INJURED BY A DRUNK DRIVER? HERE ARE YOUR NEXT 8 STEPS.
SURVIVOR STORY – CHILLI VASQUEZ
On July 9, 2011, Xitclalli “Chilli” Vasquez was in Fort Worth with her aunt to get her hair and nails done just three days before her eighth birthday. On their way home, they were struck head-on by a drunk driver in a stolen truck. The driver was speeding the wrong way down a busy street and had a BAC of 0.23. Chilli was pulled from the vehicle and rushed to the ICU. She spent 105 days in the hospital before returning to her new life, paralyzed from the chest down. She will likely be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
DRUNK DRIVING STATS IN TEXAS
Chilli is considered a miracle child because she did eventually get to go home. Sadly, this isn’t the case for thousands of Texans each year. Texas has been named one of the most dangerous states to drive in – largely because of drunk-driving crashes.
- In 2021, there were 25,199 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes in Texas.
- In those crashes there were 1,029 fatalities and 2,522 serious injuries.
- A driver is considered legally impaired when their Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) measures 0.08 or higher.
- To reach the legal level of intoxication, it takes a 180-pound man 4 drinks within an hour and a 120-pound woman just 2 drinks.
- According to TxDOT, 22.9% of total traffic fatalities in 2021 were DUI-alcohol related.
WHAT TO DO AFTER YOU’RE HIT BY A DRUNK-DRIVER IN TEXAS
1. Assess your injuries
- Before exiting the vehicle or making any sudden movements, asses your injuries and ensure you will not cause more harm to yourself by moving.
- After assessing, get to a safe area.
2. Call the police
- Immediately call police and report the incident.
- Not only is this crucial to getting a police report but they also need to assess the wreck and the other driver.
- If you believe the other driver is driving under the influence, request that the responding officer perform a breathalyzer test. This is important to have on record when determining fault.
3. Start collecting evidence
- While waiting for the police, start collecting evidence.
- This includes taking photos and videos of the wreck, getting eyewitness statements and contact information, and taking down notes.
- Begin exchanging information with the other driver – if the other driver is under the influence this may not be possible until police arrive.
4. Visit your doctor as soon as possible
- If you are not immediately taken to receive medical care after the accident, set a time to see your doctor as soon as possible.
- Many injuries are not immediately obvious but can have long-lasting impacts or could be life-threatening.
- Common collision injuries include internal bleeding, concussions, or traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and whiplash.
- These can be indetectable without the aid of medical equipment and should be documented and treated quickly.
- It is important to have immediate record of your injuries – gaps of service can be used to diminish the severity of injuries and your overall settlement.
- If you don’t have a doctor or are struggling to find one that will help you – call McCraw Law Group and we will connect you with a local medical provider.
5. Track all expenses related to the accident
- After being involved in an accident, you may be entitled to 8 types of compensation aside from medical damages.
- These include things like loss of wages, pain and suffering, and even mental anguish.
- It is important to track all medical bills, wage losses, medications, and other related expenses.
6. Don’t post about your accident on social media
- Posting about your accident on social media can cost you thousands of dollars.
- Any post you make may be used against you in court.
- The insurance company will try to use your posts to minimize your final settlement.
7. Don’t accept the insurance company’s offer
- The insurance company is not your friend. They have their own best interest in mind and will try to limit your claim payout.
- An initial insurance claim will likely be well below what you are reasonably owed as it doesn’t take all damages into account.
- In a personal injury case, there are two common types of damages – compensatory and punitive.
- Compensatory damages reflect the monetary cost of your accident and includes things like medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish, and physical impairment.
- Punitive damages apply when a person’s behavior was recklessly negligent, egregious, or malicious. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is often grounds for punitive damages in local accident cases.
8. Call an experienced personal injury attorney
- Personal injury attorneys know the ins-and-outs of drunk driving wrecks and can ensure that you and your family get the compensation you need to maintain your quality of life.
- Medical bills, auto damages, and personal anguish can all be overwhelming. McCraw Law Group is here to simplify the process by getting you proven results, fast to make your life easier.
- Our consultations are always free and there is no fee until we win.
CALL MCCRAW LAW GROUP’S EXPERIENCED CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed due to a drunk driver’s negligence, call us today to ensure you have the resources you need to begin the healing process. Our experienced attorneys understand the nuances of drunk driving cases in Texas and are ready to get you the support you need.