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Four Tips for Dealing With a Drunk or Drugged Driver at the Accident Scene

Interaction With Drunk or Drugged Drivers

We’ve all been taught that after a two-car accident, the responsible thing to do at the scene is to make sure everyone is ok, call first responders, and exchange information with the other driver. But, what happens when the other driver is visibly drunk or on drugs? What should you do then?

In this post, we offer four tips for dealing with a driver who is under the influence at the accident scene, and for how to follow up afterward.

Tip #1: Your Health and Safety Come First after a DUI Car Accident

After an accident, the first priority is typically ensuring everyone’s health and safety. It’s important to summon first responders, including police and an ambulance, in nearly all cases. While waiting for them to arrive, standard practice for responsible citizens is to administer first aid if needed and possible and to take care to keep the scene safe, such as by moving damaged cars to the shoulder and setting out flares or cones to signal other traffic to slow down.

When it’s obvious one of the accident victims is a drunk or drugged driver, however, the task of ensuring everyone’s health and safety can be more complicated. The impaired driver’s need for first aid may be more difficult to assess. His actions may be unpredictable. It may be difficult to convince him to take safety measures. He may resist calling first responders. He could even get violent or try to flee.

Be Cautious Around Drunk or Drugged Drivers After an Accident

In such a situation, your own health and safety take priority. Administer first aid to the drunk or drugged driver if you can, but if he shows any signs of violence, back away. Don’t try to get him to agree to call first responders. Just do it. If he won’t cooperate or tries to flee, let him. Don’t try to be a hero and put yourself in further danger by giving chase or subduing him. If he gets aggressive, take whatever measures you can to keep the scene safe, and then lock yourself in your car or otherwise put distance between yourself and the other driver. If you’re afraid for your safety, keep first responders on the phone with you. This will help them dispatch appropriate help and ensure they do not mistakenly think you are fleeing the scene.

Tip #2: Collect Evidence of the Car Accident (If It’s Safe to Do So)

Keeping health and safety as your first priority in mind, if you can collect evidence at the accident scene, do so. We’ve all seen crime drama shows on TV where forensic teams reconstruct accidents. Think of yourself as one of those characters and document as much as you can… so long as you stay safe doing so.

Focus first on the drunk or drugged driver and his vehicle. If you have a smartphone with photo and/or video capabilities, use it to document observations leading you to think the other driver appears drunk or drugged (such as slurred or incoherent speech, acting strange, etc.). Get shots of the other driver’s license plate, the condition of his car, and the direction he came from and was going when the accident occurred.

Next, document your own injuries and the condition of your vehicle. If there are witnesses to the accident—other drivers who saw the accident happen, or pedestrians standing around—ask them to tell you basically what they saw and get their contact information for follow-up.

Tip #3: Inform First Responders and Avoid Admitting Fault for an Accident

As soon as first responders arrive (or while you have them on the phone, if possible), tell them first about what you’ve seen that lead you to believe the other driver is drunk or drugged. This serves two important goals. First, it keeps first responders safe. Second, it prepares them to take immediate steps to detain the drunk or drugged driver, perform any necessary field sobriety testing, and make decisions about whether an arrest is appropriate.

Next, give first responders other information about the accident, and tell them what evidence you’ve already gathered, if any. In speaking with first responders, try not to blame yourself for the accident. This can be difficult. It’s an emotional moment. You’re shaken up, possibly in shock. It’s understandable if you blurt out that you feel responsible or at fault. But try not to do that. Stick to telling first responders about facts and not interpretations of facts. The time for assigning blame will come later when everyone’s adrenaline is down and the other driver is sober.

Tip #4: Call an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney at Dolman Law Group

Once you’ve left the scene and dealt with your own medical needs, contact an attorney experienced in representing clients in car accident cases. An attorney can help you in a number of important ways after an accident with a drunk driver. First, an experienced attorney will know how and where to follow up with first responders to learn more about whether the other driver was, in fact, drunk or drugged, and can help you follow-up with witnesses and gather other important evidence. Second, the attorney can help you deal with your own no-fault insurer in filing a claim, and with any other insurer who may be responsible for paying your medical bills, vehicle repair, and other expenses resulting from the accident.

Third, the attorney can help you evaluate whether you have a legal claim against the other driver or a third-party who may be responsible for having allowed the driver on the road. A bar owner or host of a party who over-served the driver, or a medical provider who prescribed medication with dangerous side effects without warning the driver, could bear the legal responsibility to you for any injuries or property damage the driver caused.

At Dolman Law Group’s New Port Richey office, we represent Floridians who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents involving drunk and drugged drivers. Our team commits its time and resources to recover compensation our clients deserve when someone else is at fault for serious injuries not covered by no-fault insurance.

If you suffered severe injury or property damage in a collision with a drunk or drugged driver, or if you have a loved one who has been killed or permanently incapacitated by a drunk or drugged driver, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Call Dolman Law Group’s New Port Richey Office today at (727) 853-6275 or contact us online, to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.

Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652
727-853-6275

New Port Richey Auto Accident Attorney

Interaction With Drunk or Drugged Drivers

We’ve all been taught that after a two-car accident, the responsible thing to do at the scene is to make sure everyone is ok, call first responders, and exchange information with the other driver. But, what happens when the other driver is visibly drunk or on drugs? What should you do then?

In this post, we offer four tips for dealing with a driver who is under the influence at the accident scene, and for how to follow up afterward.

Tip #1: Your Health and Safety Come First after a DUI Car Accident

After an accident, the first priority is typically ensuring everyone’s health and safety. It’s important to summon first responders, including police and an ambulance, in nearly all cases. While waiting for them to arrive, standard practice for responsible citizens is to administer first aid if needed and possible and to take care to keep the scene safe, such as by moving damaged cars to the shoulder and setting out flares or cones to signal other traffic to slow down.

When it’s obvious one of the accident victims is a drunk or drugged driver, however, the task of ensuring everyone’s health and safety can be more complicated. The impaired driver’s need for first aid may be more difficult to assess. His actions may be unpredictable. It may be difficult to convince him to take safety measures. He may resist calling first responders. He could even get violent or try to flee.

Be Cautious Around Drunk or Drugged Drivers After an Accident

In such a situation, your own health and safety take priority. Administer first aid to the drunk or drugged driver if you can, but if he shows any signs of violence, back away. Don’t try to get him to agree to call first responders. Just do it. If he won’t cooperate or tries to flee, let him. Don’t try to be a hero and put yourself in further danger by giving chase or subduing him. If he gets aggressive, take whatever measures you can to keep the scene safe, and then lock yourself in your car or otherwise put distance between yourself and the other driver. If you’re afraid for your safety, keep first responders on the phone with you. This will help them dispatch appropriate help and ensure they do not mistakenly think you are fleeing the scene.

Tip #2: Collect Evidence of the Car Accident (If It’s Safe to Do So)

Keeping health and safety as your first priority in mind, if you can collect evidence at the accident scene, do so. We’ve all seen crime drama shows on TV where forensic teams reconstruct accidents. Think of yourself as one of those characters and document as much as you can… so long as you stay safe doing so.

Focus first on the drunk or drugged driver and his vehicle. If you have a smartphone with photo and/or video capabilities, use it to document observations leading you to think the other driver appears drunk or drugged (such as slurred or incoherent speech, acting strange, etc.). Get shots of the other driver’s license plate, the condition of his car, and the direction he came from and was going when the accident occurred.

Next, document your own injuries and the condition of your vehicle. If there are witnesses to the accident—other drivers who saw the accident happen, or pedestrians standing around—ask them to tell you basically what they saw and get their contact information for follow-up.

Tip #3: Inform First Responders and Avoid Admitting Fault for an Accident

As soon as first responders arrive (or while you have them on the phone, if possible), tell them first about what you’ve seen that lead you to believe the other driver is drunk or drugged. This serves two important goals. First, it keeps first responders safe. Second, it prepares them to take immediate steps to detain the drunk or drugged driver, perform any necessary field sobriety testing, and make decisions about whether an arrest is appropriate.

Next, give first responders other information about the accident, and tell them what evidence you’ve already gathered, if any. In speaking with first responders, try not to blame yourself for the accident. This can be difficult. It’s an emotional moment. You’re shaken up, possibly in shock. It’s understandable if you blurt out that you feel responsible or at fault. But try not to do that. Stick to telling first responders about facts and not interpretations of facts. The time for assigning blame will come later when everyone’s adrenaline is down and the other driver is sober.

Tip #4: Call an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney at Dolman Law Group

Once you’ve left the scene and dealt with your own medical needs, contact an attorney experienced in representing clients in car accident cases. An attorney can help you in a number of important ways after an accident with a drunk driver. First, an experienced attorney will know how and where to follow up with first responders to learn more about whether the other driver was, in fact, drunk or drugged, and can help you follow-up with witnesses and gather other important evidence. Second, the attorney can help you deal with your own no-fault insurer in filing a claim, and with any other insurer who may be responsible for paying your medical bills, vehicle repair, and other expenses resulting from the accident.

Third, the attorney can help you evaluate whether you have a legal claim against the other driver or a third-party who may be responsible for having allowed the driver on the road. A bar owner or host of a party who over-served the driver, or a medical provider who prescribed medication with dangerous side effects without warning the driver, could bear the legal responsibility to you for any injuries or property damage the driver caused.

At Dolman Law Group’s New Port Richey office, we represent Floridians who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents involving drunk and drugged drivers. Our team commits its time and resources to recover compensation our clients deserve when someone else is at fault for serious injuries not covered by no-fault insurance.

If you suffered severe injury or property damage in a collision with a drunk or drugged driver, or if you have a loved one who has been killed or permanently incapacitated by a drunk or drugged driver, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Call Dolman Law Group’s New Port Richey Office today at (727) 853-6275 or contact us online, to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.

Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652
727-853-6275

New Port Richey Auto Accident Attorney