What Can I Do If a Drunk Driver Caused a Car Crash?

DUI Lawyer Salt Lake City, UT

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a risky thing to do, as a car crash can easily unfold due to not being in a sober state of mind. Drinking can impair our decision making process and motor functions, to where we are unable to operate a vehicle safely. It is fairly common for victims who were hit by a drunk driver, to consider their legal options to recover financially from the accident. In the aftermath of such a collision, the victim driver may have to deal with painful injuries, losing money from missing work, and a drained savings account to pay for a new car. 

It isn’t fair that an innocent driver who just happened to be on the road at the time suffered due to the carelessness of someone else. When meeting with a lawyer about filing a lawsuit against the drunk driver, the driver may ask questions such as: 

Q: How do I even get started filing a civil lawsuit?

A: Legal matters can be vastly complex and difficult to begin on one’s own. It may be best to get help from a lawyer from the very beginning. A lawyer is likely to suggest that you gather as much information about the accident as you can in preparation of the lawsuit. Documents that can be helpful for your lawsuit include:

  • The drunk driver’s details (name, address, phone number, insurance carrier, policy number, driver’s license number, vehicle make/model/year)
  • Copy of the police report the officer took at the scene (you can probably obtain a copy of this from your nearby law enforcement office)
  • Witness names and contact information 
  • Photographs of the scene, including visible injuries and vehicle damages
  • Copies of medical documents (doctor evaluation, treatment plan, prescription medication, hospital bills, diagnostics, ambulance ride)

Q: What evidence can be most influential to my case?

A: When it comes to your insurance company, evidence related to the accident can be helpful to show that it even happened. The police report, the drunk driver’s information, and photographs may be what your insurance company needs to process the claim. In regards to a civil lawsuit, documents that reflect the severity of your injuries along with the medical bill receipts can be helpful in getting the compensation you need to overcome the setback. 

Q: Should I be nervous to ask witnesses for their information?

A: In the moment of the car accident, it can feel odd to approach a witness for their contact information. A person who had come over to help and make sure everyone was okay from the collision, may be more than willing to provide a statement for you. But, you do not have to get a statement from them right away, as things may be too stressful to do so. If you are more comfortable, you can always ask your lawyer for help talking with witnesses. A DUI lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT from Rasmussen & Miner who is advocating for your behalf in the civil lawsuit knows what questions to ask the witness, to figure out if their perception of what happened can support your case.