Drunk drivers frequently cause accidents all across the United States. The victims of these accidents are offered a certain amount of legal recourse, however, there is no guarantee that they will be granted compensation for damages. Instead, individuals often have to take it upon themselves, acquire a lawyer, and act quickly in order to secure their rights.
Consider safety and call law enforcement
The first step that an individual should take after being hit by a drunk driver is to ensure their own safety. They should certainly call for an ambulance if there is a severely injured individual. Sometimes, an accident will leave a car immobile and in the middle of a road. The car is a sitting death trap in that situation. Individuals should safely move themselves and/or their car out of the roadway. They should then call law enforcement. A police officer can give a detailed report at the scene of an accident. They can write down the events that took place and the evidence that they found. An officer may also administer a breathalyzer test to the individual who is suspected of being drunk. This test can create a definitive record of whether or not an individual was driving illegally. If their drunken state can be definitively proven, the chances of a successful settlement for potential injuries or damage increase immensely.
Contact a lawyer
Once a person is safe and has contacted law enforcement, he or she should seek the advice of a lawyer. A lawyer will help an individual take the steps that he or she needs in order to follow the law and eventually receive possible compensation. Lawyers can help dictate what information an individual needs to save and how to contact witnesses. A lawyer can also help an individual negotiate with another individual or their insurance company about potential compensation for an accident. Lawyers can be helpful at every stage of the settlement process. In some rare instances, he or she may also be helpful when settlement negotiations stall and a case goes to trial. A lawyer will be an individual’s advocate and will often appear in court on their behalf.
The pain and costs from these accidents may be compounded by the knowledge of the perpetrator’s reckless action in stepping behind the wheel after drinking. A victim cannot dwell on their injury for too long without taking action. Pennsylvania has a strict statutes of limitations which impose a deadline on when an individual can file a lawsuit for personal injuries or property damage. It is up to an individual harmed in one of these accidents to contact a lawyer as soon as it is safe and prudent to do so.