What Is A DUI?
DUI is an abbreviation for driving under the influence. It occurs when a person operates a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Driving while under the influence of drugs (DUID) is likewise prohibited in most states, including California.
Drunk driving (DUI) is a criminal violation in California that can result in prison time, fines, and license suspension. It’s also a major traffic offense resulting in points on your license. Drivers who amass an excessive number of points may have their licenses suspended or revoked by the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles).
Suppose a drunk driver in Sacramento has injured you. In that case, it’s essential to know your rights before filing a suit against them for damages.
While there may be nothing you can do to avoid an accident or a DUI, there are things you may do to improve your legal case. Depending on the circumstances of the event, recovery action may differ. However, we will tell you what to do if you are hurt in Sacramento by a probable DUI driver who is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Do Not Admit Fault Or Blame Yourself For The Accident
One of the most important things not to do if a drunk driver injured you is to admit fault. Make no apologies or accept responsibility for what occurred. Blaming the other motorist for the accident, or stating anything that may be seen as an admission of blame, can be detrimental to your claim. Also, don’t say anything that might be used against you later in court.
Seek Medical Treatment
If you are involved in an accident, you should always seek medical attention immediately. Even if you do not believe you were wounded, it is vital to have a doctor examine you. Not all injuries are visible right away. Some may not appear for several weeks or months after the accident. For example, a person may initially feel good only to later have pain due to internal bleeding or a head injury. Others may appear to be in worse condition due to shock or adrenaline.
If you do not get medical treatment following an auto accident, it can hurt your case because it will be harder for your attorney to prove that the other driver’s actions caused your injuries.
Call The Police
This is where the police report comes in. As well as providing a record of what happened, the signed report will ensure that your version of events is legally documented. This means that you have evidence to support your claim that the other driver was at fault and prove your injuries’ severity. It also allows law enforcement to investigate any criminal charges that might be applicable, such as DUI.
You should also call 911 if you suspect that anyone involved in the accident is injured or if there has been severe property damage or a fatality.
Gather Evidence And Documentation
You must collect as much evidence as possible, including photographs of the accident site and any injuries you sustained. You should also gather contact information from any witnesses and a copy of the police report. If your accident was caused by a hit-and-run, you must obtain the license plate number so that police can find the driver.
Each of these pieces of evidence might be critical in establishing your case in court. Suppose you are wounded and unable to gather information at the accident site. In that case, it is strongly advised that you obtain legal assistance from an experienced automobile accident attorney.
Take Notes About What Happened During the Crash.
Taking notes immediately after the accident can capture details that you may forget later. That information could be important to your injury claim.
Some of the critical information that you can record includes:
- The date and time of the accident
- The weather conditions at the time of the collision
- The names and contact information of other drivers involved in the crash
- The names and contact information of witnesses
Find Witnesses and Get Contact Information.
Suppose a drunk driver in Sacramento has injured you. In that case, you will want to gather as much information as possible from witnesses on the scene. You can ask for the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of any witnesses at the accident scene or anyone who saw it happen. Witnesses are essential for your personal injury case. You should also get the contact information of any police officers that arrive on the scene to investigate the accident and make sure they document their statements well so that you may retrieve them later on when needed. If there are no police officers available, take notes after getting witness contact information.
Call An Attorney
You should contact an attorney as soon as possible after the accident. An experienced lawyer will be able to help you with your accident investigation and gather evidence. Your lawyer will also file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company and negotiate a settlement or take your case to court.
Call Your Insurance Company as Soon as Possible.
You should call your insurance company and report the crash immediately after speaking with law enforcement. The sooner you can get in touch with your insurance company, the sooner you can start receiving payments for lost wages and medical bills.
However, don’t make a recorded statement until you speak with an attorney about your rights and options. Suppose you sign a release to settle your claim without talking to an attorney first. In that case, you may be surrendering your right to seek additional compensation from the drunk driver’s insurance carrier or personal assets.
On December 26th, 2020, I was in a car accident in Sacramento when a drunk driver hit my car at an intersection. When I get a call from someone who has been in this scenario, I know they are dealing with unpleasant feelings they never expected to have to deal with. Dealing with the aftermath of a drunk driving accident may be highly stressful, so our team at Ashley Injury Lawyers is here to help you every step of the way! If you’re reading this, it indicates that something similar occurred to you, and we’ll help you figure out what to do next.
Talk to a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer.
If you or a loved one is involved in a DUI accident, an experienced Sacramento personal injury lawyer can help. Here are some of the ways they can be of assistance:
- Help you evaluate your case and determine if you have a claim for damages. A personal injury attorney will conduct an evaluation to determine whether or not you or your loved ones have legal grounds for seeking compensation from the negligent driver.
- Explain what type of compensation may be available. Depending on the circumstances, there will likely be compensatory damages (damages designed to compensate for your losses) and punitive damages (damages intended to punish the at-fault driver for his reckless behavior). A qualified personal injury attorney will help explain what type of compensation may be available in your case and how to calculate those damages.
- Determine who is responsible for paying damages in your case. In addition to liability insurance, there may also be other avenues of recovery depending on the circumstances surrounding the crash. Any aggravating factors, such as alcohol intoxication, drug consumption, and the ownership of the vehicle can also determine who is to bear the damages.
- Collect evidence needed to support your claim and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. This includes obtaining police reports, hiring investigators and experts in related fields, collecting photos and video footage taken at the scene, interviewing witnesses, reviewing medical records and bills, etc. An experienced Sacramento DUI accident attorney will know how to handle these steps so that you can focus on getting better rather than worrying about fighting with insurance companies for fair payment of your losses.
Getting In Touch With An Experienced Attorney Is Important.
When you are hurt in Sacramento by a drunk driver, it is not just the law that you must be compensated for your injuries. Understanding how to best proceed with a claim can assure a reasonable settlement. An expert personal injury lawyer will be able to assess the strength of your claim and gather evidence to back it up. Your lawyer will also walk you through the claims procedure and represent you before the insurance company to ensure that you receive the money you deserve.
Recent DUI Accidents Reported in California
- March 26th, 2022 – 6 hurt in DUI crash involving four cars in Fair Oaks, California.
- March 5th, 2022 – 1 injured in DUI crash on Hwy 160
We hope that this will be a helpful resource for people in need of legal counsel, particularly those who have been wounded due to the use of alcohol or drugs. Suppose you have doubts regarding the appropriate course of action. In that case, whether filing a civil suit to collect damages or pursuing reimbursement from insurance companies, our experienced Sacramento DUI attorneys can assist you with your claim. We can also answer any questions you have concerning the type and degree of your injuries, which can help you decide on the best course of action.
If you’ve been hurt by a drunk driver in Sacramento, California, contact the experts at the Ashley Injury Lawyers at 916-419-1111 today.