When you get into your car, no matter the time of day, you expect to arrive to your destination safe and accident free. You most likely take all the necessary precautions before you start to drive: you fasten your seatbelt, ensure your car is in good shape, and of course, abstain from any alcohol or drugs. But even though you keep safe on the roads, it doesn’t mean that everyone around you is following the same protocol. So what happens if you get into an accident with an intoxicated driver?
As soon as an accident occurs, the first thing you must do is make sure you, and all involved in the accident, are okay. If there are any serious injuries, make sure to go straight to an emergency room to care for your injuries. Once a police officer arrives at the scene, they will be able to access the situation and determine who is at fault. And while it may seem like a drunk driver should always take the blame, this is not always the case.
While that driver will face legal consequences as driving while under the influence is against the law, they may not be deemed at fault when it comes to the accident. To prove that the drunk driver was at fault, you still need to prove it, and a simple failed Breathalyzer is, unfortunately, not enough. You, or your insurance company, must prove all three facets of fault: duty of care, breach, and causation. The first two are easy to prove as duty of care refers to the fact that one party owed the other the duty of care to be responsible while driving on public roads, and a breach is the moment they failed to do so. A drunk driver is clearly breaching their duty of care. But the third element, causation, is where it gets a bit trickier. This is where you will have to prove that the breach of care was the exact reason for the crash.
Fortunately, most victims of a drunk driving accident are proven to be guilty of a crash, especially if the other accident victim was driving with caution and care.
To help avoid drunk drivers on the road, always stay alert and pay attention to the other cars on the road. Some tell-tale signs of drunk driving include:
- A car that is weaving in and out of lanes
- Sudden or unnecessary braking
- Speeding or driving too slowly
- Avoiding traffic laws, such as passing through stop lights or stop signs
- Driving in the center of two lanes, or off on the median
- Turns are wider than needed
If you have been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, you will need an experienced attorney on your side. Stewart & Stewart has helped many accident victims get the compensation they need to pay for damages and injuries and are here to help you, too. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.