If you are involved in a car accident with a drunk driver, it is important that you know the steps you should take to protect your rights. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a crime in Louisiana. However, when a drunk driver causes an accident, the driver could also face civil penalties. If you believe you have been hit by a drunk driver, the steps you take immediately following the accident could have a significant impact on your injury claim.
After being involved in an accident with a drunk driver, you should:
1. Call 911 Immediately.
You need to notify the police that you were in a traffic accident. Documenting that the accident occurred is crucial when filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. By notifying the police, you are creating an official record of the traffic accident.
2. Be Honest But Careful.
You need to cooperate with the police; however, you do not want to exaggerate what happened or speculate. The aftermath of a car accident is chaotic, but try to remain calm and give the police officer the facts. Also, if the officer asks if you are injured, never say “no.” You could have suffered injuries that you may not be aware of until you see a doctor. It is okay to tell the officer you do not know whether you are hurt or not.
3. Get Information.
Get as much information from the accident scene as possible. You may not want to talk to the drunk driver, so the officer may need to supply the information after he investigates the accident. You can note the license plate number, color, and model of the other vehicle. If possible, take a few pictures of the accident scene, including the other vehicle.
4. See a Doctor.
If you were not transported to the emergency room from the accident scene, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible. In addition to protecting your health, you need to document the injuries caused by the accident. Injury symptoms could take a few hours or days to develop. A doctor can diagnose the injury and prescribe treatment to help prevent the injury from becoming worse. Refusing medical treatment can be used by the insurance company to claim that you were not injured in the accident with the drunk driver. It is always best for your health and any claim you may file to be checked by a doctor after an accident.
5. Hire an Experienced New Orleans Car Accident Attorney.
Before you agree to provide a statement to the insurance company for the drunk driver, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer. Even though a drunk driver hit you, you must still prove the driver was responsible for causing the crash to recover compensation for your injuries. Therefore, you should treat this accident as you would any other accident — hire a New Orleans car accident lawyer to protect your legal rights and best interests.
Choose The Olinde Firm
Our car accident attorneys are committed to helping accident victims recover the compensation they deserve when a negligent driver causes an accident. Contact Attorney Fred Olinde at 1-800-587-1889 to request a free case review with a New Orleans accident attorney.