While it is not without controversy, many people associate St. Patrick’s Day celebrations with drinking alcohol to excess. As a result, drunk driving accidents tend to increase around the holiday, putting everyone on the road at risk.
While everybody knows that drinking and driving increases accident risks and violates the law, intoxicated drivers continue to get behind the wheel on a regular basis. This is true in spite of ever-increasing penalties for DUIs and aggressive police enforcement, especially around holidays like St. Patrick’s Day. Fortunately for victims, Indiana law typically entitles people to compensation for the injuries they sustain when impaired drivers hurt them in accidents.
Negligence Per Se and DUI
Under a legal doctrine known as “negligence per se,” courts will deem negligent as a matter of law any individuals who violate a law designed to keep the public safe and who cause the harm the law is designed to prevent. As a result, in almost every conceivable case, Indiana law entitles victims of convicted drunk drivers to compensation for legally claimable losses, including their medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and physical and emotional pain and suffering.
What to Do after a Drunk Driving Accident
If you were injured in an accident with a driver whom you suspect is under the influence, protect your legal rights by taking the following steps:
- If possible, be polite and exchange information with the other driver. If they are argumentative or rude, get back in your vehicle and lock the door. Make note of identifying information such as the driver’s name, licence plate number, and the make and model of the vehicle. Drunk drivers frequently try to leave the scene and/or deny driving the vehicle. Take a photo of their license plate immediately and be able to give a good description of the driver.
- Call the police to let them know that you were in an accident, even if you don’t think the accident was not serious enough to require a police report. Police officers are trained to spot intoxication, and if they share your suspicions that the other driver is drunk, they will likely conduct sobriety testing and make an arrest. This can get an intoxicated driver off the road and prevent any subsequent—and perhaps far more serious—accidents.
- If the drunk driver leaves the scene, your ability to identify the vehicle and the driver when calling the police could even prevent another accident the same day.
- Avoid posting on social media and providing the other driver’s insurance company with a recorded statement. Either one could reduce the amount of compensation you ultimately recover or even make it impossible to recover compensation at all.
- Call an attorney as soon as possible, even if the other driver’s insurance company makes you a settlement offer. In many cases, the representation of an attorney can result in a much larger settlement amount than unrepresented victims are able to obtain on their own.
Call Indiana Personal Injury Attorney Merry Fountain Today for a Free Consultation
Indianapolis personal injury lawyer Merry Fountain is a skilled injury advocate. If you are looking for an injury law attorney to represent you in your drunk driving accident case, whether during St. Patrick’s Day or any other time of the year, Merry Fountain is here to help! She represents clients in the greater Indy area—Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Zionsville, Brownsburg, Avon, Kokomo, Lebanon. Call her anytime at 1-888-242-HURT (4878), or simply click Tell Us About Your Case for a free consultation.