Drunk driving accidents are terrible. They’re a perfect example of how you can do everything right and still be incredibly hurt by another’s careless actions. Not only does a drunk driving accident take a toll on your mental health, but in most cases, you’ll also have to deal with some physical injuries and property loss.
In a perfect world, as soon as they heard you were involved in a drunk driving accident, the insurance companies would leap into action and make sure all of your financial needs were covered. The problem is that we don’t live in a perfect world.
Insurance companies make a habit out of taking a long time to process claims checks and getting them to individuals who were injured in a drunk driving accident, in some cases, they will investigate the case, specifically looking for loopholes that the company uses as an excuse to deny the claim.
The Most Common Type of Drunk Driving Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reported that in 2020, 11,654 people died as a result of injuries sustained in a drunk driving accident. This was a 14% increase from the year before. The same organization reports that in a single day, 32 people will die in a drunk driving accident in the United States.
Drivers who have been drinking behave erratically. Each drunk driver behaves differently when they get behind the wheel. Because of the erratic nature of drunk driving, there are a variety of different types of serious drunk driving accidents. This is a small sample of common drunk driving accidents:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Car vs. Pedestrian accidents
- Wrong way collisions
The most common injuries sustained during a drunk driving accident are:
- Head injuries
- Chest injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Leg/arm injuries
Who is the Most Likely to Be Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident
While most drunk driving accidents are the fault of the impaired driver, first responders have noticed that the driver is also the least likely person to be injured in the accident. Medical experts who are routinely called to drunk driving incidents have noticed that the people who sustain the worst injuries are the ones who aren’t driving impaired. In other words, victims are the most likely people to be injured or even killed, during a drunk driving accident.
The main reason that victims are more likely to be hurt in a drunk driving accident is simply that they’re more aware of what is happening. While they don’t have time to get out of the drunk driver’s way when they realize they’re about to be involved in a collision, they do have time to brace their body. In most cases, the sheer amount of tension in their body during the moment of impact results in more significant injuries than if the victim had been relaxed at the moment of impact.
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident
The two most important thing to do after you’ve been in a drunk driving accident is to call the police and seek immediate medical attention.
Contacting the police not only allows them to handle the drunk driver who struck you, but also means there will be a detailed police report that you will need when you file an insurance claim.
Seeking immediate medical attention, which the police will help you with, not only decreases the likelihood of you developing ongoing health issues that are a direct result of the accident, but also creates additional documentation that you’ll need when you file your claim.
The biggest mistake some people make following a drunk driving accident is thinking that since they feel okay, they weren’t hurt. The problem with being in an accident is that it triggers a surge of adrenaline that allows you to continue to function after the accident. That same adrenaline surge can also trick you into thinking that you feel good and aren’t hurt when you have actually sustained extremely serious, even life-threatening, injuries. You should always seek medical attention when you are involved in a drunk driving accident, no matter how good you feel at the time.
Once you’ve dealt with the issue of your safety, it’s time to connect with an experienced car and truck accident lawyer. Drunk driving cases can often become surprisingly complicated. Rather than trying to conduct an investigation, collect witness statements, and argue with the insurance companies on your own, it’s best to have an experienced drunk driving attorney on your side.
Your drunk driving accident lawyer will:
- Advise you of your rights
- Launch a private accident investigation
- Speak to the insurance companies
The opposing party may also have a DUI attorney on their side… Fighting to clear the drivers name and shift the blame elsewhere. If you find yourself in a position where you need to make a civil claim just so your rights are honored, your drunk driving accident lawyer will make sure all the proper paperwork is filed.