No matter the circumstances, being in a car crash is frightening, painful, and consequential. Once the initial shock wears off, questions are probably flying through your head. Is anyone hurt? Will my car be okay? Will my insurance pay out? It’s important to take a minute to breathe and stay calm, because panic can only make things harder.
When you talk to the other driver, you might notice they’re slurring their words. Maybe you smell a familiar odor on their breath. Now, things have gone from bad to worse. The other driver is drunk, which can make the situation feel even scarier. This is all sadly common and incredibly dangerous. In the United States, someone dies in a drunk driving accident every 45 minutes.
Until we put a stop to this prevailing problem, it’s important to have a plan of action if you get into a collision. Car crashes with drunk drivers should be dealt with in a similar way to any other collision, but there are a few extra steps you can take to ensure your safety and best chances of justice.
If you’ve been in an accident with a drunk driver, you’re going through a lot right now. You may have skipped a few steps and are worried about the outcome. Either way, now is the time to contact Maples, Nix and Diesselhorst for a free consultation. We can help guide you through this difficult process, and if we decide to work together, we promise to be honest and transparent with you the entire way. We always work hard to stand with our clients.
Let’s explore the ideal steps you should take if you are hit by a drunk driver.
What you should do right after being hit by a drunk driver
Just like in any crash, the first and most important step is to make sure everyone is okay. Even if the other driver has made a horrible decision by choosing to drive while impaired, safety and well-being come before justice.
What might make this situation more complicated is the erratic behavior drunk people sometimes display during crisis moments. This person likely knows how much trouble they’re in, and their inhibitions have been lowered. It isn’t uncommon for them to lash out, beg for you not to call the police, or attempt to get back in their car and speed away. Keep yourself safe by assessing the situation and acting cautiously. Nothing is worth the risk of further injury.
Call the police
You should always call the police after a collision. It doesn’t matter if someone is drunk or the cars don’t seem very damaged. Not calling the police could result in your inability to receive an insurance payout. It’s also vitally important to get a drunk person off the road immediately to help prevent other drivers from getting hurt. A police officer will test the other driver’s sobriety and arrest them if they fail.
While you’re waiting for the police, calmly ask the drunk driver for their insurance information. If they are uninsured, you’ll have another set of issues to deal with. Assuming they are insured, take photos of their insurance policy information. Next, take photos of any and all damage you can find on both cars. When the police show up, they’ll likely be busy testing the other driver’s sobriety, but take down the officer’s badge number if you can. It may come in handy later for a variety of reasons.
Call an attorney you can trust
Now that your bases are covered, things get a little trickier. Obviously you will want to file a claim with your or the other driver’s insurance company, but contacting our knowledgeable automobile accident team early in the process is beneficial because you can focus on getting better while we focus on representing you to the best of our ability. Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst can help direct you on how to proceed and educate you on what to expect next. When involved in an automobile collision, contact Maples, Nix, and Diesselhorst for a free consultation.
Keep yourself covered with insurance
Oklahoma is an at-fault state when it comes to auto coverage, so the other driver will be responsible for paying for your damages. In some situations, this can make things extra difficult because you’re less familiar with someone else’s coverage. You may find that the offered settlement won’t cover all your expenses. If this happens, it’s doubly important to speak with our team.
To help prevent issues from coming up, we recommend adding Medpay to your insurance policy. Your insurance agent can discuss the details of this coverage in detail. Take note that if you do need to file a claim with your own insurance company, you’re usually contractually obligated to do so within a month, so it’s important to sort out insurance information as quickly as possible.
If you can’t come to an agreement with the insurance company, you aren’t out of options. You can counteroffer yours or the other driver’s settlement offers. Our team can also help ensure the best possible outcome for this situation.
Have you been hit by a drunk driver?
We sincerely hope that you never have the misfortune of being hit by a drunk driver. However, people sometimes make poor decisions that can lead to awful consequences for others. If you’re the victim of a drunk driving collision, you probably are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. We hope that we can help you. Call the office of Maples, Nix, and Diesselhorst for a free consultation. If we decide to work together, we promise to be honest and transparent with you as we work hard to obtain justice.