In Texas, someone is injured in an alcohol-related crash every 20 minutes. What’s more, impaired driving is the leading cause of death for those aged 30 and under. With these stats in mind, there’s every reason to believe that alcohol-related accidents are more common than they should be.
But even though they are common, that doesn’t make it any easier to understand your rights and requirements if you find yourself in such a situation. So, what do you do if a drunk driver hits you? While you need to call a DWI accident attorney, there are several steps you should follow.
Step 1: Make Sure Everyone is Okay
At the scene of a car accident, no matter the cause, it’s crucial to make sure everyone is okay. Stop your vehicle at the location of the collision and contact emergency services. Make sure you’re clear about where you are so that there is no delay in help arriving.
At this point, it’s essential to accept any offer of medical attention – including a trip to the nearest hospital. While you may not think you have sustained any injuries, you can’t be aware of what’s happening inside your body. What’s more, adrenaline can mask many problems.
Some of the most common injuries relating to a car accident are:
- Broken bones, including ribs
- Head injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Herniated disc
- Knee trauma
Step 2: Make a Report with Texas Police
Once you are feeling up to it, file a report with Texas police. Remember, under Texas Law, all car accidents – no matter their cause – must be reported immediately when injuries and fatalities are involved.
Be as thorough as possible, and make notes for yourself. You can also request a police report for yourself and your Texas personal injury lawyer at a later date.
Step 3: Gather Information
If a drunk driver is to blame for your accident, then gathering as much information as possible can be the difference between compensation and nothing at all. Talk to witnesses, collect contact information, take photos, and obtain vehicle registration information, insurance policies, and the other driver’s license number.
It may even help to draw a picture of the scene to accompany any photos you have taken. However, if you are seriously injured and not able to get all the information you require, then a personal injury lawyer in Texas can help. When you bring your case to them, they can visit the scene of the accident, talk to witnesses, and establish a claim on your behalf.
Step 4: Notify a Texas Lawyer
Even before you make contact with insurance companies, it’s crucial to speak to a DWI accident attorney. You are the victim of an accident involving a potential drunk driver, and your injuries and losses are not your fault.
It may now require the assistance of a legal professional to prove that. The job of the drunk driver’s insurance company is to settle as fast and as cheaply as possible. Your lawyer in Texas, however, will work hard to prove that the drunk driver’s impairment led to the accident.
Ultimately, they want to make sure that the guilty party covers any inconvenience and costs you incurred as a result of the accident.
Step 5: Sue a Drunk Driver
With all the facts gathered with the help of your lawyer, you can now look at your options surrounding suing a drunk driver.
In Texas, you can sue for:
- Lost earning capacity and lost wages
- Counseling services
- Funeral experiences
- The loss of your life enjoyment
- Your medical expenses – both short and long-term
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or permanent scarring
It’s also worth talking to your lawyer in Texas about compensatory and punitive damages. You may be entitled to both. In the event of a drunk driver causing your accident, you can sue for money to cover your bills and to punish the driver for their actions.
What About Dram Shop Liability?
If you find yourself the victim of a drunk driving accident – be it through the death of loved ones or injuries to yourself, then talk to your lawyer about dram shop liability.
Dram shop liability means you may able to sue an establishment, such as a bar, liquor store, or restaurant, for selling alcohol to the impaired driver. In this instance, you must be able to prove that the drunk driver was intoxicated before purchasing the alcohol, and/or they were a minor.
Act Now And Let J. Alexander Firm Help!
After a drunk driver accident, there’s no time to waste. As soon as possible, contact us. J. Alexander Firm can take you through the many steps of suing a drunk driver and establish whether or not you could be entitled to compensation.