Even with drunk driving awareness programs and stiff penalties for driving under the influence, drivers in New Jersey and across the country continue to get behind the wheel when they are intoxicated. These poor decisions sometimes result in serious accidents that permanently change the lives of those involved. While this information doesn't constitute legal advice, hopefully it will provide a better idea of what steps to take after being struck by a drunk driver.
If you are hit by a drunk driver and fortunate enough to avoid death or serious injury, one of the first things you should do after contacting the authorities and seeking medical treatment for anyone hurt is try to gather as much information as possible right away. On top of asking for the driver's name, phone number and insurance details, you should try to capture photographic evidence of the scene and the vehicles involved.
Next, you should try to talk to any witnesses and get their contact information, since their testimony could help you in court. Also, it is important to ask the police department for a copy of the accident report and make sure that the details in it are correct. Finally, you may want to consult an attorney if you decide to take legal action to receive compensation for vehicle damage, medical expenses, lost wages and other problems caused by the crash.
On their website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides alarming facts about operating a vehicle while intoxicated and drunk driving accidents. For example, accidents involving alcohol claim nearly 30 lives in the U.S. on a daily basis. Furthermore, the cost of these accidents exceeds $51 billion per year. Clearly, more needs to be done to save lives and address this problem and anyone who has been hit by an intoxicated driver needs to take the best course of action afterward.