What To Do When Hit By a Drunk Driver
“They were drinking, He was drunk.”
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Unfortunately, people sometimes choose to drink and drive in the Dallas & Fort Worth Texas area. People may leave the bar with a few too many drinks (sometimes, in Texas, the bar can be liable: see Texas’s dram shop act) or the drunk driver goes to dinner with a few friends and has a few extra glasses of wine. Either way, drunk driving accidents and drunk drivers can be dangerous once behind the wheel of a car, truck or SUV.
Sadly, drunk driver wrecks, collisions or what other people call “accidents” (see why Matthew Pillado, PLLC never calls them “accidents” here) happen all too often. When drunk drivers get involved in collisions with other people, they can seriously hurt innocent people who happen to be on the road at the same time and same place. Hopefully, you or your loved ones are never the victims of a drunk driver, but if you are, here are some general and useful tips to consider:
If you are hit by a drunk driver you should immediately dial 9-1-1 and ask for officer assistance. Sometimes a drunk driver will beg and plead not to call the police. They do not want you to get your drunk driver settlement. They may even promise to pay all the property damage and any future medical treatment. Do not be persuaded; call your local police. Even if you think you are not hurt, it is imperative to contact the authorities to protect your health, property, and rights as well as those of all other people on the road. When the police arrive and ask if you want medical advice, it is always advisable to get checked out by trained medical professionals. In car wrecks, some injuries are not readily apparent (see our article “Common Car Wreck Injuries”). It is important to make sure you are physically in good health. Your drunk driver settlement could depend on your well being.
If possible, document the entire incident with photos or videos. With the advent of iPhones and smartphones, it is easy to take video and photographs. If possible, take both video and audio of everything. This documentation will assist the investigating officer making his report as well as help you in your personal injury case against the drunk driver and possibly the restaurant or bar that over-served the drunk driver. This means your drunk driver settlement could be far greater.
What do I do after being hit by a drunk driver?
DO NOT DELAY! Repeat DO NOT DELAY. Delay, Deny, and Defend is a common tactic used by insurance companies. They want you to wait to get medical treatment, wait to file a claim, and wait contact a lawyer. Why? Because the insurance company can pay out less and save more money. To read up on what insurance companies want in a car wreck, read our article here. Call a personal injury law firm. Call or text us at 1-800-672-3911 (24/7). But even if you do not call us, get an attorney on your side. Sure, there are ways to try and fight this battle against the massive insurance company (who have lawyers on stand-by) by yourself. But it is not an easy task; you will likely end up losing the fight or not getting nearly the amount of the drunk driver settlement and justice you are owed. If you still want to go on your own and fight the insurance company, check out our article “Resolving An Auto Wreck On Your Own.” But keep in mind, our office does free consultations and can meet you within 24 hours (often the same-day).
Bottom line, do not get hit with the delay, deny and defend tactic that most insurance companies use against people who do not have lawyers or attorneys fighting for them. Protect your rights and get what you deserve; do not settle for anything less.
Being involved in a car wreck is a terrible event. It can be even more devastating when alcohol is involved. You need to make sure that your rights, medical bills, lost salary, physical discomfort, mental stress, physical damage and the property damage to your vehicle are paid for and covered by the responsible party. Your drunk driver settlement is imperative to re-establishing you and your families’ well being.
For personal injury protection, Call the Law Firm of Matthew Pillado. 1-800-672-3911