If you’re in a car crash, it’s often quite traumatic. Perhaps you know it was the other driver’s fault. Maybe you were innocently driving to work or the grocery store, and the next thing you know, somebody T-bones your vehicle.
The driver might have made a mistake. Maybe a Bluetooth call distracted them at that moment, or they were trying to catch a yellow light. However, if they ingested alcohol before they drove, they never should have been on the road.
In this article, we’ll go over how the law helps DUI car accident victims. If you ever find that you’re in this situation, you can expect the following aid.
A Police Officer Can Give the Other Driver a Breathalyzer
Before you reach out to California DUI victim attorneys, or whatever other state you’re in, you need to determine the other driver’s intoxication level. You can’t do that yourself, but a police officer can. A police officer:
- Should get to the scene shortly
- Can give the other driver a breathalyzer
When a crash occurs, cops need to write up a report. Before they do that, though, they’ll question both drivers.
If they see that the other driver is slurring their words or the officer smells alcohol, they will administer a breathalyzer, and that should prove the driver’s intoxication. If they’re over the legal limit, the officer will probably arrest them on the spot. That failed breathalyzer will come into play later if you end up pursuing a civil lawsuit.
The Police Can Locate the Other Driver
What sometimes happens in drunk driving crashes is that the other driver will speed off after hitting you. They do that because:
- This might not be their first DUI
- They know they could go to jail and lose their license
Unfortunately, people who drive drunk seldom do it just one time. It’s often a behavior pattern.
Someone who’s willing to drink and drive might be okay with hitting your car and then speeding away if they can manage it. If you got their license plate number, or you can at least describe the vehicle, you can tell the police when they arrive.
It’s possible the other driver might get away, but it’s not likely. The police can catch them, and then you’ll have a much stronger case if you bring a lawsuit against that other driver.
The Cops Will Fill Out an Accident Report
The cops must also fill out an accident report before they allow you and the other driver to go home, or possibly to jail if they can establish the other driver’s intoxication. You will probably need this accident report later if you pursue a lawsuit.
Maybe the other driver’s insurance will pay for some of your medical bills, physical therapy bills, lost wages, rent, utilities, etc. However, you must still consider your pain and suffering. If the other driver injured you, you could certainly bring a civil lawsuit against them.
With the police report, you can win that lawsuit. It should mention the other driver’s intoxication if their lawyer tries to dispute what happened or attempts to blame you instead.
The Police Can Testify
If you bring a civil lawsuit later, you might also ask the responding police officer or officers to testify. Again, the other driver’s lawyer will often try to blame you, either fully or partially. They want to get the case thrown out, or at least knock the settlement amount down.
Much like the police report, the opposing lawyer will find it hard to argue if you have a police officer backing your story up. If they say that things happened exactly as you say they did, it’s not likely these tactics will fool the jury.
The Law Can Take the Other Driver’s License
One more way the law can help is to take away the other driver’s license if the police can prove intoxication. This might not help your civil lawsuit, but it keeps everyone else safe.
You don’t want this reckless driver back on the road. They could very easily drink and drive again. They’re a public menace, and you’ll probably feel better knowing the police suspended their license.
If you encounter a drunk driver, it can change your life, and never for the better. If you need to take them to court, don’t hesitate to do that. Make sure you get a competent lawyer who has handled similar cases before and get the financial compensation you deserve.