Drunk Driving Car Accidents
Drunk driving is a longstanding problem in the United States and the target of many public service campaigns. Nevertheless, thousands of people continue to be injured or killed each year in these types of tragic accidents.
If you’ve been injured by a driver who was impaired by alcohol or other drugs, you are not alone — and you shouldn’t have to suffer financially for someone else’s terrible mistake. The NYC drunk driving accident attorneys at Zlotolow & Associates, P.C., have more than 20 years of experience successfully recovering full and fair compensation for DUI crash victims.
Schedule a free consultation now to learn how we can help you and your family during this difficult time.
What Should I Do If I’m Injured by a Drunk Driver?
If you’re involved in an accident with a drunk or impaired driver, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself and your legal right to compensation:
The first thing to do at the scene of any accident is to make sure everyone is safe and that medical help is on the way if needed. Then, if possible, gather information:
- Take photos of the scene or draw a diagram to help you remember what happened.
- Write down the date, time, and place.
- Make notes about the weather conditions: Was it light or dark? Clear or rainy?
- Note the condition of the roadway.
- Also, try to gather contact information from the other driver as well as from any witnesses or police officers.
- Finally, remember to take notes about the other driver’s behavior. Was he or she stumbling? Slurring speech? Did the driver seem “out of it”?
If you were unable to gather this information at the scene of the accident, it’s not too late to start keeping a record. Write down what you remember from the accident, with diagrams as needed. Photographs of your injuries and any damage to your vehicle can also help you and others reconstruct the crash and its impact.
Keep Track of Your Injuries
An “injury journal” can provide a great deal of assistance. The journal helps your doctor see how you’re doing, which may help identify potentially overlooked problems or suggest better treatment options. The journal also helps your lawyer establish the full extent of your injuries and the compensation you need to address them.
- Start by writing down how you felt after the crash.
- Make notes about any medical treatment you’ve received to date: the date and time, who you talked to, and what they told you to do.
- Photographs of your injuries can also be added.
- Make notes every day of how you are feeling and how your symptoms have changed.
- When you go to doctor’s appointments, bring this journal. Make notes at each appointment of the date and time, who you talked to, and what “next steps” they recommended you should take.
Even if you have lost a loved one in a crash, keeping a journal can help you process your grief. Your journal can also help establish just how significant the impact has been on you and your family, which may be instrumental to settling your claim for compensation.
If your injuries make it difficult for you to write or to remember things, experiment with audio recordings, typing, or having a trusted family member help you keep your journal. In the long run, this journal can help you maintain a sense of control and perspective by demonstrating that your healing is a work in progress and by helping you pinpoint what helps and what does not.
Work with an Experienced Lawyer
A car accident lawyer with experience helping drunk driving accident victims and their families can help you:
- Gather important evidence and information
- Build a strong case for maximum compensation
- Protect your legal rights
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- Navigate the complexities of the legal system
After a serious injury or the devastating loss of a loved one, your focus should be on healing for yourself and your family — not on fighting insurance companies. Your attorney can take these tasks off your hands, so you can rest and recover.
What You Might Not Know About Drunk Driving Accidents
Alcohol reduces the brain’s ability to process information, make reasoned judgments about information, and control the muscles necessary to respond in a timely manner to that information — all of which are necessary abilities for anyone attempting to operate a car safely. Although 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) is the point at which most states’ criminal laws about drunk driving kick in, victims of DUI accidents should know:
- Certain drivers, such as those who are operating a commercial vehicle with a commercial driver’s license (CDL), are subject to lower limits.
- Young drivers and people with a low tolerance for alcohol are especially vulnerable to the effects of a lower BAC.
- Many other prescription, over-the-counter, and illegal drugs have similar effects to alcohol. The effects of other types of drugs are not typically measured in terms of blood concentration or hard and fast percentages. However, behavior that indicates an inability to stay alert, reason, or control muscle movements fully can all demonstrate that a person impaired by one or more of these substances is unable to drive safely.
Talk to an Experienced Drunk Driving Accident Injury Lawyer
Seeking compensation after a drunk driving accident can pose unusual complications, especially if the at-fault driver is also facing criminal charges. The help of an experienced DUI injury lawyer is essential. Our attorneys have decades of experience successfully representing drunk driving crash victims. We can help you navigate the legal complexities of your case and manage communications with insurance companies in pursuit of maximum compensation for you.
Contact our office today. During your free consultation, you’ll learn more about the ways in which our team can help you demand the justice you deserve.