The holidays bring families and friends together, making Atlanta’s roads busier than ever. But, amidst the merrymaking, there lies a lurking danger: a spike in drunk driving accidents. If the unforeseen has happened and a drunk driver hit you, remember that you have rights.
Here are the essential steps you should take after a drunk driving accident to protect your rights and increase your chances of recovering fair compensation.
Step 1: Follow All Your Prescribed Medical Treatments
Following your doctor’s prescribed treatments is imperative after a drunk driving crash. Not only does this help ensure your body heals correctly and quickly, but this step also solidifies the link between the accident and your injuries. Skipping appointments or neglecting medical advice can allow insurance companies or opposing legal teams to question the severity of your injuries or suggest they were not directly caused by the accident.
Step 2: Preserve Any Evidence from the Crash Scene
Clear, compelling evidence is the foundation of a car accident claim, so save everything you can from the crash scene. Key pieces of evidence include photographs of vehicle damage, skid marks, road conditions, and any visible injuries you sustained. Additionally, gather and store contact information for eyewitnesses. Find out if nearby establishments have surveillance cameras so your lawyer can request footage. Finally, make sure to notify the police about the crash so they can file an accident report, which you can use to support your claim.
Step 3: Report the Accident to Your Insurer, but Watch What You Say
Promptly reporting a drunk driving crash to your insurance company is a necessary step in the claims process. However, it’s critical to watch what you say to an insurance adjuster. Insurance companies always want to minimize how much they pay for a claim, and they can use any statements you make to devalue your claim or shift the blame. Avoid speculating about the accident, giving lengthy narratives, or admitting fault – even if you feel pressured. Tell the insurance company they should talk to your lawyer. If your lawyer advises you to talk with the insurance adjuster, stick to the facts, provide only the necessary details, and steer clear of offering personal opinions.
Step 4: Save Your Medical Records and Receipts
Your medical records and receipts are indispensable in a car accident claim. These documents are concrete evidence of the accident’s physical and financial toll. By meticulously collecting and preserving them, you’re creating a comprehensive archive that speaks to the severity of your injuries and the financial burden you’ve shouldered as a result.
Step 5: Stay Off Social Media
In today’s digital age, sharing life events on social media is habitual for most people. However, such transparency can be detrimental after a drunk driving accident. Insurance adjusters and opposing legal teams frequently scrutinize social media profiles, searching for anything that might contradict your claims or paint a picture that minimizes your injuries. They can use any posts, photos, or even offhand comments about the incident against you. For example, a simple photo of you smiling at a gathering, even when taken out of context, could suggest your injuries are less severe than you say.
Step 6: Consult an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit is complicated, but hiring an experienced attorney can simplify things for you. By engaging a lawyer promptly after a crash, you benefit from their immediate counsel. They can meticulously review every detail of your case, determine the best course of action, and tackle negotiations with insurance companies, allowing you to focus on healing and recovery.
If a drunk driver injured you in a crash this holiday season, the W. Winston Briggs Law Firm stands ready to protect your rights and be your champion. Call (404) 522-1500 or complete our contact form for a free consultation.