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Drunk driving remains one of the most common causes of car crashes on Alabama roads. In fact, there were over 5,000 drunk driving-related crashes in Alabama in 2018.
After a drunk driving crash, you must preserve every piece of evidence you can. Evidence collection puts you in a better position to succeed with your insurance claim or legal action.
In this blog, the Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys team outlines the steps you should take to preserve evidence after a drunk driver has caused your injuries.
Evidence can disappear quickly after a crash. Road crews sweep up debris, witnesses leave the scene, and, despite our best efforts, we often forget important details. However, there are several steps victims of drunk driving crashes can take to preserve the evidence they need to strengthen their insurance or legal claim.
After a crash, make sure everyone is out of immediate danger. Then call the police and an ambulance. If you suspect that the person responsible for the crash has been drinking, you should tell the responding officer and ask them to perform a breathalyzer when they arrive. These details will all be included in the police crash report, which is an invaluable piece of evidence in your case.
Given the destructive nature of drunk driving accidents, victims aren’t always able to take photos of the crash or the surrounding scene. However, if you’re able, it’s in your best interest to take as many photos as you can. Even a cell phone camera can capture helpful images. Photograph every vehicle involved, the road conditions at the scene, the surrounding area, and any injuries you’ve suffered.
Like taking photographs, getting witness contact information can be dangerous and difficult. However, if there are witnesses nearby and you feel able, take their name and contact information. Your lawyer can help you get statements from them that can support your case later.
If you’ve been hurt in a crash with a drunk driver, one of the best ways to protect yourself and your case is to get medical help as soon as you can. Not only can a doctor help you identify and treat injuries you might otherwise miss, but your lawyer can use those records when presenting your case to help you get the justice and resources you deserve.
When you file a lawsuit or insurance claim, you have the option to include pain and suffering among your damages. Pain and suffering relates to the emotional toll and lack of pleasure in life after the crash. If you spend time in pain or are unable to enjoy your life the way you did prior to the crash, you should start a journal to document your physical pain and emotions. Your lawyer can help you calculate and assign a monetary value to your suffering.
While victims can preserve a great deal of evidence on their own, there are many complicated aspects of evidence collection that require more experience and insight to bring to light. For instance, security footage from a nearby business could be deleted or recorded over without a lawyer requesting that it be saved. Or, a bar might have knowingly overserved the drunk driver, making them partially liable for your injuries.
Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer who knows how to uncover and preserve critical evidence can help drunk driving victims protect themselves and their claim after a crash.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by a drunk driver, you don’t have to suffer alone. Schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys for help understanding your legal options and the potential value of your case.
(2019). 2018 Crash Facts. Alabama Department of Transportation. Retrieved from https://www.caps.ua.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/CrashFacts_2018.pdf
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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