Involved with a Drunk or Drugged Driver? Follow These Important Tips
Unfortunately, auto accidents are a frequent occurrence and they are often traumatic and difficult to deal with under normal circumstances. It can be made all the more complicated if the opposing driver is drunk or impaired due to drug use.
In these scenarios, the opposing driver can be injured, unresponsive or incoherent due to their impairment. They can be difficult to deal with and even violent. It’s important to consider the following when in this situation.
The typical course of action after an accident is to check on all parties to see if everyone is safe, to contact emergency services, administer first aid to yourself or others if possible/necessary and to preserve the scene of the accident.
If the opposing driver is under the influence, this may be hard to do. They may try to flee, exit the vehicle and act erratically, exhibit violent behavior or try to convince you not to contact emergency services.
Your own safety is a top priority. If any of these situations arise, keep a safe distance or remain in your vehicle (if it’s safe to do so,) lock the doors, and call 911. If the driver flees, let him. There is no point in chasing after them, putting yourself in more danger or trying to be a hero.
If possible, record video or take pictures of both the accident scene and the opposing driver if you suspect them drunk or impaired by drugs. Try to capture slurred speech, acts of aggression or conversation that would suggest impairment/aggression. Collect pictures of car damage, license plates and obvious signs of alcohol or drug use, such as bottles/cans and/or drug paraphernalia. Document injuries and try and collect any witnesses to the crime or any erratic behavior.
Once first responders are on the scene, explain the circumstances of the accident, the injuries you feel/observe and also that you suspect that the opposing driver is impaired. Police and EMS can then assess that person and get them the care that they need. They can also perform field sobriety/breathalyzer tests and further document and confirm alcohol or drug impairment.
Keep a Cool Head
It might be easy to let emotions take hold. Whether it be fear or anger, an accident can cause emotions to swell. It’s crucially important to keep a cool head, follow the above steps and make sure that you are thinking and acting responsibly and for your own benefit and protection. Again, ensure your own safety, don’t be a hero and document all you can. Avoid lashing out against or accusing the opposing driver. It may only incite further bad behavior and make a bad situation worse.
Call Murray L. Greenfield & Associates
No one wishes to be involved in an accident, and dealing with an individual who is impaired also adds to the potential complexity and danger of the situation. Yet, it’s important to document such impairments to help establish fault.
Murray L. Greenfield & Associates has decades of experience working on behalf of clients who have been involved in motor vehicle accidents, many of which involve an impaired driver. If you’ve been involved in an accident, give our experienced attorneys a call. They can review the circumstances of your case at no cost to you. If it’s determined that you are entitled to compensation, our attorneys will work tirelessly on your behalf for a positive outcome.
Have you been involved in an accident? Call our office today for a free consultation.