it comes to an accident. You need a lawyer who has experience in this area. You also need a lawyer who you relate to. A personal connection can help make the proceedings more pleasant.
When you’re involved in an accident with a drunk driver, take action right away. Call us to learn more about how a DUI attorney can give you the help you need to get the most compensation possible.