Every year, thousands of drivers lose their lives during drunk driving accidents and even more are involved in serious wrecks that result in property damage and severe personal injuries. If this has happened to you or a loved one, then you know the results can be financially devastating, especially if the injured parties have to miss multiple days of work as they recover and as they wait for their vehicle to be repaired. If you’ve been involved in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your personal losses. Contact the experienced attorneys at Warnock MacKinlay Law today for a consultation to discuss the details of your accident.
Is the drunk driver always at fault for the accident?
No two cases are the same, and just because your accident involves a drunk driver, it does not that they will automatically be found liable in a court of law. Contrary to popular belief, the drunk driver will not automatically be found at fault if the sober driver was the one to cause the accident. For example, if the drunk driver is driving straight at a green light and the sober driver is turning left and accidentally hits the drunk driver’s car, then the sober driver is the one who caused the accident. Similarly, if the drunk driver is stopped at a red light and the sober driver rear-ends them, then they would be found at fault in that scenario, as well.
In order to file a car accident lawsuit that will be successful, you need to be able to prove the other driver caused the accident. Even though driving under the influence or while impaired is illegal, if you are the sober driver and you caused the accident, you may be found partially or completely at fault. Upon reviewing your case, a seasoned personal injury and car accident lawyer will be able to tell you the likelihood of the other driver being found at fault and whether you have a strong enough case to take to court.
What should I do if I’ve been in a drunk driving car accident?
While your first priority following a car accident should be to ensure that you and the other driver receive immediate medical attention if needed, there are things you can do at the scene of the accident that could help bolster your case should you choose to file a car accident lawsuit.
Call the Authorities
Whether it’s a minor fender-bender or a severe car wreck, you should always call the police to the scene as soon as possible. Not only will the police officer be able to direct traffic around you and the other vehicle to ensure the safety of others, they will begin gathering statements and information in order to complete a report of what happened. If they notice that the other driver is drunk or impaired, this will also be noted in their report, which could help your case. Be sure to ask for the officer’s name and contact information, if possible, so that you can request a copy of their accident report.
Take Photos of the Accident
Your lawsuit doesn’t have to be just your word against the other drivers. When it comes to car accident claims, a picture really is worth a thousand words. If you’re able, take as many photos of the surrounding area as you can, including any nearby traffic lights, street signs, stop signs, and skid marks along the road. Be sure to take photos of where each car ended up and any damage to both vehicles. These images will provide concrete proof of where the accident took place and any resulting property damage, making it difficult for the other driver to change their story at a later date. In addition, photos of the surrounding area could help your car accident attorney recreate the scene, giving them a better idea of what happened and how they can present your case to the court.
Gather Witness Statements
In many cases following a car accident, there are a lot of other drivers or pedestrians who witnessed the accident and may be near the scene. If so, try to collect a statement from them about what they saw leading up to the collision. In cases of drunk driving accidents, you may want to note any witnesses who may have noticed the other driver swerving or driving recklessly. Gathering statements in the few moments following the accident could be very important for your case. Though your lawyer will try to track down any witnesses to the accident, memories fade over time and key details may be lost. If you reach out to an attorney weeks or even months after your car collision, then they may not recall some key factors of your case. This is why you should do your best to at least collect the contact information of anyone at the scene and then contact your attorney as soon as possible so they can begin the investigation process.
What if I didn’t gather evidence at the scene of my car accident?
It’s important to know that while gathering witness statements and taking photos of the accident site could be beneficial to your case, all is not lost if you don’t follow these steps. If you’ve already been in an accident and didn’t know to take photos or if you were rushed to the hospital immediately following the wreck, it doesn’t mean that your drunk driving accident case is at a loss. Your professional car accident attorney will use all of their legal resources in order to gather as much supporting evidence as possible to help increase your chances of a successful claim.
Reach Out to the Car Accident Attorneys at Warnock MacKinlay Law for a Drunk-Driving Lawsuit Consultation
With new medical bills, car repairs, and time missed at work, you have enough on your mind after your car accident. Let the car accident attorneys at Warnock MacKinlay Law ease the process of your recovery by ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve for your drunk driving case. A legal representative will be able to help you seek the justice and the financial compensation you deserve. Take the first step to recovering damages for your personal injuries today by contacting Warncok MacKinlay Law for a consultation.