Getting into an auto accident is a harrowing experience that can become even more complicated if you suspect the other driver is intoxicated. What do you do if you think alcohol is involved? If you are in a car accident and you think that the other driver may have been intoxicated, you need to take steps right away to protect your legal rights.
If you can prove the other driver had been drinking, it will help you prove negligence was a factor in your accident if future legal action is necessary. You may even be able to collect punitive damages, which are not typically available in car accidents.
If you find yourself in an accident with a driver you suspect is drunk, the following steps are recommended:
- Tell the responding officer you believe the other driver was drinking as soon as possible so that this important evidence is not lost, hidden, or disposed of.
- Keep track of who actually was driving the vehicle and make sure the officer knows who was driving. Drunk drivers will often switch with a passenger or tell police that a passenger was driving to avoid a drunk driving charge.
- Keep an eye on the other driver and passengers to see if they are disposing of evidence such as beer cans or bottles. If you see this, point it out to the police officer.
- Watch for other behaviors used to mask the smell or other signs of intoxication. This could be persistent use of breath spray or chewing gum.
- Do not under any circumstances confront the other driver. A drunk driver can quickly become violent especially if they believe that you are threatening to expose them and they might go to jail.
- After the accident, obtain a copy of the police report and continue to follow up on any criminal case involving the other driver.
- Call any attorney as soon as possible so that your attorney can take over collecting evidence and investigating sources you may not have access to.
If you believe that you were in a motor vehicle accident with an intoxicated driver, then it may be time to start exploring your legal options. At Jividen Law Offices, PLLC, our West Virginia personal injury attorneys have time and time again recovered compensation and damages for those who have been victim to other people's negligence. We can ensure that the gravity of your injury and burdens are emphatically put forth both in and outside the courtroom.
Contact us today to get a proven advocate by your side.