Getting in a car accident is always terrifying and confusing. But when you're hit by a drunk driver, emotions can reach a whole other level. Not only are you hurt, but you're angry that someone else's irresponsibility and disregard for the law has negatively impacted you. However, in the days following your accident, you'll need to make sure you don't let this anger cloud your logic. The actions you take during these first few days can have a big impact on your case and the compensation you receive for your injuries.
Take a few deep breaths, be thankful that you at least lived through the accident, and follow these tips in the days following your collision with a drunk driver.
Contact a personal injury attorney.
The other driver's insurance company may not cover all of your damages, especially those related to your injuries. If this ends up being the case, you'll need to sue the insurance company (or the driver or perhaps even both) to recover the rest of what you're owed. Instead of waiting to see whether or not the insurance offer is sufficient, it's best to contact a personal injury attorney right away.
If you work with an attorney from the get-go, they can help you fill out any insurance-related paperwork to maximize your chances of compensation. They'll also offer you guidance when it comes to seeking medical care, and they can communicate with the drunk driver and the driver's insurance company on your behalf.
Seek as much medical care as needed.
This is not the time to act macho or hope that a nagging pain heals itself. If something is not right, see your doctor. If you need to see a chiropractor or get a therapeutic massage, make the appointment. When your case is settled, all of your medical care should be reimbursed. Also, the fact that you're seeking medical care serves to reaffirm that you are, in fact, injured and deserving of greater compensation.
Don't post on social media about the accident.
In any personal injury case, it's essential to show that the other party is, in fact, responsible for your injuries. Anything that calls that into question can be used against you to reduce the amount of damages you're awarded. In drunk driving cases, it's usually pretty clear that the other driver is at fault. They were, after all, breaking the law by being behind the wheel in the first place. However, if you accidentally post anything that makes it seem like your actions put you even slightly at-fault, this could complicate your case. It's best to just leave anything and everything about your accident off of social media.
Write down your account of what happened in as much detail as possible.
Personal injury cases involving a drunk driver are not always as straightforward as the judge saying "Of course they hit you. You deserve the amount you're asking for!" Assuming the other driver has a good attorney, that attorney may try to argue that your injuries existed before the accident or that you're exaggerating your pain. The more specific information your lawyer has about the circumstances surrounding the accident, the easier time they'll have forming a counter-argument to these claims.
Even if a detail does not seem important, write it down. Include what time it was, where you were driving from, where you were headed, what (if anything) the other driver said to you after the crash, and how your car was struck. Also, take some time on a daily basis to record the progress of your healing and any medical symptoms you're still experiencing.
Winning a personal injury case against a drunk driver requires a bit more thought and planning than you might assume. However, if you follow the tips above, you and your lawyer have an excellent chance of success.