What Should I Do if I’m Hit by a Drunk Driver in Texas?
Drunk driving is still a major issue in the state despite lawmakers instituting strict laws to discourage motorists from getting behind the wheel while under the influence. To make matters worse, the number of collisions involving a drunk driver may even spike around the summer, so warmer months often usher in new risks for commuters.
If you were struck by a drunk driver, it’s important to consider your next steps carefully. Even a minor mistake could cost you a fair settlement if you’re planning to file a personal injury claim. Let’s look at some of the actions you should always take in the aftermath of a wreck:
1. Contact Authorities
If you suspect the motorist who struck you was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you should call the police immediately. Officers will arrive to investigate the accident, taking down statements from those involved. If they believe anyone is intoxicated, they will usually conduct field sobriety tests or ask them to submit to breathalyzer testing. The results of these tests will help you prove that the other party was driving drunk, ultimately helping you prove liability.
2. Seek Medical Treatment
While you might feel fine, it’s rare for accident victims to survive a wreck completely unscathed. You may have suffered a serious injury that isn’t yet showing any symptoms, or the adrenaline rush following this hair-raising encounter could be masking the signs of internal bleeding or another type of impact injury.
Visiting the doctor as soon as possible will ensure that you receive a prompt diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, taking this step could also help mitigate disputes during the claims process. For instance, if you failed to seek treatment within a reasonable timeframe, the insurance company might have room to assert that you suffered your injuries in a separate incident.
RELATED READING: TEXAS CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
3. Gather Evidence
If you’re unable to comb the accident scene for proof because of your injuries, you should ask a friend or family member to do so on your behalf. The wreckage can hold many different clues as to what happened and who caused the collision.
For instance, road markings might help show that the other motorist failed to brake in time because they were intoxicated; while pictures of open alcohol containers may help demonstrate that they were probably under the influence. Additionally, eyewitnesses may have noticed the driver swerving dangerously in the moments before impact, another common sign of impairment.
4. Lay Low on Social Media Accounts
In an effort to minimize their liability, the opposing party’s insurer might start monitoring your social media feeds for any posts that could be used as evidence to challenge your credibility. Thankfully, most sites give you the option to temporarily deactivate your profiles, rendering your pages inaccessible for the duration of proceedings.
Speak to a Texas Car Accident Attorney Today
Were you hurt in an accident involving a motorist who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Turn to the legal team at Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP for advice, guidance, and aggressive representation. Dial 1-800-334-3298 or click through to our Contact Form to schedule a free case assessment with a Texas car accident attorney.