What Evidence Do I Need For a Drunk Driver Lawsuit?
If you were hit by a drunk driver and are wondering if you have sufficient evidence to file a drunk driver lawsuit, you’re in the right place. No one ever thinks that they will have to deal with the level of trauma and harm caused by a drunk driver’s recklessness, but it happens to thousands of people in Texas.
The drunk driver accident lawyers at Grimes & Fertitta know how to sue a drunk driver, and are here to educate you on the evidence that you’ll need in order to successfully execute your drunk driver lawsuit.
What to do if you’re hit by a drunk driver
What to do if you’re hit by a drunk driver is similar to what to do when you get in a car accident of any kind.
- Make sure that you’re not hurt. Before your move from the scene, make sure that you and anyone else involved in the accident do not need immediate medical attention. If someone has suffered a serious injury, such as a neck and back injury, you should call 911 immediately to get assistance. If your vehicle is safe, do not move it.
- Call the police. Once you are sure it is safe to do so, and while you wait for the police to arrive, you can begin gathering evidence (more on this below). Express to the police that you are concerned about the other driver’s intoxication and encourage them to administer a field sobriety test.
- Get the care you need for any injuries. You should go to the hospital even if you don’t believe that you are hurt. Many of the injuries sustained in car wrecks can take a while to show themselves, and your adrenaline running can further obscure any pain they would be causing you.
- Keep documentation. After the wreck, there will likely be a period in which your life will have to continue but the lawsuit has not begun. During this time, you should be collecting evidence of your expenses and reporting on any ways in which your life is being affected by the drunk driver’s actions.
- Call your lawyer. A drunk driving accident lawyer can not only help facilitate the process so that you don’t have to relive the painful experience every day but can help to get you what you deserve.
Can you press charges on a drunk driver?
If you can prove fault, you can press charges against a drunk driver. Is Texas a no-fault state? Texas is an at-fault state, which means that whoever was responsible for the accident is also responsible for the damages.
What can you sue a drunk driver for?
If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, you might be able to sue them for damages, but you and your lawyer will have to prove a few things first.
- Prove negligence. The first step in any drunk driver lawsuit is proving that the drunk driver breached their duty (all drivers on the road owe one another a duty to drive safely) by driving negligently and that this caused the accident.
- Prove injury. Once it has been established that the drunk driver’s negligence did in fact cause the accident, it must be proved that you were injured during that accident.
- Prove damages. Once it has been established that you were injured in the accident, it must be proved that those injuries caused damages.
There are many types of damages that can be pursued in a drunk driver lawsuit such as:
- Special compensatory damages including medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages.
- General compensatory damages including pain and suffering, mental anguish, and physical impairment or disfigurement.
- Wrongful death damages for funeral expenses or loss of financial contribution.
- Punitive damages are intended to punish the drunk driver and ensure that they do not continue to harm others.
To prove negligence, injury, or pursue any of these damages, however, you will need evidence.
Evidence needed for drinking and driving claims
Drunk driver evidence is not hard to come by. It is difficult to hide the fact that you’ve been drinking, and yet people get away with it all the time. The best thing that you can do is record the aftermath of the accident if you can.
It may be hard to remember to pull your phone out the moment that the smoke clears, but that is exactly what you should do (once you are sure that your injuries won’t prevent you from doing so). Evidence needed for drinking and driving claims can be broken down into two categories.
Drunk driver evidence at the scene
Evidence at the scene is usually helpful in establishing fault, and pertinent information should be reported to the police when they arrive. Evidence at the scene can include:
- The driver’s name, insurance information, contact information, and license plate number
- Photos or videos of the scene of the accident
- Photos or videos of any alcohol or containers in or around the car
- Videos that show the other driver slurring their speech or stumbling
- Contact information for any eyewitness accounts
Drunk driver evidence after the accident
Evidence after the crash itself is usually used in establishing injury and damages, and the extent to which these things have been suffered. Evidence after the accident can include:
- Medical bills
- Information about treatments and procedures
- Doctor’s notes
- Prescribed medications
- Physical therapy bills, referrals, and treatment plans
- Lost wages
- Photos or videos of your injuries
- Funeral and burial expenses
- A copy of the police report
Remember, evidence is key in any case. Keep documentation of anything that occurs at the accident and afterward so that your lawyer can help you to build a strong case against the drunk driver.
Call Grimes & Fertitta to make your drunk driver lawsuit stick
If you or a loved one was hit by a drunk driver in Houston and have not contacted a drunk driver accident lawyer in Houston to ask about your options in a drunk driver lawsuit, you might be missing out on much-deserved restitution for your pain and suffering. Pain and suffering at the hands of someone else’s negligence should not be tolerated. This is why Grimes & Fertitta fights for our clients to give them what they deserve.
The insurance companies insist on ignoring the pain and suffering of anyone who has been wronged in order to save a buck or two. If you have been harmed by a drunk driver and want to make things right, you might want to consider filing a drunk driver lawsuit with the personal injury attorneys at Grimes & Fertitta who know how to go toe-to-toe with insurance companies to get you fair compensation. Call Grimes & Fertitta today at (713) 224-7644 or contact us online for a free consultation.
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