If another driver was impaired at the time of an accident and you wish to hold that driver responsible, you’ll have to establish that the driver was drunk and caused your accident.
To do so, you may present various types of evidence, which you may start collecting right after the accident occurred. Below are some guidelines to follow if you are involved in an accident with an impaired driver.
What to Do at the Scene of a Drunk Driving Accident
Follow these general steps to take after a car accident. But if you suspect the other driver is impaired, take these additional steps as well.
If you smell alcohol on the other motorist’s breath, or notice signs of intoxication report these signs to the officers who respond to the accident.
- Bloodshot eyes
- Slurred speech
- Swaying gait
If you inform officers at the scene of what you have seen and observed, they may administer a field sobriety test to check for alcohol intoxication. Also be aware of who was driving at the time of the accident. Some impaired drivers may attempt to switch seats with a passenger after the wreck occurred in an effort to avoid drunk driving charges.
Some impaired drivers may also try to dispose of open containers like beer bottles or liquor bottles in nearby garbage cans or may simply throw them away from the scene. Inform the police officers of any such behavior.
A witness at the scene may also notice the occupants switch seats or dispose of bottles and can also inform the officers at the scene. Get these witnesses’ contact information, because they can testify to who was driving as well as other factors that might suggest impairment or general negligence and liability for the wreck.
Continue Collecting Evidence after Leaving the Scene
The police may administer a field sobriety test or a breath test at the scene of the accident. They might later collect blood or urine samples to test for alcohol concentration. If a drunk driver harmed you, secure legal help and discuss how you can obtain copies of the test results. As noted, contact witnesses who can testify about signs of impairment as well as what caused the accident.
Note that the results of a criminal DUI case against the drunk driver do not dictate the results of your civil liability claim or lawsuit. Even if the drunk driver avoids conviction, you may still hold that driver liable for your injuries. The standard to establish liability for damages is lower than that to establish guilt in a criminal case.
If you can provide evidence to a court or insurer that the driver was impaired and caused your accident, you may collect damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Call Bressman Law at 877-538-1116 to schedule a consultation with an attorney so you can discuss your claim. You can also contact us online.