Drunk driving spikes from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, as revelers make the irresponsible decision to hit the road after having too much to drink. The National Safety Council estimates that, between all three holidays, about 1,200 Americans will be killed and another 145,000 will suffer injuries in traffic accidents this year. While about 30 percent of fatal traffic accidents in a given year involve an impaired driver, those numbers spike to 36 percent over Thanksgiving, 39 percent over Christmas, and an astonishing 49 percent over New Year’s.
Hopefully, you and your family will have a safe and happy holiday season free from incident. But in the unfortunate event that you have a run-in with a drunk driver, knowing what to do next can help you protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve from them.
As Riverside car accident injury attorneys who’ve been in practice for more than 40 years, the team at Wagner Zemming Christensen has seen the devastating injuries and other effects of drunk driving accidents firsthand. If a drunk driver hits you this holiday season, the following tips will set you up for success as you pursue a personal injury claim against them.
Follow All of Your Doctor’s Prescribed Treatments
Adhering to your prescribed treatments is a critical step toward a successful recovery. It demonstrates your commitment to your own well-being, which can be vital in legal proceedings. Failure to follow recommended treatments may be used against you by the opposing party, as it suggests that your injuries are not as severe as you claim or that you worsened your injuries after the fact.
Save All Your Medical Records and Receipts
It is critical for drivers injured in drunk driving crashes to save all their medical records and receipts. First and foremost, these documents serve as concrete evidence of the extent of your injuries and the associated medical expenses. Second, when pursuing a personal injury claim, these records demonstrate the direct link between the accident and your injuries, bolstering your case and increasing your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Stay Off Social Media
Insurance companies and opposing legal counsel often scour social media for any information they can use to undermine an injured party’s case. What might seem like innocent updates or comments could be misinterpreted, taken out of context, or used to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you say. Staying off social media or, at minimum, exercising extreme caution in posting about the crash is a prudent step to protect your legal interests.
Do Not Give Any Statements to Insurance Companies
Insurance companies want to minimize their payouts, and their representatives may use the information obtained from any statements you give them to downplay the severity of your injuries or shift blame onto you, potentially jeopardizing your rightful compensation. Consulting with an attorney first helps you understand your rights and prevents you from inadvertently making any statements that could put your recovery at risk.
Talk to a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Right Away
Speaking to an attorney as soon as possible after a drunk driving crash is paramount. An attorney can get to work gathering essential information, such as accident reports, witness statements, and medical records that could establish the other driver’s intoxication, all while they are still fresh and readily available. Moreover, an early consultation enables the attorney to guide you on crucial matters, such as dealing with insurance companies, preserving your legal rights, and taking the necessary steps toward a successful personal injury claim.
So if you’re hurt in an accident caused by a drunk driver this holiday season, you know where to turn. The Riverside drunk driving accident lawyers at Wagner Zemming Christensen stand ready to help you demand the money you need to rebuild your life. Call (951) 686-4800 or complete our contact form for a confidential consultation.