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What to Do After Being Hit By a Drunk Driver

May 13, 2024Articles

Drinking alcohol decreases reaction times, clouds judgment, and causes cognitive impairment and drowsiness. Getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol puts lives at risk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 40 lives are lost daily in drunk driving accidents—and over 40% of those lives belong to innocent victims sharing the roadway with a drunk driver.

If you’ve been in a car accident and the other driver appears intoxicated, there are important steps to take to protect yourself physically and financially and to help ensure the intoxicated driver suffers appropriate consequences for their actions.

What to Do After an Accident With a Drunk Driver

It’s difficult to keep a cool head and take purposeful action after any car accident, especially if you or a loved one suffered serious injuries; however, by staying calm and taking steps to protect yourself, you can ensure a better outcome, both physically and financially. A cell phone becomes a helpful tool after an accident, even if you’re unable to move from your position without causing further injury. You can also hand your phone to an uninjured person to document evidence for you. After an accident with a suspected drunk driver, do the following:


  • First, call 911 to report the accident and request police and an ambulance
  • Apply reasonable first aid to any injuries
  • Use your phone’s camera to take photographs of the damaged vehicles
  • Take videos of the suspected drunk driver’s behavior
  • Photograph or video the entire accident scene to capture the position of the vehicles before law enforcement moves them to restore traffic flow
  • When the police arrive, describe what happened so it becomes a part of the official record and report any obvious signs of intoxication by the other driver

Always ride to the hospital in an ambulance, or if your injuries appear minor, arrange transportation directly to an emergency room for a medical evaluation straight from the DUI accident scene.

What to Do in the Days and Weeks After a Collision With a Drunk Driver

You should always have a thorough medical evaluation after a car accident, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Some injuries—including whiplash and some traumatic brain injuries—have delayed symptom presentation. Document evidence of your injuries by asking the medical providers for a detailed medical report listing your injuries, their recommendations for treatment, and your prognosis for recovery. Then, be sure to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions and save all medical bills and receipts for related expenses.

Drinking and driving leaves the drunk driver liable for damages like medical expenses, lost income, and compensation for pain and suffering. It’s important to have documented evidence that your injuries occurred in the accident and caused financial impacts as well as pain and suffering.

Cooperate With the Prosecutors After an Accident Caused by a Drunk Driver

Driving under the influence of alcohol and other substances not only leaves the drunk driver liable for the victim’s economic and non-economic damages, but it’s also a crime. States like Connecticut and others have harsh penalties for drunk driving convictions, including fines, jail time, and the loss of a driver’s license. Unfortunately, some cases are dismissed due to lack of evidence. By documenting evidence at the scene and evidence of the impacts of the accident on your life after the accident, you can ensure the best possible chances of justice and compensation.