Involved in a Drunk Driving Crash? Protect Your Rights and Call the Police Immediately!
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every day, almost 30 people die in drunk-driving crashes in America, which is one person every 50 minutes. Despite the decline of deaths related to these incidents by one-third over the last three decades, nonetheless, drunk-driving crashes still claim more than 10,000 lives a year.
Drivers must remember that alcohol intoxication results in twisted judgments and brain function impairment thus the ability to safely operate a vehicle may seem impossible. To evaluate whether a driver is drunk, the police checks your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) with a breathalyzer, a device that measures alcohol in your breath, or with a blood test.
Crash risk exponentially increases at a BAC level of 0.08 grams of alcohol per blood deciliter (g / dL). However, in 2017, 1,837 people were killed in alcohol-related collisions with drivers having lower levels of alcohol (BACs from 0.01 to 0.07 g / dL). This only proves that alcohol intoxication even below the BACs still poses risks of car crashes.
If you or a loved one were involved in an accident with a drunk driver in Los Angeles, the car accident lawyers at Farahi Law Firm, APC are here for you. After you being injured in a collision, our experienced attorneys will ensure that your injury is reported to the appropriate authorities. Also, they can support you in seeking the benefits and compensation you deserve.
Call the Police Immediately
Automobile accidents that involve drunk drivers are often more devastating than other vehicular incidents. Such drivers not only face criminal charges but are also held liable for the damages and injuries they have caused due to their negligence.
The police must be informed of the incident, either at the scene immediately or as soon as possible following the accident. Never let the other driver convince you to not contact the police.
According to section 20008 of the California Vehicle Code, the driver of any vehicle involved in a car accident must report the accident to the California Highway Patrol or the police department of the city in which the accident occurred within 24 hours.
The report must include all drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians who are involved. If the reporting agency is not responsible for investigating the incident, the agency will forward the matter to the proper investigative authority.
It is important to note that if a law enforcement officer arrives at the accident scene, he/she will prepare a formal accident report on behalf of the department.
You are not required to make a separate written report in this case. Just make note of the officer’s name and information for your records.
Why Call the Police?
There are many reasons why you should call the police after being involved in a drunk driving accident. Remember that the presence of a police officer at the scene of the accident and any subsequent police report is crucial for your injury claim.
Other important reasons why the police must be present are:
- They offer invaluable assistance at the scene. In any case, a trained law enforcement officer (from the local police or Sheriff’s Department) can be an invaluable source of help and information in such a confusing situation.
- They guide traffic and make the scene of the accident safer.
- They help get the emergency medical care needed for the injured parties.
- They help arrange for towing services, if necessary.
- They help in establishing liability.
- They locate and gather evidence.
- They identify and interview witnesses.
- They also take photographs.
- They measure skid marks.
- They assess impact points and chart the movements of each vehicle before and after the initial impact.
- They prepare reports which will contain valuable information about the accident.
- Most importantly, they determine that the at-fault driver was drunk.
Keep in mind that there will be no basis for bringing criminal Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges against the intoxicated motorist unless evidence is gathered to prove the impairment of the offending driver at the time of the crash. Therefore, it becomes vital to call the police as they play a crucial role at:
- Doing standard field sobriety tests on the driver,
- Conducting Breathalyzer tests,
- Taking the driver to blood or urine tests.
Some insurance companies mandate their policyholders to notify the Police at the time of the crash. They don’t cover damages under or against their insurance plans unless the insured has given the police a timely notice and is willing to provide the incident with an official police report.
Although a monetary recovery can never fix the damage that is done to you, it might as well relieve the financial burden of a car accident, at the very least. It is difficult to determine the appropriate value of a personal injury case arising from an auto accident involving a drunk driver.
However, insurance companies will attempt every single imaginable strategy to get the lowest settlement possible for your injury claim. Hence, the police must be called to the drunk driving crash scene.
Moreover, you would need an attorney by your side with extensive experience in dealing with such cases. Your lawyers must be prepared to institute litigation on your behalf if the insurance company is reluctant to settle your case for a reasonable worth.
If you wish to discuss your claim with the best personal injury attorney handling accidents involving drunk drivers without any charge or obligation, contact Farahi Law Firm, APC. Call us today at (844) 824-2955 for a FREE consultation!