How to Handle a Crash With a Drunk Driver

Drunk driver pulled over by police

A crash with a drunk driver is terrifying. Often, you won’t realize the other driver is intoxicated until you meet them face to face. Given how unpredictable these situations can be, every Reno resident must know how to handle a crash with a drunk driver, especially around the tourism season.

Signs of Intoxication

While you can’t always predict whether the person who gets out of the car is a drunk, there are a few things you can do to identify the warning signs and get them off the road before a crash. If you see these signs in the moments before a crash, be extremely cautious and call 911 as soon as you come to a complete stop.

  • Swerving or struggling to maintain control of the vehicle
  • No use of turn signals
  • Unsafe or jolted braking
  • Ignoring traffic signals and signs
  • Veering toward oncoming traffic

If you didn’t see signs of intoxication before getting out of the vehicle, watch for some of the more obvious signs when meeting the other driver face to face. These symptoms might include:

  • Trouble balancing
  • Glazed or unfocused gaze
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor coordination

The Meeting

If you suspect the driver who crashed into you is intoxicated, the first thing you should do is call 911 and report your concerns to the dispatcher. Having police officers on the scene will prevent the driver from getting behind the wheel again and harming others.

That said, you may not realize the other driver is drunk until you meet them to exchange insurance. This is a delicate situation because you can’t be sure how the other driver will react. Some may be remorseful, others angry or violent, and some may panic and attempt to flee.

If the driver is calm, you may want to try exchanging information or at least keep them talking until the police arrive. However, if the other driver is aggressive or violent, you should not engage with them. In these circumstances, it is wise to either stay in your vehicle with the doors locked (if it is safe to do so) or attempt to create distance if possible.

Hit and Run

In other situations, a drunk driver may panic and attempt to flee the scene. If this happens, you need to think quickly and retain as much information as you can. Try to write down the license plate number, a brief description of the vehicle, and the direction they’re going, then call 911.

If you are unable to identify the other driver, you may have to file an uninsured motorist claim which can make it difficult to recover the full damages you need to recover and move forward.

Personal Injury Lawyers at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. Help

If you have been injured in a car crash, you need a personal injury lawyer. The attorneys at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. can help you understand your legal rights and the steps you may take to pursue maximum compensation. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients. Talk to us, and we can help you explore your options. Call us today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a free case consultation or contact our office through our website.

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