September 7, 2022
What Should I Do if I Was Hit by a Drunk Driver?
The Wisconsin drunk driving accident lawyers at Studinski Law, LLC have seen the catastrophic impact a crash can have on the lives of victims and their families. We also know that these tragic wrecks are completely preventable, and the negligent drivers who harm others while drunk behind the wheel should be held accountable for their wrongdoing.
We’ve helped clients in Plover, Marshfield, and all of Wisconsin pursue the justice and compensation they deserve after a drunk driving collision. We have the knowledge, skill, and resources to handle even the most complex cases.
Each year, there are thousands of drunk driving accidents in Wisconsin. If you are unfortunate enough to have been a victim of one of these accidents, it is extremely important that you take legal action to protect yourself and hold the drunk driver accountable. Here is what you should do (and what you should avoid doing) if you are a victim of an alcohol-involved collision:
What To Do After Being Hit By a Drunk Driver
To protect your legal rights and maximize your chances of a full recovery, there are some steps you should try to take promptly after being hit by a drunk driver. These steps include:
- Report the Drunk Driving Accident to the Police – If you have not done so already, you should report the drunk driving accident to the police. If you have already reported the accident and you have a copy of the police report, be sure to keep this to share with your lawyer.
- Contact Your Insurance Company – Even if the drunk driver was clearly at fault, you will still need to contact your insurance company. When you file your claim, stick to the basic facts (who, where, and when), and do not make any assumptions about what may or may not have happened.
- See a Doctor – You should see a doctor for treatment as soon as possible. During your doctor’s appointment, carefully describe all of your symptoms, and be sure to tell your doctor that you suffered your injuries in a collision.
- Talk to a Lawyer – In addition to seeing a doctor, you should also talk to a Wisconsin drunk driving accident lawyer promptly. Your attorney will need to gather any available evidence before it disappears, and you will need to rely on your lawyer’s advice as you move forward.
- Document Your Costs and Other Losses – As you move forward, you will also need to document your costs and other losses. You should get in the habit of keeping all records you receive (i.e., medical bills, insurance papers, and employment records), and you should keep a log of how your injuries impact your daily life.
What NOT To Do After Being Hit By a Drunk Driver
In addition to taking these steps, there are also some mistakes you should be careful to avoid. Some examples of these mistakes include:
- Do Not Post About the Accident on Social Media – While it may be tempting, you should not post about the accident on social media. At this point, you should keep the details of your accident between you and your lawyer.
- Do Not Give a Recorded Statement to Your Insurance Company – Although you need to file an insurance claim, you need to be careful not to give a recorded statement to your insurance company. Once you confirm that you have provided the necessary information to open a claim, you should leave all additional communications to your lawyer.
- Do Not Wait to Seek Help – Many people wait to seek help after being injured in a drunk driving accident. While it can take time to collect your thoughts and take stock of your situation, it is important that you not wait any longer than necessary to seek medical treatment or legal advice.
- Do Not Ignore Your Doctor’s Advice – Once you see your doctor, you need to follow your doctor’s advice (or seek a second opinion, if necessary). Ignoring your doctor’s advice is a mistake that can not only jeopardize your physical recovery, but potentially your financial recovery as well.
- Do Not Assume an OWI Conviction Will Mean Justice – Finally, it is important to understand that an operating while intoxicated (OWI) conviction will not provide justice for you and your family. While a criminal conviction might result in fines and jail time, it will not result in payment for your losses. To recover your losses, you must deal with the insurance companies, and you will need to file a lawsuit in civil court if the insurance companies refuse to offer a fair settlement.
What if you haven’t taken these steps (or what if you have made mistakes you should have avoided)? This should not deter you from speaking with an attorney. While it is helpful to follow this guidance if you can, these are ultimately just some tips for making sure your claim progresses as smoothly as possible.
If your life was turned upside down because of a drunk driver, the drunk driving accident attorneys at Studinski Law, LLC want to hear your story.
See our results.
Contact our office today online or at (715) 343-2850 for a free initial consultation. We serve clients in Marshfield, Plover, and all areas of Wisconsin.