As winter approaches, most people have holiday planning in mind. However, law enforcement agencies in the Tulsa area are focused on something else – how to keep people safe with an increased number of drunk drivers on the road. Arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) are highest each year during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, and this should be no surprise.
Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season, with the next five weeks filled with parties and other gatherings. Many people indulge in spiked eggnog, wine, champagne, and many other types of alcoholic drinks as part of their celebrations. Despite convenient options for safe transportation, such as Uber and Lyft, too many people decide to drive home after a night of drinking. This not only puts the driver at risk of a DUI arrest but also puts everyone else on the road in serious danger.
Alcohol can impair driving abilities after only a couple of drinks. Impairment can come in many forms, and intoxication might cause one or more of the following:
These impairments can lead to erratic and dangerous driving behaviors, which can include swerving, driving too fast or too slow, making a wrong turn, failing to notice traffic slowing or stopping, and much more. These behaviors can lead to different types of crashes, including:
All of these crashes can cause devastating injuries to passengers, as well as motorists in other vehicles.
Getting hit by a drunk driver can do more than disrupt your holiday season; these accidents regularly result in severe injuries. If a drunk driver causes a car wreck,, you have the right to hold them liable for your losses. You should take certain steps after the crash to protect those rights whenever possible.
Always call 911 after a significant traffic accident and request police, and if necessary, an ambulance. The police can investigate the accident and issue a report, which can help immensely when dealing with the insurance company. This is, of course, especially important when the other driver is intoxicated. Police officers will talk to the drivers involved and determine whether one driver violated the law – including DUI. If officers have probable cause to believe the driver is drunk, they can arrest the driver, who can be charged with DUI. Documenting the other driver’s condition is important for your future claim.
If emergency medical technicians believe that you need emergency transportation, do not protest. If you do not need an ambulance, you should still head to the ER if you have obvious injuries or are feeling any pain or disorientation. Never write off a headache or stiffness as “normal” after a crash, as these are often common symptoms of a more serious injury. Getting evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible can also make your claim easier, as well as ensure you begin treatment for your injuries right away.
Even though another driver was drunk, it does not necessarily mean that the legal process will be simple. Insurance companies bank on the fact that you won’t think it is necessary to hire a lawyer, but we can;t stress how important it is to have the right legal representation going into the claim process from the start rather than attempting to navigate it on your own, regardless of how cut and dry you think liability is.
If the drunk driver is convicted of DUI, we can use this as direct evidence of the driver’s gross negligence and liability. However, we will still have to fight for the appropriate settlement to which you are entitled depending on your damages, as insurers will always try to minimize what they pay.
At Wandres Law, PC, our goal is to stand up for the rights and interests of car accident victims injured by no fault of their own. Our Tulsa car accident lawyers believe there is no excuse for impaired driving, and we strive to hold drunk drivers fully responsible for their actions and the losses of injured victims. Call (918) 641-4044 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.