What If I'm Intoxicated and Injure Someone in an Accident? Frequently Asked Questions You May Have

Posted on: 19 September 2016

According to the United States Department of Transportation, over four million American adults admitted to driving under the influence in 2010. If you've recently been involved in an automobile accident while you were intoxicated, and the other driver was injured, you may be concerned about what to do next. From making sure you take the correct steps at the scene of the accident to working with your attorney in the weeks and months afterward, here are a few questions you may have if you are intoxicated and injure someone else in an automobile accident:

What Steps Should I Take at the Scene of the Accident?

If you're involved in an automobile accident, whether you're inebriated or not, it is important to take very specific steps to protect yourself. First off, never flee the scene of the accident. Chances are you will be apprehended, and fleeing will make the penalties much more severe. Also, it is critical that if you are injured, you call for emergency services immediately. Your well-being is more important than any potential financial or criminal consequences.

If you're okay, remain at the scene and only ask the driver for their name and insurance information. Whatever you do, do not apologize or admit fault. The other driver could hold this against you if you are brought to court. Once the authorities arrive, it is your choice whether you take a field sobriety test.

However, remember that if you refuse to use the breathalyzer or take any field-sobriety tests, you will receive a ticket for not complying, and you could be held responsible later for refusing the test. Also, during the commotion it is important to take photos of the accident and write down your account of events, including the names of any witnesses, the address where the accident took place, and your side of the story.

Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer?

Before you hire a lawyer, speak with your insurance company. Depending on your policy and insurance provider, you might be given a car-accident attorney to cover all the aspects of your case. However, if your insurance policy doesn't cover your legal fees, it is important you go ahead and hire a lawyer who specializes in automobile accidents.

Your lawyer will provide you with invaluable information to help you during every step of the process from the first court appearance thorough the trial and any aspects involving criminal charges. Do not go through this process alone. Instead, secure an attorney to help you through this complicated ordeal.

What If I Don't Have Insurance?

If you don't have insurance and are involved in an automobile accident, your personal financial responsibility will depend upon several factors. The biggest factor is whether or not you live in a no-fault state. If a state has "no-fault" laws, it means that the injured parties must collect compensation for their injuries and the damage to their vehicle from their own insurance company. Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, and New Jersey are examples of no-fault states.

Unfortunately, if you live in a state that assigns fault in automobile accidents, and you are found liable, you will be held financially responsible for the other driver's injuries.

Regardless of whether you live in a no-fault state or a state that establishes fault in automobile accidents, it is important to hire a lawyer immediately. Remember, even if the other driver's insurance company is responsible for paying their medical bills, you might still be taken to court because of the accident. A lawyer's assistance will be critical if this occurs, so don't hesitate, and contact a professional immediately after the accident.

Being involved in an automobile accident if you are inebriated can be scary, and it is important you know what to do next. From documenting the accident to hiring an attorney, it is important you take the necessary steps to protect yourself.