If you have been a car accident victim, you may be confused and overwhelmed as you attempt to navigate the best next steps. However, your case may be even more complex if the at-fault driver was under the influence of alcohol.
Drunk driving cases differ from traditional auto accident cases, as they always require a criminal trial. As a result, hiring a car accident attorney to assist you can be highly beneficial.
Read on to learn what to do when hit by a drunk driver in Oklahoma. Then contact our team at Bryan Garrett PLLC for assistance.
What Should You Do Immediately After a Drunk Driving Accident?
You may be confused, in pain, and traumatized in the aftermath of a car accident. The chaos following the crash may cause you to not think clearly about what to do next. However, you can take a few steps immediately after your accident to improve your case outcomes.
Here’s what to do when hit by a drunk driver in Oklahoma:
- Call the police: The police will come to the scene, create a police report, arrest the drunk driver, and help prevent further damages.
- Receive medical treatment: Even if you feel okay after the crash, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Documentation from your physician can serve as evidence in your insurance claim or lawsuit.
- Contact an attorney: A personal injury attorney can take the responsibility of navigating your case off your shoulders, giving you time to heal.
Drunk Driving Criminal Case vs. Civil Case
Drunk driving is against the law. However, when drunk driving leads to accidents, it has even more severe consequences.
As a result, the drunk driver who caused your accident will likely need to go through a criminal trial. You will not need to be involved in this trial aside from potentially providing a witness statement on behalf of the prosecution. The state will charge the driver with a DUI and possibly other criminal charges, and the prosecution will provide evidence for these charges. Then, a judge or jury will determine the driver’s punishment.
On top of this criminal trial, you can begin a civil trial against the at-fault driver to seek compensation. Your personal injury attorney can help you determine whether a civil lawsuit would be effective in your case or whether you can claim adequate compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Seeking Compensation After a Drunk Driving Accident
Drunk driving accidents can lead to expensive damages. However, as an accident victim, you have a few methods of claiming compensation to pay for your injuries, physical damage, and related expenses.
If the drunk driver had car insurance at the time of the accident, you will be able to receive a payout from their insurer. However, insurance companies are notorious for offering insufficient funds to accident victims. You probably will not receive enough money from the insurer to cover all of your damages.
You can also seek compensatory damages in a lawsuit to cover the expenses resulting from the accident, such as:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of ability to work
- Pain and suffering
Punitive damages are damages that punish the at-fault driver for especially egregious or dangerous behavior. Drunk driving is an example of heinous conduct that can warrant punitive damages. As a result, you may be able to receive money on top of compensatory damages from the at-fault driver.
Now that you know what to do when hit by a drunk driver in Oklahoma, contact our team at Bryan Garrett PLLC today at 405-369-4498 to schedule your consultation.