Drunk driving can have dangerous consequences. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that at least one person died every 45 minutes in a drunk driving accident in 2020.
If you were hurt in an accident with a drunk driver, you may be able to recover damages from the other driver. Learn the steps you should take if you’re injured in a crash with a drunk driver and how an attorney from Great West Injury Law can help you receive fair compensation.
You should always contact the police after a car crash to document the incident. In this situation, calling 911 also means you can quickly get medical care. Tell the 911 operator that you were injured in the accident and believe the other driver might be drunk.
If possible, you may want to record proof of your injuries, like taking pictures of cuts, bruises, or swelling while waiting. Also, consider documenting the accident scene or evidence of the other driver being drunk, such as video of them exiting their car and stumbling.
Talk to Witnesses
If your condition allows, talk to nearby witnesses. Idaho drunk driving injury lawyers will have an easier time building your case with witness testimony, so gathering their information and statements can help you recover compensation.
Talk to anyone who saw the crash, like nearby drivers or pedestrians, and ask them if they would be willing to provide a witness statement. If they say yes, exchange contact information with them so that you or your lawyer can contact them at a later date.
When talking to witnesses about the accident, try to keep your questions neutral, like, “What did you see?” If other witnesses also believe the driver might have been drunk, you can encourage them to mention this to the police. However, avoid asking leading questions, like, “Do you think they were drunk?”
Tell Police on the Scene Your Suspicions
Even if you told 911 that you think the driver is drunk, you should also inform police who arrive at the scene. They can’t force the driver to undergo a breathalyzer or drug test; Idaho law allows drivers to refuse these tests (albeit with consequences). However, they can document this in the police report and watch the other driver’s behavior for signs of intoxication. If you file a claim for damages, your lawyer can use this report to prove the other driver was under the influence at the time of the accident.
Get Medical Treatment
Once medical assistance arrives, focus on receiving treatment for your injuries. Allow medical professionals to assess your injuries thoroughly and seek follow-up care if necessary. Some injuries, such as spinal cord injuries (SCIs) or internal bleeding, may not be externally visible. Others, like Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs), can take hours or days to show up.
Talk to a Lawyer
After an accident, reach out to a skilled lawyer to help with your case. The team of Idaho car crash lawyers with Great West Injury Law may be able to access records and evidence that prove the other driver was under the influence. Your lawyer may also be able to request a breathalyzer or drug test results from the police.
In some situations, your lawyer may be unable to get proof of alcohol or drug testing. However, they may be able to request alternative evidence. For instance, they can request credit card records to see if the other driver spent money at a bar or liquor store before the accident.
Do I Have to Prove the Driver Was Drunk?
In some cases, there might not be enough evidence to prove the other driver was drunk. However, you may still be able to hold the driver liable for your injuries.
Idaho is an at-fault state, which means that the person who caused the crash is responsible for reimbursing the monetary costs of the car accident, like car repairs and medical bills, through their liability insurance. In Idaho, drivers must carry at least $25,000 in bodily injury coverages per person ($50,000 per accident) and $15,000 for property damage.
If you can prove that the other driver’s actions led to the accident, you may be able to earn compensation, even if you can’t prove the other driver was drunk.
For example, a driver kept weaving between lanes, and they hit you. You may not be able to prove they were weaving because they were drunk, but you may be able to prove they caused the crash due to reckless driving.
Consult an Attorney at Great West Injury Law
Far too many sober drivers pay the price for another person’s decision to drive under the influence. If a drunk driver has injured you in Idaho, the attorneys at Great West Injury Law will seek to hold the other driver responsible and win you maximum compensation for your injuries.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We can review your case and help you get on the path toward restitution.