Being injured in a drunk driving accident is a traumatic experience. In addition to the physical pain that often accompanies an injury, you may feel fearful, anxious, and filled with uncertainty about what you should do next. While there is no official instruction manual for people injured by drunk drivers, a skilled personal injury lawyer in Miami can provide the legal guidance you need as you recover from your injuries. Most important, they can help you secure compensation for your medical bills, suffering, and any wages lost due to your injury.
What are the most common drunk driving accident injuries?
Miami is one of the world’s top-ranked cities for tourism, recreation, and entertainment. But like every other large city in America, it is not immune to drunk driving. Being involved in a drunk driving accident can cause a variety of different physical and mental injuries, including the following:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Back injuries, such as strains and herniated discs
- Cuts and lacerations
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety
Remember that not all injuries are readily apparent immediately after an accident. Some may not surface until days or weeks after a drunk driving accident. The best course of action is to receive a thorough medical evaluation after the accident and maintain regular physician visits moving forward. Finally, you should seek medical attention immediately if you notice any changes in your physical or mental health in the months following the accident.
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Who is responsible for my drunk driving accident injuries?
The drunk driver bears primary responsibility for your injuries. However, depending on the circumstances of your accident, there might be other parties who are also to blame for your injuries. For example, according to Florida Statutes 768.125, a person who “knowingly serves a person habitually addicted to the use of any or all alcoholic beverages may become liable for injury or damage caused by or resulting from the intoxication…“.
This means that restaurant owners, bartenders, nightclub owners, security staff, or bar employees might be held responsible for your injuries because they served alcoholic beverages to a person with alcohol addiction issues, knowing that individual would operate a motor vehicle.
What are the next steps after getting injured in a drunk driving accident?
Making good decisions following your injury is vital to your physical and mental health. While it is natural to feel anxious, it is important to do your best to avoid hasty decisions and stay focused on your well-being. Following these steps can be helpful as you wait for the police to arrive:
1) Remove yourself from harm’s way – if you can do so safely
If you are in danger of being hit by oncoming vehicles, remove yourself from harm’s way. For example, move your car to the shoulder or out of the path of oncoming traffic. If your injuries are life-threatening, or if your mobility is severely compromised, then do not try to move. Turn on your hazard lights and wait for help to arrive.
2) Call 911
Call 911 right away. Tell the operator you have been injured. Let them know you urgently need the police and medical treatment. If you don’t have access to a cell phone, try to flag down a bystander or another driver to call for help on your behalf.
3) Gather information while you wait for the police
If you are able to use the camera on your phone, take some photos of your injuries and the scene of the accident. You can also take a photo of the drunk driver’s car and license plate. If you are able to get the driver’s name, make a note of it on your phone or do your best to remember it. If you are unable to gather this information yourself, ask another person (such as a witness) to get the information for you.
4) Avoid confrontation
While it is natural to feel frightened, hurt, and angry at the driver who caused your injury, it is best to avoid confronting them. Drunk drivers can exhibit unpredictable behavior, and it is best to avoid any arguments or accusations.
How can a lawyer help me after I am injured in a drunk driving accident?
Reaching out to a personal injury lawyer in Miami is the single best step you can take if you have been injured in a drunk driving accident. A lawyer can help you maximize your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Here are some of the specific ways a lawyer can help you during this difficult time:
- Conduct a thorough investigation into the details of your accident
- Gather and organize evidence to support your case
- Secure any eyewitness testimonies that could be helpful to your case
- Negotiate a settlement with the drunk driver or the drunk driver’s insurance company
- Take your case to trial if you are unable to reach a favorable settlement
In addition to these measures, a lawyer will provide unconditional support from the moment you hire them until your case concludes
Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your injuries sustained in a drunk driving accident.