Every day, there are numerous incidents of a person losing their life to a drunk driving accident. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, on average, a death resulting from impaired driving occurs every 51 minutes in the United States, which equals 28 people per day. Unfortunately, fatalities like this can easily be avoided by having a responsible, sober person pick you up and drive you to your destination or by having a designated driver who is out with you and your friends. Even when a fatality is not involved, so many of these accidents result in property damage and severe personal injury that can be life altering. What if you are a victim of a drunk driving accident in Augusta, GA? What should your first steps be? Our car accident attorneys at Ted A. Greve and Associates in Augusta are on hand for a consultation to discuss the details of your accident and to help you get the proper justice and compensation that you deserve.
What should my first steps be if I’ve been in a drunk driving accident?
Seek the proper medical attention
First and foremost, if you’ve been a victim of a drunk driving accident, make sure that you and all other victims receive medical attention right away. Even if you do not think you are hurt, it is imperative to have a medical professional do a check to make sure there are no hidden or underlying complications. In this situation, taking precautions in every area is always best.
Call the authorities
This step should really be done simultaneously with the first step. Medical professionals and police authorities are the two most important assets at the scene of a drunk driving accident. Even if the accident you are involved in is a minor fender-bender, it is always good practice to call the police. An officer will be able to direct traffic that will surely happen in the wake of an accident. He or she can also ensure the safety of others around you and file a proper report. If the officer suspects that the driver who hit you is drunk or impaired, he or she can also note that in the report or even do a sobriety test. All of these things could help your case in the future. While the police officer is on the scene, find out his or her name and ask for a copy of the accident report to present to your lawyer.
Gather information, details, facts and witnesses
The best way to ensure fair compensation for your situation is to gather the proper information and details regarding your drunk driving accident. Our car accident attorneys in Augusta, GA can create a strong case in your favor with proper and thorough information. While you are at the scene, try to gather a list of witnesses who saw the accident happen. Jot down their names, phone numbers and any other pertinent information they would like to share with you. Try to collect a statement from these witnesses, whether they are other drivers or pedestrians who saw the accident occur. In the case of a drunk driving collision, some of these witnesses might have seen the other car swerve, cross the yellow line or drive recklessly, which could have resulted in your situation. Be sure to present this information to your attorney so that he or she can add this to the investigation of the incident.
Take photos of the accident and the surrounding scene
The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is so true in this scenario. Photos of the accident and the surrounding area are imperative when it comes to a drunk driving case (or any collision for that matter). Take detailed photos of both or all cars that were involved, paying special attention to points of impact. Additionally, look around the scene and take pictures of anything else that was damaged in the collision. Many times, street signs, traffic lights, business signs and other things that are nearby were hit, as well. Skid marks and where each car was at the time of the collision and where it ended up after the collision are also important. Many times, photos like these can be the deciding factor in a case regarding compensation for the victim of the accident. Additionally, these photos can help your attorney recreate the scene in a court atmosphere, which gives everyone involved a better and more accurate idea of what took place.
What if I don’t have evidence, witnesses, or photos related to my drunk driving accident?
We understand that sometimes an accident like this can shake you up so badly that you aren’t thinking clearly in the moments after the collision happened. Additionally, you might have gotten rushed to the hospital directly after the accident and could not be at the scene to collect any type of information. Rest assured, you are not the only person this has happened to. While witness statements, photos and other related evidence are always helpful, particularly to your car accident attorney, there are legal resources in Augusta, GA that we can use in order to fight for your deserved compensation. Keep in mind that a police report is also helpful and your lawyer will use that and any other supporting evidence he or she can find to ensure that your chances are as good as possible for compensation.
When should I contact an attorney regarding my drunk driving accident?
Recovery after an accident of this caliber is hard, whether it be physical, emotional, or both. Our attorneys at Ted A. Greve and Associates are on hand to ease the recovery process for you by standing by your side every step of the way through this process. Call us today to speak with an experienced representative about what your next steps should be. Let us seek compensation for medical bills, time lost at work, therapy, car repairs and more so you can begin to live your life as normal as possible again.