The holiday season is a great time to celebrate with family and friends. Due to the increased alcohol consumption during this time of year, there is also an elevated risk of being involved in a car accident with a drunk driver. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, roughly 300 people die each year in drunk driving accidents during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, and many others suffer serious injuries.
If you’re injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver over the holidays, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your damages. It’s important to take the proper steps to document the accident and protect your right to compensation in a future lawsuit.
Steps to Take at the Accident Scene
Before leaving the scene of the car accident, make sure you take the following steps:
- Request emergency medical assistance if necessary – The first thing to do is to see if someone is seriously injured. If so, call 911 and request emergency medical assistance.
- Exchange contact information with other drivers – This includes the other driver’s name, address and phone number. In addition, make sure you record the driver’s license number, license plate number, vehicle registration information and insurance information for the other driver.
- Take photos – Make sure you get pictures of the damage to both vehicles. If you’ve suffered any visible injuries, get photo documentation of this as well.
- Call the police – You should always call the police and request that an officer come to the scene to fill out a report. This is especially true if you think the other driver might be intoxicated. The police report often contains information about who was at fault. If the other driver receives a traffic citation or a DUI, it can significantly bolster your case. Always answer all questions honestly, but don’t admit fault to the police officer.
Steps to Take after Leaving the Scene
There are also important actions to take in the days following your accident. Taking care of the following items will help protect your rights:
- See a doctor – You should always get examined by your doctor after a car accident, even if you don’t think you’ve been injured. Often, it can take days or weeks for injury symptoms to develop after a car accident. We recommend that you go to the doctor within three days of the crash. This will ensure all injuries are detected and treated in a timely manner. In addition, it can help document that your injuries were caused by the accident.
- Call your insurance company – You’re legally required to report all car accidents to your insurance company in a timely manner. Failure to do so may jeopardize your ability to recover the insurance benefits to which you’re entitled.
- Speak with our attorneys – Car accident cases are highly complex, and your chances of maximizing your compensation are significantly higher when you work with an experienced attorney. At the Jensen Phelan Law Firm, our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience, and we’ll fight aggressively for your rights every step of the way. In the event that a settlement isn’t in your best interests, our lawyers have the experience necessary to pursue your compensation in court.
Schedule a Complimentary Consultation
Please contact the Jensen Phelan Law Firm using the form on this page or call 928-778-2660 today to schedule a complimentary car accident consultation. We serve clients in Prescott, Cottonwood and throughout Northern Arizona.