Being injured in a drunk driving incident can change your entire existence instantly. One moment, you’re simply living your life. The next, everything’s different – possibly forever. And this isn’t what you’d call a rare occurrence, either. Every 45 minutes, another person loses their life in a drunk driving incident.
But you don’t have to actually lose your life (or the life of someone you love) to be affected on a life-altering level. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you take the proper steps if this happens to you or to anyone else you care about. Here are some examples to keep in mind.
Call the authorities
If you’re involved in an incident that you suspect involved drunk driving, it’s essential to report it to the authorities right away. Dial 911 (or ask someone else to do it for you if you’re without your phone) – even if you’re reasonably sure you weren’t hurt.
The local police need to respond to the incident and record the details of what happened. Not only is it important that they do this so that the drunk driver can be brought to justice, but the reports the authorities will file may be crucial to any insurance claims you might need to make.
Get evaluated by a doctor
Naturally, if you know for sure that you’ve been hurt in an accident, drunk driving-related or not, it should be your top priority to seek medical attention. If you’re injured on a level that could be life-threatening, it’s best to wait for the ambulance dispatched by 911 to arrive to avoid exacerbating your injuries.
But even if you’re sure you’re not hurt, you should still see a medical professional for an evaluation as soon as you possibly can. Many serious accident-related injuries – like whiplash, to name just one very common one – often don’t become evident until later on. That said, never decide for yourself that you’re not injured. Only a medical professional can do that.
Speak to a legal professional
As with seeing to your health and seeking treatment for any injuries you may have sustained, it’s equally important to seek legal advice. Do this even if you don’t think you need it, as it’s better to be safe than sorry. Drunk driving incidents occupy complicated territory from a legal standpoint, and you need a lawyer in your corner when that’s the case.
The resulting proceedings can be civil, criminal, or both. And there will likely be insurance matters to sort out, as well. A lawyer can help you make sure you do everything right on your end to ensure proper compensation so that you can get your life back, so make sure you speak to one right at the beginning of your journey.
Just make sure you speak to an experienced DUI injury accident attorney, in particular, to ensure the best possible assistance. You can even get the ball rolling by contacting a DUI lawyer online at a site like HutzlerLaw.com.
Listen to Your Doctor and Attorney
Recovering from the aftermath of a drunk driving-related accident is easiest and happens quickest when you listen to the good advice given to you by your doctor and attorney. Take care of yourself according to your doctor’s advice. Take any medications as prescribed, and be sure to show up for all follow-up appointments.
And listen to your attorney, too – especially when it comes to not issuing any statements on your own, including to the driver’s insurance company, should they try to contact you. Simply explain that you have a lawyer who will be speaking for you, and leave it at that. You’ll be glad you did!
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