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Consider this true drunk driving story. A couple walks out of a restaurant to find that their car has been sideswiped by someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The couple looked further down the street to see five more cars that had also been smashed by the driver in this felony DUI incident.
What should the couple have done next? Police were already on the scene assessing the crime. The couple reported their information and left the scene once released by the investigating officer. While this may have been enough to satisfy the law, it might not satisfy a court should the victims decide to bring a lawsuit against the driver, or attempt to make an insurance claim based on the incident.
In drunk driving accident situations like these, it is best to remain on the scene to see if anyone actually witnessed the crime. Getting a list of fellow victims, eyewitness accounts, and even photographs of the entire scene where possible can go a long way to speeding up a lawsuit or insurance claim. You may feel the need to get away from the scene quickly and assess the damage to your property, but any future legal action is benefited only by the amount of information you are able to gather the night of the incident. Take careful notes and get all the data you can before going home.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|