What to Do If You Were Hit by a High Driver
CALL (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with a tx auto accident attorney if you’ve been hit by a high driver
Car accidents can happen at any time, potentially causing serious injuries each time. If you drive at night on the weekends or on big holidays, such as New Year’s Eve, you are at a higher risk of being on the road with someone who is driving under the influence. Car accidents with drivers who are under the influence can cause severe injuries, or even death, and the trauma you experience from an accident with a high driver can stay with you forever.
If you or a loved one has been hit by a high driver in Texas, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers. We can help guide you through the legal process and seek compensation for your injuries.
what is driving Under the influence?
Driving under the influence means a lot more than driving while drunk. In Texas, driving under the influence is referred to as driving while intoxicated. Texas law considers you “intoxicated” if you do not have the normal use of mental or physical facilities as a result of drugs or other substances you took.
If it is your first offense, you can get up to a $2,000 fine, have to spend up to 180 days in jail, and lose your driver’s license for up to a year; for your second offense, you may have to pay up to a $4,000 fine, spend one month in jail, or lose your driver’s license for up to two years. For a third offense, you might have to pay a $10,000 fine, spend 2-10 years in prison, and lose your driver’s license for up to two years. A judge will determine specifically how much you pay, how long you spend in jail, and how long your license is suspended.
Aside from judge-ordered penalties, the state of Texas also issues fines for driving while intoxicated. These can be between $3,000 and $6,000.
What do i do if i was hit by a driver under the influence?
If you are hit by an intoxicated driver, you may be left injured and scared; you may be worried, too, wondering how you will be able to pay for countless medical bills to ensure your recovery, or vehicle repair bills. You may want to hold the person responsible for your injuries and damage, and ensure they do not drive while intoxicated again. After a car accident with a high driver, follow these steps to hold the intoxicated driver responsible.
Seek Medical Attention
After an accident with a high driver, seek medical attention as soon as possible. If the accident was severe, you may be taken from the scene of the accident to the hospital in an ambulance. Once at the hospital, a doctor will examine you and perform any necessary tests to determine the nature of your injuries and how to treat you.
If the accident is not severe, you may not notice any injuries right away. Sometimes injuries take a few days to present themselves, so it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible to determine whether you are suffering from any injuries. Common injuries you may suffer after an accident involving a high driver include:
- Concussions or other head injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
It is common for victims of an intoxicated driving accident to suffer life-threatening injuries, or even death. Thankfully, Texas has one of the lowest percentages of deaths from intoxicated driving accidents, but deaths still occur. If you survived an automobile crash or accident but were severely injured by a high driver, go to the hospital as soon as possible so that you can be treated and recover from your injuries; worry about the bills later, because your health is most important.
Whether you are taken to the hospital by ambulance or go to the doctor on your own, you will be checked for various injuries. Your doctor will perform a physical exam, where they touch various parts of your body to check for sensitive areas or external injuries. Your doctor may also order more tests such as x-rays or MRIs to determine whether you are suffering from internal injuries that cannot be detected by the naked eye.
Once your doctor determines what kinds of injuries you suffer from, they will create a treatment plan for you. Your treatment plan may include taking prescribed medication, following up with your doctor or other doctors, wearing a cast or brace, or seeing a physical therapist. It is important you follow your doctor’s treatment plan so that your injuries can heal.
You may also be suffering from emotional injuries as a result of the accident. Common emotional injuries include:
- Fears of driving
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
If you are having trouble sleeping, having nightmares, or are easily agitated, you may be suffering from an emotional injury. It may be beneficial for you to see a psychologist who can diagnose you with an injury and counsel you to overcome that injury. Your psychologist may also refer you to a psychiatrist who can prescribe medicine to relieve some of your symptoms.
Contact Law Enforcement
After the crash, call 911 to report the accident. A police officer will come to the scene to investigate the crash; they will ask you questions about what happened, and will include this information in their report. The officer will also take the high driver back to the police station, and have a tow truck move their car.
If for some reason the officer does not file a police report, you are required by Texas law (the Texas Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act) to report car accidents that cause injury, death, or damage exceeding $1,000 to the Texas Department of Transportation. You must do this within 10 days of the crash; you can report the accident online by filling out a Crash Report, also called “the blue form.” To fill out the form, you will need to provide:
- Time and place of the accident
- Name, address, date of birth, and driver’s license information of all drivers involved
- License plate numbers
- Insurance information
- Summary of what happened
- Weather and road conditions at the time of the accident
Once an accident report is created, you can request a copy online at the Texas Department of Transportation website. Crash reports are confidential and are not available for viewing online by the general public. To get a copy of the report, you will have to purchase one through the Crash Report Online Purchase System.
Document the Accident
To ensure that you have the proper information required to fill out the blue form, you should document the accident while at the scene of the crash. You can do this by taking pictures of:
- Where the crash occurred, including the weather and road conditions
- The vehicles involved and any damage done to them
- Injuries you suffered
- License plate numbers
You should also document any other information you think may be important. This information will be helpful when you report the accident and when you speak with an injury lawyer in Texas about your potential lawsuit.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance company of the accident within 24 hours. Your insurance company can cover your medical bills or other bills you had to pay as a result of the accident.
When speaking with your insurance company, be sure to only provide them with the facts of what happened; do not share any emotions or other feelings you may have about the accident. While your insurance company is there to cover some of your costs, they have hundreds of claims to pay out. Therefore, they will use anything you say against you to minimize your payout; let your lawyer speak to the insurance company adjuster on your behalf.
Contact a TX Auto Accident Lawyer
An can evaluate your claim and help you seek compensation for your injuries. You’ll want to find an experienced attorney, one who has handled other cases involving Texas drivers who were intoxicated when they caused accidents; this kind of attorney can help you seek monetary, non-monetary, and punitive damages for the injuries you suffered as a result of the accident.
Monetary damages are damages that can be calculated. These would include ambulance or hospital bills, lost past or future earnings, bills paid to repair damage to your vehicle, and other calculable damages.
Non-monetary damages refer to payments for any emotional injuries you suffer as a result of the accident. A jury may award these if you suffer from anxiety, depression, PTSD, or other psychological trauma as a result of being hit by a high driver.
In intoxicated driver cases, punitive damages may be awarded; punitive damages are awarded with the goal of teaching the responsible party a lesson in hopes that they will not drive while high again. Each of these kinds of damages would be awarded in addition to the fees charged by the state of Texas for driving while intoxicated. A lawyer can help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries.
Call zinda law group today
At Zinda Law Group, we have handled thousands of personal injury cases. We have the resources and experience to help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries.
Moreover, we believe that no person who was hit by a high driver should have to pay large fees for excellent legal representation. That is why we have a No Win, No Fee Guarantee; so, you do not have to pay for our representation in your case unless we receive a favorable verdict, judgment, or settlement for you. If you or a loved one has been hit by a high driver in Texas, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney today.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.