Most car accidents are avoidable but don’t go beyond simple negligence. However, drunk driving is one of the most irresponsible causes of car accidents and one that can be easily prevented. As such, Georgia law punishes drunk drivers harshly in an attempt to protect as many innocent lives as possible from being lost to such a careless crime. If you have been involved in a car accident with a drunk driver, make sure to follow these six steps to ensure you are protect today and in the future.
- Remain calm and seek medical assistance, if necessary.
The first thing you should do after being hit by a drunk driver is to remain calm so that you can carefully assess the situation and make sure everyone in your vehicle is safe. If you or any others in your car requires medical treatment, call for an ambulance immediately. The most important thing is to ensure that everyone is safe before worrying about moving your vehicle out of the middle of the road or confronting the drunk driver who hit you.
- Move your vehicle out of the middle of the road if it is safe to do so.
Georgia law requires anyone who is involved in a car accident to move his or her vehicle to the side of the road if it is safe to do so. It is not safe to move your vehicle if anyone involved in the accident is severely injured or dead, if the vehicle is broken, or if there is no one at the scene who is able to move the vehicle. Chances are, the drunk driver will be unfit to move his or her vehicle.
- Exchange personal information and gather information from witnesses.
If you were hit by a drunk driver, you will of course want to remain on the scene and gather as much information as you can about the other driver. Call 911 and also gather information from witnesses who saw the wreck. While you wait for the police, exchange the following three pieces of personal information: name, address, and registration number of the vehicles involved. If requested, each driver must also show his or her driver’s license to the other driver. It’s also a good idea to photograph the damage to the cars, the positions of the cars, and whatever else you think could be important down the line.
- Contact the police.
There are a couple of reasons why you should contact the police as soon as possible after being involved in a car accident. First, you want everything documented and you certainly do not want to be charged with a hit and run. Second, a police officer can help you investigate the accident and document everything in writing so that there is no dispute over what happened in the future. It is possible that the driver of the vehicle that struck you may try to talk you out of calling the police and settling the claim among yourselves, so that he or she does not get in trouble for drunk driving. Do not fall for this. Remember that it is the law and also in your best interest to call the police immediately after your accident.
- Do not make any statements of fault or apologize to anyone.
When you are involved in a car accident with a drunk driver, the drunk driver might seem so frazzled and distraught that you begin to feel bad for him or her. Some people will start to replay the accident in their head and think maybe they did something to contribute to it. Do not let that person be you. This is not the time to succumb to your sympathy. Answer any questions the police officer asks you, but do not offer any statements admitting fault and do not apologize for the accident to anyone.
- Contact a reputable attorney.
After the accident is cleared up and everyone is recovering from their injuries, contact an attorney as soon as you can. There is no reason for you to have to pay for any of your medical bills or lost wages from missing work due to the carelessness of someone else. Find an experienced personal injury attorney in your area today.