You or a family member could suffer catastrophic injuries or be killed if a drunk driver causes a car accident. Under Virginia law, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your crash, you may also receive punitive damages. However, to get all that you deserve in your settlement, you need to take these six steps to build a strong case against the negligent driver.
Call the Police
Call the police at the accident scene. This will document the important details of your crash and the fact that the other driver’s intoxication caused it.
Obtain Prompt Medical Care
You should be examined by a doctor immediately if you know you were hurt and within a few days—even if you do not believe you suffered any injuries. This protects your health if your injuries are more serious than you thought. It also documents the connection between the drunk driving accident and your injuries and helps avoid disputes with the insurance company.
Get Contact Information
Obtain the contact information for the drunk driver and any witnesses to your collision. If you do not do this right away, you could lose the information you need to file your claim with the insurance company and vital evidence to help prove that the drunk driver caused your wreck.
Take Pictures With Your Cell Phone Camera
It is always important to take pictures at the scene of an auto crash, but this can be even more crucial in a drunk driving accident. Why? The negligent motorist could flee the scene when he realizes that he may be arrested. Use your cell phone to take pictures of the following:
- Other vehicle involved in the crash and its license plate
- Damage to both autos
- Your injuries
- Accident scene, including traffic signs and lights, skid marks, and any obstructions
- Weather conditions
- Anything else you believe would be helpful
Attend Criminal Court Hearings
If the negligent driver was arrested for drunk driving, you should attend his criminal hearings and cooperate in his prosecution. You may learn important information that can help you in your civil case against him, and the judge could order restitution to you as part of his sentence.
Retain an Attorney
You should hire an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after your collision. He can collect the evidence you need to hold the drunk driver accountable, determine how much your claim is worth, and negotiate your settlement so that you receive the compensation you deserve. To learn of our extensive experience in these cases and how we will aggressively fight to protect your rights, call our Norfolk office to schedule your free case evaluation today.