April is Alcohol Awareness Month and with Las Vegas DUI arrests increasing over 11% in 2019 and into 2020, it’s more important than ever to stay vigilant when driving and when you’re out on the town. Driving drunk is one of the most irresponsible and selfish acts a person can commit. Even with the known risks of drunk driving, both to drivers and passengers as well as other motorists, up to 29 people die each day due to drunk driving accidents, according to the CDC.
If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, you are probably wondering if there is anything else you can do after the initial accident, insurance filing, and police reports. Luckily, ER Injury Attorneys can help! Our skilled team of attorneys can help you pursue the right legal options if you’ve been hit by a drunk driver.
What to Do In a Drunk Driving Accident
It’s likely you’ve been in a car accident before and know the necessary steps to take. However, if you suspect you were hit by a drunk driver, there are a few more actions to take at the scene of the accident. Besides calling the police, here’s what else you should do if you are the victim in a drunk driving accident.
Make sure you tell the police the other driver is possibly intoxicated
If the police approach you first, or you get to them before the other party in the accident does, let them know you suspect the other driver is intoxicated. This way, everyone on scene can be prepared.
Stay calm and don’t provoke drunk driver
When intoxicated, people become unpredictable. There’s no way to know if the other driver will become anxious, angry, or even violent at the scene. Make a note of any pertinent information about the vehicle, like license plate number and make and model, especially if the accident is a hit and run. Knowing this information will be helpful for insurance purposes and during legal proceedings.
Photos are vital evidence in car accidents. Along with photos of your wrecked vehicle, take note of any visible liquor bottles, odor of alcohol, or any other substances at the scene. Take photos of any sustained injuries and damaged property—this will only do more to help your case. If there are any witnesses, speak to them as well and get their names and contact information.
Seek medical attention ASAP
There will be an ambulance at the accident scene and can take you to hospital for treatment if you are injured. If there is not an ambulance, get medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. Medical records will be used to prove any injuries were a result of the accident.
Be prepared for a criminal case
Most likely, the drunk driver will be arrested for DUI and possibly other charges, depending on the circumstances of the accident and the behavior of the driver. It’s possible that the other driver will have to go on trial and you will have to appear in court, especially if the driver is convicted of a felony DUI in Nevada.
Filing a Claim When You Are Hit By a Drunk Driver
When you are hit by a drunk driver in Las Vegas, the first thing you will want to do is to file a claim with the driver’s insurance. As Nevada is a fault state, the other driver’s insurance is responsible financially for the accident. Nevada state law requires drivers to carry mandatory liability insurance coverage to pay for medical costs, lost income, and the cost of repairing or replacing your automobile or other damaged property.
Nevada requires a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury insurance per person (up to $50,000 per accident) and $20,000 in property damage insurance per accident. This minimum might not cover the entire cost of the damage, depending on severity. If you have additional coverage as a part of your auto insurance, like medical payment or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, your own policy can help pay. However, there are limits on those coverages; it’s possible to have to pay for some of these costs out of pocket.
Lawsuits and Damages
Along with insurance claims, ER Injury Attorneys can help further by filing a lawsuit against the drunk driver or another responsible party. You might be able to file a personal injury claim and obtain damages. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it’s possible you can file a suit and obtain damages.
Lawsuit Against the Drunk Driver
You might be able to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver or their estate—if they died as a result of the accident. Lawsuits against drunk drivers or their estates are not always lucrative. One of our drunk driving accident lawyers can help you determine if pursuing this option is feasible.
Lawsuit Against Another Responsible Party
Sometimes, the drunk driver isn’t the only cause of the accident and others can be held liable. One example is if the accident is a result of a faulty vehicle part. Then, the manufacturer could be held liable along with the driver. If a drunk driver was driving a borrowed vehicle, the owner of the vehicle could be held liable. The vehicle owner can also be held liable if they knowingly let someone drive their vehicle while intoxicated.
Damages You May Be Entitled To
If you were involved in a drunk driving accident, the driver’s insurance is accountable for expenses or damages. When filing an insurance claim or suing the drunk driver in court, victims may be entitled to a variety of compensatory damages, such as:
- Payments for medical bills, damaged/lost property, and funeral expenses in cases of wrongful death
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
Call ER Injury Attorneys if you or a loved one has been hit by a drunk driver. Our team of Las Vegas car accident attorneys can help you get you the compensation you deserve. We provide free, no-obligation consultations for every case.
If you hire ER Injury Attorneys, you won’t owe a dime unless we reach a settlement. For more information and to schedule your free case review, call us 24/7 at 702-878-7878. You can also chat LiveChat with us right now or fill out this form form.
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The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.