If you were hit and injured by an impaired driver in Florida, you should seek immediate medical help. After that, start gathering evidence right away to build a case for damages either through an insurance claim or a lawsuit.
Even with your personal injury protection (PIP), you may need to provide evidence of your injuries, and if your losses were extensive, you could have grounds to sue the driver. A Florida car accident lawyer from our team can help you put together your case either way.
Seek Help After Getting Hit by an Impaired Florida Driver
It may seem obvious that the first step is to seek help, but you may tend to downplay what you experienced for fear of being seen as dramatic or because you’re concerned about the cost. Don’t let these apprehensions stop you.
Get Medical Help Sooner Rather Than Later
You might have walked away from the accident feeling fine or just a little banged up. Never forget to account for the power of adrenaline, which can mask the consequences of going through a traumatic event. Likewise, some injuries, notably whiplash and traumatic brain injuries, have delayed onsets. Early intervention can make a difference, both in terms of getting on top of your pain and in preventing complications.
Help From Law Enforcement Is Also Important
Drunk driving is a crime, so call the police after an accident. Officers can test the other driver for intoxication, provide an initial assessment of the crash, and make note of evidence and witness information. Your personal injury attorney can obtain a copy of their report once it’s been filed.
You Can Get Legal Guidance at Any Stage
If you’re wondering about hiring a drunk driving injury lawyer, it may benefit you to call a law firm for a free consultation. We can provide legal information and context, answer questions, and get a feel for your situation, all during a free phone call.
More than just a resource, we can act as a buffer right after an accident. You’re reeling, and no one in that position should be peppered with questions or forced to make serious legal decisions. Instead, we can step between you and the other parties, giving you space to breathe and heal.
That’s all in the immediate aftermath. Once we’ve gotten you that space, we can get to work on documenting your case and pursuing damages. That means we can handle the next steps for you.
Gather Evidence of the Drunk Driver’s Role in the Accident
The help you got from doctors and police in the last step? That’s also evidence. Getting medical care creates records of office visits, diagnostic testing, doctor’s notes and plans, referrals and prescriptions, check-ups, and equipment. Any of those records could end up as the deciding factor in how much compensation you receive.
Likewise, police reports, while not infallible, provide some basic facts as well as insights from an officer with experience in traffic accidents. Even some of the basics like time of day, traffic and road conditions, and contact information for everyone involved can be gleaned from the police report.
This is just the start of putting together proof of the driver’s negligence. If you’re able, you can help by saving whatever information you can. As for the rest, our Florida personal injury lawyers can work to obtain it.
Compile What You Can at the Accident Scene
If you aren’t too injured, document as much as you can at the site. Take photos of:
- The vehicles involved
- The point of impact
- The site of the crash
- The surrounding location
- Any injuries
- Debris from the crash
- Tire marks on the road
You can also save physical evidence like your clothing, protective equipment like helmets, auto parts, or debris.
Evidence We Can Collect in Our Investigation
In addition to medical records, police reports, and evidence from the scene, our team can investigate and gather:
- Witness statements
- Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) results
- Traffic and security camera footage
- Evidence from retracing the driver’s steps
- Analysis and testimony from expert witnesses
File a Claim or Lawsuit After a Drunk Driving Accident in Florida
You have a limited amount of time to file for damages in Florida, so don’t wait to report a crash or file a claim. Just give them the basics and leave the rest to our team.
You can recover some damages through your Florida PIP coverage for medical bills and income losses, but you can’t get pain and suffering. Since drunk drivers often don’t brake in time during accidents, it’s possible you suffered more serious injuries, which allows you to file a claim with the driver’s insurance. Because your compensation is on the line, check with us.
The same goes for the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit. You typically have two years to file a suit against a drunk driver, but work can start right away to help prevent you from feeling like you’re scrambling when the deadline looms. What’s more, the two-year deadline doesn’t always apply to everyone. Like with an insurance claim, check with us.
Act Quickly but Don’t Agree to Anything Too Fast in a Drunk Driving Case
It’s good to stay on top of getting care, preserving evidence, and finding out the deadlines in your case. However, don’t feel rushed to settle.
Whether it’s your own insurance company, the other party’s insurer, or the liable parties in a lawsuit, anyone who offers you a settlement may start with a low offer to see if you’ll accept it.
Part of our role is to keep an eye out for low offers or less-than-stellar settlement terms. You have every right to consider an offer, counteroffer with our help, and argue for damages that fit your accident losses. That could include:
- Medical care you’ve already received
- Future medical treatment
- Income you’ve already lost
- Future lost income
- Future reduced ability to earn
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
What to Do Now: Call the Motor Vehicle Accident Team at Our Firm
If you aren’t sure what to do after getting hit by a drunk driver in Florida, check with Ged Lawyers. You can call us today to get a free consultation, during which you can learn more about our firm, our track record with DWI injury cases, and our plans for your case.