Drunk Driving Accidents in Georgia
Unfortunately, about one-third of accidents in the United States happen because of drunken driving. While the average driver has heard of the importance of operating a vehicle while sober, some motorists are willing to take the enormous risk and drive while under the influence. According to the CDC, there is one death every 53 minutes in the United States due to a drunk driver. If you are involved in an accident with a motorist who is clearly over the legal limit, you may feel a multitude of emotions. After all, DUI accidents are 100 percent preventable.
What is important, however, is to know what to do immediately after that accident. Taking the proper steps as soon as possible could ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries – and that the drunk driver is held accountable for his or her reckless behavior.
Contact the Police Immediately
The first and most important step is to contact the police. If there are serious injuries, call 911. You need to get the guilty driver’s offense on the record; Because he or she is likely to be charged with a crime, that criminal charge could help strengthen your civil claim. If the drunk driver fled the scene, you still must contact the police. Provide them with as much information as you can – such as the make, model, and color of the vehicle, or even a license plate number, if available. Any additional information provided to police can greatly assist you when filing a claim or suit in the future.
Get Medical Help
Even if you do not have injuries that require emergency medical care, you still need to seek a full medical evaluation. Many drivers are unable to detect injury at the scene due to fear, endorphins or shock. Medical attention can help establish your injuries, but also save your life. Often, there are serious injuries that can be unseen to the naked eye, but identified through advanced medical imaging.
Gather as Much Evidence as You Can
Depending on your injuries, you may or may not be able to gather all of the following evidence. (Do not hesitate to ask a loved one to assist you with gathering the following if you are unable):
- Photographs of the accident scene – including damage to your vehicle and the other vehicle;
- Copies of the police report;
- Information about the DUI or blood alcohol content, which should be documented in the report;
- Copies of medical records and any medical payments that you have paid for out of your own pocket;
- Photographs of your injuries;
- Names and phone numbers of any witnesses at the scene;
- Copies or insurance information of all parties; and
- Criminal citations issued to any party involved.
Lastly, contact an expert personal injury attorney. An accident attorney can help you in gathering the necessary evidence to prove that the other driver was under the influence. Because drunk driving is a form of negligence, that driver could be civilly liable for your damages – including lost wages, medical costs (past, current, and future) associated with the accident, as well as your pain and suffering. Additionally, punitive damages (money awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter others) may be available in your case that only an experienced personal injury attorney can assist you obtain.
Contact a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with a drunk driver, contact T. Madden & Associates, P.C. We will aggressively fight for your right to compensation under the law. Schedule your no-obligation consultation today by calling us at 770-978-6711 in Atlanta and 706-524-7784 in Augusta. You can also fill out our online contact form to get answers to your legal questions.