Getting into an auto accident is almost always scary. If the crash was not your fault, you may feel frustration, anxiety, anger, and a whole host of other emotions toward the other driver(s) involved. And even more so when you suspect the other driver may have been drunk or otherwise impaired.
In the immediate aftermath of an accident—especially one involving damage to your vehicle or other property and/or injury to you or your passenger(s) at the hands of a drunk driver—it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and not know what to do first.
Take the following steps to protect yourself and your loved ones and keep your legal options open:
- Call the police. In any traffic crash, but particularly if there is a potentially impaired driver, you should call 911 to report the accident and summon police to the scene. Police will file an official report, which could be of use to you in future legal proceedings. They will also investigate the scene, including the other driver, and may administer field sobriety tests, or even breath or blood alcohol tests to all drivers involved. If the police determine that the other driver was drunk or impaired, that may be enough for them to assign fault, and the other driver could face criminal charges. Furthermore, police on the scene can help remove you and anyone else involved from danger and help you obtain urgent medical care, if necessary.
- Gather information. The official police report should contain contact and insurance details of all those involved in the accident; but you, too, should collect information at the scene of the accident if you are capable and safe. Take pictures of the scene and the damage caused, talk to witnesses and take down their contact information, and even write down important details you don’t want to forget later.
- Seek medical attention. If you sustain an obvious injury, you should, of course, go immediately to the emergency room for treatment. But even if you feel fine after an accident, it’s important to get yourself checked out for any underlying injuries or other conditions that may not be immediately apparent such as internal bleeding, whiplash, or even a concussion. Be sure to keep all records of medical treatment related to the accident—hospital stays, doctor’s visits, medication or other treatment prescribed, etc.
- Consult an auto accident attorney. As previously mentioned, someone convicted of drunk driving in Texas faces criminal penalties including loss of driving privileges, payment of fines, and even jail time. Additionally, those who suffer injury, property damage, or other loss in an accident caused by a drunk driver can file civil claims seeking compensation for medical bills and other damages they suffer. Your Texas car accident lawyer can help explain your options for taking legal action to obtain the compensation you need and deserve.
Get the legal support you need after you’ve been hit by a drunk driver in Texas
If you are injured by a drunk driver or in any other type of auto accident, or have questions about your legal right to compensation, call Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers at (281) 645-5000 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. We are here to help you.