- December 30, 2021
- In auto Accidents
New Year’s Eve Is A Top Holiday For DUI Accidents
DUI statistics continue to be sobering. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 32 people are killed in drunk driving accidents each day in the U.S. The National Safety Council has estimated that 408 people would die on the country’s roads during this year’s holiday period—from 6 p.m. Friday, December 30, 2022, to 11:59 p.m. Monday, January 2, 2023.
For many people, New Year’s celebrations involve raising a glass of champagne, or another kind of alcohol, to toast. According to an alcohol.org survey, more than 40% of women and 47% of men drink alcohol on New Year’s Eve.
How Many Accidents Happen On New Year’s Eve?
In 2022, the California Highway Patrol reported that 29 people were killed during the New Year’s enforcement period. Similarly, CHP arrested 495 impaired drivers and issued over 2,300 citations for speeding.
Despite mass media campaigns emphasizing that drinking and driving do not mix, driving under the influence continues to be a huge problem. The CDC reported in their “Sobering Facts: Alcohol-Impaired Driving” California Fact Sheet that 9,288 people were killed in collisions involving a drunk driver in California between 2009 and 2018.
Hit By An Intoxicated Driver On New Year’s? Here Are Some Steps To Follow
Call Emergency Services
After being involved in an accident, the first step should always be to ensure your safety. If possible, pull off to the side of the road or another safe area. After ensuring your safety, check on others involved in the accident and immediately call emergency services.
Upon arrival, law enforcement officers can assess the scene of the accident and collect information that may be critical to your personal injury case. For example, a chemical test administered by an officer can be critical to proving intoxication. Law enforcement can also make an arrest to ensure that a drunk driver does not endanger the public further.
Document The Accident
When it is safe to do so, taking pictures of the accident, damage to the vehicles and any road conditions (or lack thereof) will likely be helpful to your claim.
Working with police to document the other driver’s license plate numbers, insurance, full name, and driver’s license number is also critical.
Additionally, make a written record following the crash. The writing should contain relevant observations, feelings, experiences, or noteworthy incidents regarding the collision. This will supplement any memories that may be foggy after the crash or after time passes.
Seek Medical Attention
After some collisions, people do not immediately feel injured and do not get checked out by a qualified professional. Even if injuries are not readily apparent, it is still essential to be seen by a doctor. A thorough medical check can catch soft-tissue damage or other disabling injuries early. For example, a hairline fracture in a neck vertebra could result in minor pain or stiffness, but it is a very serious underlying condition. The hairline fracture could grow or worsen with time and stress, eventually causing extreme complications, such as paralysis.
In general, seeking medical attention will provide proof of injuries, as diagnoses and documents can be used to help your claim. Additionally, any pre-accident condition worsened by the collision can be documented and included in your claim against the other driver.
Seek Legal Representation
Hiring an attorney might not be at the forefront of your mind while you are recovering from a DUI accident, but it can be extremely beneficial. For one, an attorney should do all the heavy lifting regarding your claim following an accident. This includes, but is not limited to, collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, fielding pestering calls from the other driver’s insurance company, and negotiating potential claim settlements. Being represented will allow you to take the time to recover from an accident rather than deal with legal complexities.
If you elect not to hire an attorney immediately following your accident, remember this: you should not take a settlement offer from an insurance company before consulting an attorney. Insurance companies often call to offer low settlements to keep the insurance company’s profitability up. If you accept an offer, you will likely lose your rights to claim any future damages discovered. Having an attorney to represent you ensures that your best interests are protected.
Damages You May Expect As A Victim Of A DUI Collision
Car accidents can curb you for a significant amount of time. The road to full recovery can be long, and during your recovery period, you may miss work, incur medical bills, and suffer mental trauma. As a victim, if you succeed in a personal injury case against a drunk driver, you can likely expect to receive some of the damages listed below, depending on your circumstances.
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills and future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Mental trauma
- Punitive damages in some cases
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates has the experience and expertise to solve problems for clients and achieve the best possible results. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation, please call 888-848-5084 or contact us online.
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