Getting into an accident after driving under the influence can put a lot of things into perspective. Whether or not the accident involved solely you, other passengers, or other vehicles, a DUI is a serious offense.
However, most who get behind the wheel after a couple of drinks do not have any intentions of hurting anyone else. While you might be in a panic about the accident and feeling extremely emotional about the situation, as accidents tend to heighten emotions and adrenaline, there are a few things you should do immediately in order to ensure you and all other parties involved are all right.
Call a Lawyer
Whenever alcohol is involved in an accident, it is important to find a DUI lawyer in San Diego, or a lawyer local to your area, in order to seek legal counsel about what to do next. In some cases, even though you may be over the legal alcohol limit, you may not be at fault for the accident. Another driver may have run a red light, missed a stop sign, or been distracted while driving, all causing the accident.
In this event, while you might still be charged with a DUI, you are not at fault for the accident. However, to ensure that the other drivers do not try to blame you, it is key you hire a good lawyer to offer you the best counsel you can get for this situation.
Do Not Leave the Scene
If you know you have had too much to drink, it can be tempting to flee the scene in order to avoid being charged with a DUI. However, being involved in a hit-and-run is a serious offense. If there were any cameras or witnesses in the area that can describe your vehicle or provide a license plate number, you could be found and not only penalized for drunk driving, but also for a hit-and-run. Even if the accident was minor, like a fender bender, stay at the scene and follow typical procedure, otherwise you may be charged with a felony.
If someone is seriously injured, or if you are feeling injured, call 911. The impact of a car crash can wreak havoc on your body, even if you do not realize it immediately. From internal injuries to deep bruising to long-term physical trauma, there are a myriad of accident injuries you or the other driver may have sustained. Getting checked out by a physician can ensure that your body is healthy and free of injury.
If everyone is all right and the accident was minor, exchange the appropriate information with the other drivers involved. Make sure to get their name, phone number, car make and model, and the name and number of their insurance company. Additionally, take photos of the damage, especially if the accident was not your fault and you need proof of the damage.
Write Down All Details
After the accident, write down all details of the accident. Waiting even a couple of hours to recall the events can lead to you not remembering the events properly, which can lead to inconsistencies in your story.
Call Your Insurance
Even if you were under the influence, it is still important you call your insurance company so you can report the incident and file a claim. Your insurance company needs to know about the accident and needs to hear your side of the story so they can work it out with the other insurance company or companies involved.
In the event the accident was not your fault, while you may still need a personal lawyer for your DUI, your insurance company will still try to get you a settlement for the damages your car sustained and any injuries you sustained.
If the accident is serious enough and involves police officials, they may have you do a sobriety test. It is best to comply with the test, as you may be ticketed or charged with a penalty for refusing to cooperate.
Making the right moves after getting into an accident after being under the influence can keep you from making the situation worse.
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