If a drunk driver hit you, here’s what you could do to protect your legal rights and well-being:
- Report the accident to the police
- Seek immediate medical attention and follow your treatment plan
- Gather evidence at the scene if you are able
- Keep a record of the details of the crash and any bills you incur as a result
- Be wary of accepting an insurance settlement too quickly
- Learn about your legal options during a free consultation
Report the Accident to the Police
Notifying law enforcement can provide invaluable assistance at the time of the accident. In addition, the officer will prepare a police report detailing field sobriety tests and other information. This can serve as vital evidence in your insurance claim or lawsuit at a further date.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention right away is vital to protect your health. Having yourself checked by a doctor can help identify any harmful symptoms that could affect you in the days and weeks to follow.
Demonstrating that you were concerned about being injured at the time of the accident means you will also have a record of your medical evaluations, diagnosis, and treatment which may be necessary for your financial recovery later on.
You also want to follow all your doctor’s orders to protect your physical and financial health.
Gather Evidence at the Scene If You Are Able
If you are able and it is safe to do so, gathering evidence from the accident scene can benefit you. You could use:
- Insurance, license, and contact details of the other driver
- Photographs of your injuries and vehicle damage
- Witness contact details
- Locations of nearby CCTV cameras
Such evidence could show that there was more than one driver at fault. We will seek fair damages from all liable parties.
Keep a Record of the Details of the Crash and Any Bills You Incur As a Result
Write down in detail your version of events leading to, during, and after the accident, so you do not miss any details when discussing your case. Keeping a record of any bills you incur, such as:
- Medical fees, prescriptions, or treatment costs, can also be a huge help for your compensation claim later on.
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Be Wary of Accepting an Insurance Settlement Too Quickly
Insurance companies often attempt to settle cases quickly before the full extent of a DUI accident victim understands the extent of their injuries. Further, insurers do not usually begin negotiations with a high amount during the early stages. So, you mustn’t feel pressured into accepting their initial offer.
Keep in mind, once you agree to a settlement, you cannot pursue further compensation if your injuries worsen or other health complications arise due to the accident.
Learn About Your Legal Options During a Free Consultation
The stress of managing a complex compensation claim can be exhausting, especially while recovering from your injuries. Therefore, it can be beneficial to cover your bases and learn about your legal options before talking to insurers first during a free, no-obligation consultation with a drunk driving injury lawyer’s staff.
What Compensation Is Available to Me?
In Virginia, drunk drivers are responsible for compensating the victims they harm or worse in an auto accident. However, problems arise if the other party is uninsured or underinsured, for example. Without enough coverage on your own policies, you might need to seek damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Compensation is available to cover the following losses, but you will need to prove the impaired driver caused your injuries resulting in expenses related to:
- Current and future medical bills and rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages and compensation if your employment is affected in the future
- “Pain and suffering” and inconvenience
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
- Wrongful death damages if the accident resulted in the loss of a loved one
Your injury lawyer can help you understand your legal options, calculate your damages, and pursue compensation on your behalf from the appropriate channels.
How Long do I Have to Seek Compensation?
DUI accident victims generally have two years to file a lawsuit against an impaired driver per Code of Virginia § 8.01-243. Similarly, bereaved families of loved ones killed by a drunk driver must also file a wrongful death lawsuit within the same period under Code of Virginia § 8.01.244.
You want to act quickly regardless, as it is often easier to gather evidence and speak with witnesses soon after an accident.
The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC Fights for Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
At the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, we work closely with our clients to ensure they feel seen, heard, and protected while recovering from injuries. Our team knows what a fair settlement looks like and will fight for the compensation you deserve to move on with your life.
Our team is here to help after a drunk driver hits you or a loved one. Call our office today at (571) 229-1800 for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.