What To Do If You Were Injured By a Drunk Driver On New Year’s
The risk for drunk driving accidents increases around holidays and especially around the winter holiday season. Unfortunately, this means that many individuals in and around the Atlanta area will start the New Year with serious injuries caused by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has enacted a high-visibility campaign called “Operation Zero Tolerance,”1 which is part of the larger nationwide “Drive Sober or Get pulled Over”2 campaign sponsored by the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). During the winter holidays, Operation Zero Tolerance specifically targets drunk drivers on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Despite a greater law enforcement presence across the state over this holiday, many drivers will, unfortunately, make the decision to drive themselves home after having too much to drink at a New Year’s celebration. If you are involved in a collision with a drunk driver on New Year’s, the following are some important steps you should take:
Call the police – If law enforcement officers are not already on the scene, you should call them and wait until they arrive. Police officers can help to identify whether the other driver is intoxicated by making observations, performing field sobriety tests and/or Breathalyzer or blood tests. If there is reasonable suspicion that the driver is over the legal limit, the police will arrest them, which can help any subsequent legal claim you have.
Seek medical attention – If you have serious injuries, you should always seek emergency medical care. Even if you believe your injuries are relatively minor, you should always undergo a thorough evaluation to diagnose any injuries of which you may not be aware. A formal diagnosis is essential to a personal injury claim.
Gather information – If you can remain on the scene, you should get as much information as possible from the other driver and any witnesses that saw the accident. These witnesses can provide important testimonial evidence in a case, if needed.
Contact an attorney – Before you give any statements regarding the accident to your insurance company, you should discuss your situation and your legal rights with an experienced Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as possible.