Car accidents involving drunk or high drivers can be complex. If the other driver denies being intoxicated, you may want to wait for criminal proceedings to conclude before you file your case in civil court.
You need an experienced Suffolk County car accident lawyer advocating on your behalf. We’re ready to fight for your rights and hold the at-fault driver accountable for their choices.
What should I do after being hit by a drunk driver?
At a minimum, you should take note of the license plate number of the other vehicle and its description. If the other driver flees the scene, the information you take down will be incredibly important to the responding officers.
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, get a physical description of the other vehicle. Ask the driver for their contact information and driver’s license number. When the intoxicated party realizes that you are going to report the accident, be aware that they may try to flee. Do not intervene to try and stop them.
If injured, you also need to be sure to accept medical attention at the accident scene. If you refuse, you could be negatively affecting your claims.
Your next step should be to contact an experienced Suffolk County car accident attorney. Your lawyer will help you make decisions going forward and ensure that you do everything possible to preserve your right to seek compensation. An attorney will investigate the accident and help you determine your damages.
What should I not do?
Don’t let the other driver persuade you not to call the police. Report the accident immediately. Failing to do so could hinder your claims.
Don’t try to engage with the other driver, either. Alcohol often makes people more emotional or aggressive, so any conversation could quickly escalate. When the police arrive, they can handle the exchange of information between you and the other driver and possibly test the other driver’s blood alcohol content (determine if they’re intoxicated and to what degree).
Don’t forget to call a lawyer. Often, drunk driving car wrecks may be eligible for punitive damages. An attorney can take your case to trial and ask the jury to award punitive damages against the driver. Drinking and driving is one of those situations where many on the jury may agree is egregiously negligent.
Does a DUI mean the other driver is automatically at fault?
To have a successful claim in court, you need to establish certain elements:
- The other driver had a duty of care
- The other driver was negligent in some way
- There was an accident
- That accident directly caused injury
- Those injuries resulted in damages
In the case of an accident involving a drunk driver, often their intoxication alone can be enough to establish negligence. At a minimum, the other driver’s intoxication will be seen as a contributing factor to the collision. However, know that fault is considered on a case-by-case basis, and you may ultimately need a jury verdict to assign liability for damages.
If you are left with medical bills, lost wages, and other damages following your accident, do not assume that you are on a financial hook. You have every right to seek compensation for the money you have lost as a result of someone’s poor choice.
Can you sue a drunk driver for hitting a parked car?
Yes, if they leave a note or the police track them down. The chances of a drunk driver stopping to leave their contact information on the car they smashed into are slim, though. Your best bet is to call the police and file a police report. Hopefully, the officers can track down the driver, and if they do, you can file a suit for damages. You may also consider contacting an attorney. Your lawyer may have the resources to find the drunk driver and hold them legally accountable for the damage they caused.
Speak with a skilled Suffolk County car accident lawyer today
Carner & DeVita is here to help hold drunk drivers accountable for their choices. You deserve to be compensated fairly for your losses. Never assume that you have to deal with financial devastation due to someone else’s actions. We will work to establish each necessary legal element of your claim, and we’ll fight for what you legally deserve.
Call our office today at (631) 543-7070 to speak with a Suffolk County car accident lawyer. We understand what you are going through and are ready to put our years of dedication and experience to work for you and your family. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a no-cost case evaluation.