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What to Do if You Think the Driver Who Hit You Is Intoxicated

 Posted on September 12, 2022 in Car Accidents

wheaton car crash lawyerThe impact usually comes out of nowhere when the at-fault driver is drunk or high on drugs. Intoxicated drivers tend to make unpredictable, erratic movements, so you may not have even seen them coming. Then, when you make it out of your car and go to get the other driver’s insurance information, you are greeted by a clearly intoxicated person. Maybe you smelled the whiskey on their breath as you approached, or happened to notice that their pupils are the wrong size. Dealing with an intoxicated driver who has just caused an accident can be frustrating at best, and dangerous at worst. It is important that you use caution and call the police right away. Proving their intoxication may become a major part of your claim later. In Illinois, if you can show that the driver broke the law by driving drunk, he or she may be automatically considered negligent under a legal concept known as negligence per se. 

Steps to Take When You Have Been Hit by an Intoxicated Driver

It is important to prioritize your safety when you suspect that the driver who just hit you is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Intoxicated people can become aggressive, and may lack the inhibitions to refrain from violence. Steps you should take right away if you suspect that the other driver is intoxicated include: 

  • Call 911 - An intoxicated driver causing an accident and hurting someone warrants a call to 911 rather than the non-emergency number. If your suspicions are correct, they have committed a crime and may be arrested. You will want the police and an ambulance to get there quickly for safety reasons. 

  • Take detailed notes - You will need something more than “they looked high” to tell the court and insurance company. Make note of exactly what visual clues or behaviors have led you to form this opinion. Are their eyes red? Are they having trouble staying awake? Is their speech rapid, slowed, or slurred? 

  • Keep calm - Arguing with or yelling at an intoxicated person is not going to help, but it may escalate the situation. Especially if the intoxicated driver is behaving aggressively, it is best to stay calm and wait for the police. Police officers can help you get the driver’s information if they are not willing to cooperate. If you are afraid that the other driver could become violent, you can get back in your car and lock the door if it is off the road in a safe spot, or pop into a nearby business. Just make sure you inform the 911 dispatcher if you must walk away from the scene. 

Getting injured by an intoxicated driver can disrupt your life in a major way. These steps can help you collect evidence and make the aftermath a little more manageable. 

Call a Lake County Car Accident Lawyer

Salvi & Maher, LLP is committed to helping injured victims of drunk drivers recover compensation. Our experienced Waukegan car accident attorneys will aggressively pursue your claim. Contact us at 847-662-3303 to receive a free consultation. 




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Contact a Lake County Vehicle Accident Attorney Who is Ready to Help You

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our office. Call 847-662-3303 to set up a free initial consultation at one of our four convenient locations. There is no risk because we only collect fees if you collect compensation. With offices in Libertyville, Waukegan, Richmond, and Chicago, we represent clients in Lake County, Cook County, DuPage County, and McHenry County.

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