The holiday season in Fairfax is a time of celebration and joy. Unfortunately, increased traffic and having so many festive occasions packed into a few months leads to a surge in drunk driving accidents during the holidays. While we don’t wish anyone to sustain injuries in a collision, the Fairfax drunk driving accident lawyers at Whitestone Young, PC, want to help you prepare for the worst this season.
If a drunk driver hits you, taking the following steps can help protect your rights and set you up for success in a future personal injury claim.
Step 1: Report the Accident to the Police
After ensuring everyone’s safety, the first step after a drunk driving crash is to report the accident to the police. Aside from your legal obligation to report any crash with injuries, calling the police means they will investigate the collision and file an accident report. This report contains detailed information about the crash, including the involved parties, witness statements, and, in many cases, the officer’s observations about the driver’s impairment. This document can be pivotal in establishing the drunk driver’s fault and helping you secure just compensation for your injuries.
Step 2: Follow Your Doctor’s Orders Precisely
After seeing a doctor, it’s essential to follow their orders to the letter. Not only does this prioritize your health and recovery, but it also solidifies the legitimacy of your personal injury claim. If you deviate from your doctor’s instructions, the opposing party might argue your injuries are not as severe as you claim or that you’re not taking your recovery seriously.
Step 3: Preserve Any Evidence from the Crash Scene
In a court of law, or even during an insurance claim, having tangible, concrete evidence is often the difference between a successful and unsuccessful outcome for your lawsuit or claim. Accordingly, you should save any evidence from the crash scene. This includes any photos you took, damaged personal property, etc.
Step 4: Stay Off Social Media
In today’s digital age, it’s second nature for many of us to share our lives on social media. However, if you’ve been involved in a drunk driving collision, hitting the pause button on your social media activity is vital.
Here’s why. Anything you post, even something as innocent as saying you’re “feeling okay,” can be used against you. Insurance companies and defense attorneys can comb through social media profiles looking for inconsistencies or anything that might suggest you’re not as injured as you claim to be. A simple picture of you smiling at a family gathering can be misconstrued as evidence that you’re not injured.
Step 5: Don’t Give Any Statements to Insurance Adjusters
An insurance adjuster will likely contact you soon after you were injured in a collision involving a drunk driver. While they may seem understanding and sympathetic, it’s vital to remember their primary goal: to minimize the amount their company has to pay. They’re trained to ask questions in ways that might lead you to provide answers that could hurt you later. For instance, they might try to get you to admit partial fault or downplay the extent of your injuries. That’s why you should let a lawyer talk to the insurance companies on your behalf.
Step 6: Consult a Fairfax Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Drunk driving crashes frequently cause severe injuries and significant financial losses. The best thing you can do to recover the money you need is speak to an attorney immediately after the crash. While you heal, a lawyer can gather evidence to support your case, deal with the insurance companies, and prepare your case for court if necessary.
Do you need legal representation after a drunk driving crash in Fairfax? Call Whitestone Young, PC, today at 703-591-0200 or complete our contact form for a free consultation.