Picking up the car keys after having an alcoholic beverage or two can change so many lives, and in only a matter of minutes. If you've been the victim of a drunk driving accident, there are a few things you should know and do to ensure you're able to file a successful claim. We'll help you sort through the basics.
Understanding the legal limits of alcohol
In addition to knowing your own personal limits—you need to also understand what the legal limits are for alcohol consumption. If a driver registers a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08% or more in a breathalyzer test, urine, or blood test, they are considered over the legal limit and subject to criminal prosecution.
What happens if you think you’ve been hit by a drunk driver?
Even though drunk driving is a criminal offense, you can’t try a driver who has a BAC above the legal limit.
But, you’re not totally without recourse. You can instead file a claim for civil damages. With this type of lawsuit, you may be able to win back funds that may have been lost due to your accident (such as damage to property and medical costs).
To successfully win a civil claim, there are some important guidelines to consider and follow:
- Don’t try to apprehend or confront the driver who hit you. If an accident has occurred and you’re able to safely call 911--that should be your first course of action. If the driver tries to leave the scene—try to collect and commit to memory as much information as you can. Record photos, write down the license plate number, make note of the car’s make and model, and the direction it drives off in.
- Cooperate with law enforcement. You may be asked to fill out a statement and/or to cooperate with the collection of evidence and pertinent information. Your participation in this request can help ensure your case gets the attention it deserves. It can also help prove fault and convict the drunk driver.
How a lawyer can help
In trying to prove that a drunk driver may have been at fault for an accident. A lawyer will need to quickly track down evidence. Because the perpetrator will sober up, as time goes by, you and your council will need to fight the clock to collect and catalog:
- BAC test results and additional evidence (sometimes part of police reports)
- CSTV footage, dashcam video, or officer body cam footage
- Statements from witnesses that were preset or saw the crash occur
- Your statement and statement from any additional drivers or passengers
We can help, if you’ve been the victim of a drunk driving accident. Give us a call at (888) 253-4071 to learn more about how we can work with you to build—and win—a claim. As a possible victim, you may be entitled to compensation.
Note: This blog is intended to be informational only and shall not be construed as legal advice.