Have you ever been hurt by someone else’s carelessness or negligence? According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), a person is hurt by a person driving under the influence every two minutes. There are 660,000 people driving while working an electronic device, texting or talking on the phone at any given moment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 44 people are injured each by these distracted drivers. If you have been in an accident caused by someone else such as a drunk or distracted driver, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. If you were in such an accident and suffered something like a traumatic brain injury, you should definitely seek out the advice of a personal injury lawyer.
Steps You Should Take If Injured by a Drunk or Distracted Driver:
- Get medical help as soon as possible. This is not just good for you, it is good for your case. In the first place, the law frowns on people who do not get help or who try to make their injuries worse for the purpose of getting more money in their settlement. In the second place, you will be able to use the documentation from your medical treatment to prosecute your case. And if you have a serious injury, like a traumatic brain injury like a concussion, time is of the essence. You may also have other injuries such as internal bleeding that you cannot see. Go to the hospital.
- Call your insurance carrier. If you are out on the road driving, you have car insurance. You will want to call them about the damage to your car but they also it is the law that they help you file any lawsuit. They should also be able to help you get a personal injury lawyer. Remember, it is their best interests to have you file a lawsuit and win so they do not have to pay for the damages to your car.
- Get photos of your injuries. You will have your medical records and any notes you have taken about them but few things are as persuasive as images. As they say, “A picture is worth a thousands words.” If you have injuries that are not visible, such as a traumatic brain injury, you can still file a suit but if they are, document them. Take these images and put them on a flash or external hard drive. Keep that in a safe place. Do this with any images and video that you capture.
- Document everything at the scene of the motor vehicle crash. If you were with someone and you are taken to the hospital in an ambulance, have them stay behind and take pictures and video of everything. The video camera on a smartphone will work great. This is not an Oscar winning movie you are making. If you do not go to the hospital in an ambulance, you can do all of that. Were the police called to the scene of the crash? Get copies of any police reports.
- Take notes of your injuries. You may think that the pain you are in is something you cannot possibly ever forget but you will. If you suffered from a traumatic brain injury, you really need to write everything down. People do not always realize how damaging concussions can be but remember a traumatic brain injury involves your brain so you may not remember everything as well later.
- Find a personal injury attorney. In order to determine if you can file a lawsuit. You should get on this right away because you will need to start the process as soon as you can. All personal injury law firms offer a free first consultation so they can evaluate you and your case and you can get to know them. This is a normal part of the way law firms do business. Make sure the lawyer you hire is someone you can confide in. Your personal injury case will not stand a chance if you cannot share everything you are going through with your legal representation.