Every serious car accident is a tragedy, but an accident caused by a driver that is driving under the influence (DUI) can be devastating. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that across the nation, 29 people were killed every single day in 2016 due to crashes involving alcohol, and DUI accidents injure many South Carolina residents every year, as well.
Here’s what you should do if you are involved in a car accident and you suspect that the other driver was under the influence.
DUI Signs to Look for After a Crash
If you suspect drunk driving caused the crash, your first step should be to call 911. A police response means that a trained investigator will be able to examine the other driver. If he or she tests positive with law enforcement, not only does it help your legal case later, but you are helping to take a dangerous driver off the roads.
While you wait for the authorities to arrive, keep your eyes open. You can even use your smartphone to take pictures or video of the scene, but only if it is safe for you to do so—and never approach an obviously intoxicated driver. If you see any open alcohol containers or drug paraphernalia, report it to the police. Report the use of mouthwash, breath spray, or eye drops immediately after the accident, as well, as the driver could be attempting to conceal intoxication. Another common tactic is for a drunk driver to switch seats with someone else in the car. If you notice a seat swap, tell the police what you saw, as it could lead to serious charges.
After the crash, you should also contact a personal injury attorney who handles DUI cases right away. Your attorney will know how to effectively investigate a DUI crash, press a claim against the insurance company, and will be able to take your case to court if a fair settlement cannot be reached.
Learn More and Get Legal Help After an Accident
For more information about car accidents and DUI crashes in South Carolina, please download our e-book, “Safety First, Justice Always: Your Guide to South Carolina Auto Accident Law.” This short, informative book is an invaluable resource for those who have more questions about car accidents here in our state, and is completely free.
If you have been hurt in an accident caused by a drunk driver, we at the Law Office of Kenneth E. Berger extend our heartfelt sympathies to you. Drunk driving is a serious problem in South Carolina, and we would like to do our part to help victims recover from their injuries. We proudly serve clients from Columbia, Lexington, Sumter, Florence, Myrtle Beach, and other nearby areas, and we are here to help you get the justice that you deserve. Call us by phone, use our contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page now to arrange a free consultation with us today.