Regardless of the circumstances, a car accident can cause irreparable harm to your life, or even result in fatalities. When the accident was the result of a DWI/DUI, your range of emotions could include anything from confusion to rage. It is important to keep a level head during the aftermath of a car accident and contact a personal injury lawyer if any serious injuries have been sustained.
The legal team at the Tatum Law Firm has represented countless individuals harmed in a car accident as a result of a negligent or intoxicated driver. With this experience in mind, we offer the following general information to help you through this process.
All states define DWI/DUI as occurring when the driver of a motor vehicle has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Both North and South Carolina specifically have increased penalties, starting at 0.15%. In other words, if you are involved in a car accident and the other driver had a BAC higher than 0.08%, they are criminally negligible.
Translating the number of drinks to a BAC percentage can be difficult and depends on a variety of factors, including family history, height, weight, age and others. As a general rule, you should never drink alcohol before driving.
After a car accident, you need to check yourself, any passenger and the other party for any significant injuries requiring emergency medical attention. At this point, if you notice the other driver is possibly intoxicated, you need to call the police at once. Fill out an incident report, get the other driver’s information and let the police handle the rest.
Injuries from a car accident do not always appear immediately, especially when you are experiencing shock or adrenaline is running through your veins. As such, it is always best that you see a doctor as soon after the accident as possible in order to avoid long-term damages. If the doctor diagnoses you with any problems, you will want to collect as much documentation as possible to bring before an insurance adjuster or judge.
There are some different types of damages available to you based on the severity of the accident and how it has impacts your life. For example, if you have missed time from work due to the injury, you can claim lost wages in addition to hospital bills and other medical expenses. These are known as compensatory damages, though in a DWI/DUI case, you may be able to press for punitive damages as well, perhaps discouraging the offending driver from such reckless behavior again.
Before submitting your claim or taking a lawsuit to court, you should always consult with a personal injury lawyer. If for no other reason, doing so will help streamline the process and take the legal burden off your shoulders, so that you can focus on getting better.
For more information on what to do during and after a DWI/DUI-related car accident, contact a personal injury lawyer at the Tatum Law Firm.