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What Do You Do When You're Hit by a Drunk Driver?

What Do You Do When You're Hit by a Drunk Driver?

Posted By The Dunnion Law Firm || 1-Dec-2016

Getting hit by a drunk driver is not just scary, it’s justifiably infuriating. The sheer level of irresponsibility that it takes to consume alcohol and get behind the wheel of a car is staggering, especially in this day and age. You know you deserve compensation for your injuries, but you’re not sure what comes next or how to go about seeking payment. Learn what to do when you’re hit by a drunk driver, what recourse you have and how a San Jose car accident attorney can help you get compensation.

Criminal and Civil

The thing that makes drunk driving accidents unique is that they are both criminal and civil in nature. Driving under the influence is a crime that carries potential jail time, fines and loss of license. These fines are not paid to you as part of your damages. To collect compensation, you’ll need to file a civil suit.

What to Do

While you’re at the scene of the accident, first, call police and first responders. Make sure that anyone in need of medical attention (yourself included) gets taken care of. Everyone’s health and well-being comes first. Keep all of your medical records handy, from prescriptions to ER and doctor’s visits to physical therapy and more.

Collect contact information of any witnesses willing to talk about what they saw. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. Take as many photos of the scene from as many angles as you can. Make certain the police take a police report. The more records you keep, the better off you’ll be later. Whatever you do, never sign anything from an insurance company without speaking to an attorney.

What You Can Collect

When you’re hit by a drunk driver you can collect a variety of compensatory damages which are generally separated into special, general and punitive damages. Special damages cover your measurable financial losses—medical bills, lost wages and potential future earnings, etc. General damages are more subjective and cover lost companionship, pain and suffering and mental anguish among others.

Punitive damages are rare and only awarded in the most egregious of circumstances. They are designed specifically to punish the responsible driver, make an example of them and teach them a lesson for the damage they’ve done.

Pursuing Compensation

The key to getting compensated in a car accident of any kind is negligence. You need to prove that the other driver was grossly irresponsible. In a drunk driving accident, you’ll need to demonstrate that alcohol was involved and was a direct or contributing factor in the accident.

San Jose Car Accident Attorney

When you’re hit by a drunk driver, your best bet is to call upon the services of an experienced San Jose car accident attorney. An attorney knows exactly how to prove negligence on the part of the other driver. They know how to deal with insurance companies and tear down their payment-avoidance tactics. They know how to stand up for you and fight for your rights every step of the way. An attorney can make sure that you get the maximum possible compensation to which the law entitles you.

If you live in the San Jose area and have been in a drunk driving accident, don’t go it alone. Call upon the legal professionals at Dunnion Law to get a free case evaluation and more information today.
Categories: Auto Accident