How to Deal with a Drunk Driver at the Scene of a Car Accident
Drunk drivers are dangerous behind the wheel, we all know that. In fact, in 2016, MDOT reported that 18 percent of all traffic deaths were caused by impaired drivers. But what you might not know is that drunk drivers can also be dangerous after the collision when they get out of the car. If a drunk driver gets angry, they can become unpredictable and blame you for the accident even though they’re the one at fault.
Your first step after any car accident should always be to call 911 if you are able to access a phone. The sooner police and medical personnel get there, the better your situation will be. After a crash with a drunk driver, it’s important that the drunk driver is also seen by medical professionals because they’ll need to test their blood alcohol content (BAC) so that their level of intoxication is on record.
After calling for first responders, though, what do you do next? How do you handle a drunk driver after they collided with you? Keep reading to learn how to effectively deal with a drunk driver while you’re still at the scene of a car accident.
Be Wary of the Drunk Driver
Drunk people are unpredictable, so after you call the authorities, try to limit your interactions with the impaired driver. You can tell that a driver is drunk if they have slurred speech, are stumbling, have glassy or bloodshot eyes, are confused, or smell like alcohol.
Even if you can clearly tell that they are intoxicated, don’t openly accuse them of being drunk or being at fault for the accident because it could lead to the driver becoming angry and confrontational.
You don’t want them getting confrontational, so remain polite to keep their potential anger from escalating. If they get angry, they could be a further threat to your health and safety, even after the collision. If you feel unsafe, stay in your car and try to ignore them as best as you can.
Tell First Responders What Happened
Before the first responders arrive and when they are there taking your statement, don’t apologize for the accident. Even if your natural reaction is to say you’re sorry after something happens, don’t apologize after an accident that wasn’t your fault. If you do, it could be taken as admitting guilt, which can be used against you in your case, and since Mississippi is a pure comparative fault state, apologizing could lead to you receiving less compensation for your injuries and damages.
The best thing you can do when talking to the police about the accident is to be honest. Tell detectives if you suspected the driver was drunk, if you saw them on their phone, and how they were driving before the collision because it was most likely erratic. The more detailed you can be, the better, because it helps the police get a clear picture of what happened and determine who was responsible for the wreck.
When medical professionals arrive, you’ll also want to tell them what happened so they can properly assess your potential injuries from the crash. Make sure that you tell them everything that hurts and how it might be associated with the accident so that your injuries are on record and go to a hospital if any of your pain gets worse.
Take Pictures of the Scene
On top of your testimony to the police and other first responders, you’ll want as much proof of the accident as possible, so take pictures of the scene, your car, the drunk driver’s car, and even your injuries. Including a timestamp on the pictures can help you later in a claim because they provide further proof from the wreck.
Reach Out to Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law
Once you’ve talked to the police and gotten medical attention, you’ll most likely want to file a claim against the reckless driver who decided to drive under the influence. They should be held responsible for their actions and filing a claim could prevent them from driving drunk again and injuring somebody else, or worse.
Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law, in Biloxi, will fight to get you justice and compensation for your injuries so that you can focus on healing physically and emotionally. Contact us today so that we can discuss your potential case and start to help in your recovery.