Fall may be a time when you’re more likely than usual to attend the types of events and get-togethers where alcohol is available. Naturally, you already know not to drive if you’ve consumed alcohol, as doing so endangers not just your own life, but that of your fellow motorists and pedestrians as well.

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Unfortunately, you can’t control the decisions others make on the road. Thus, it’s possible you’ll be injured in a drunk driving accident resulting from the negligence of another party one day. The following guide explains what to do should this ever occur.

What to do After Being Struck by a DUI Driver in Massachusetts

The steps you should take in the immediate aftermath of any motor vehicle collision are fairly consistent. They include:

  • Checking yourself for injuries
  • Checking your passengers for injuries
  • Tending to any injuries that need immediate care
  • Relocating to a safe spot away from traffic
  • Calmly checking on the other parties involved in the accident
  • Calling the police to report the accident
  • Exchanging contact and insurance information with the other parties involved in the collision
  • Gathering evidence by taking pictures of the accident scene and your injuries, and by getting the names and contact information of witnesses at the scene
  • Cooperating with police as they investigate the accident, but being careful not to say anything that might suggest you caused it

It’s vital to see a doctor right away once the police grant you permission to leave the scene of the accident. Be aware, after a collision, your body may be pumping with adrenaline. This can make it difficult to notice pain or other symptoms of an injury.

It’s entirely possible to not realize you’re injured after a motor vehicle accident. As such, you should never say anything like “I’m fine” or “I think I’m okay” when speaking with anyone after a collision. Instead, see a doctor to confirm that you don’t need treatment.

What if a Driver Asks You Not to Contact the Police?

A drunk driver who causes an accident almost certainly won’t be eager for the police to arrive and begin investigating. When you approach the other driver involved in the accident, it’s possible they’ll attempt to convince you to settle the matter yourselves if the collision appears to have only resulted in minor damage.

Don’t let them sway you. In Massachusetts, depending on the extent of the property damage and injuries resulting from a collision, reporting the accident may be a legal requirement. Always call the police after a collision, regardless of what the other involved parties may suggest.

Always call the police after a collision, regardless of what the other involved parties may suggest.

What if a Drunk Driver Flees the Scene?

An intoxicated driver who doesn’t wish to get arrested after causing an accident may attempt to flee. If this happens, make a note or audio recording on your phone of any identifying details of the fleeing driver and their vehicle, such as make/model, license plate number, the direction in which they were heading, etc.

Alert the police too. A drunk driver fleeing the scene of an accident may be likely to cause another collision. If you let the police know where the driver is headed, they may be able to intercept them before they cause additional harm.

Can I Sue a Drunk Driver Who Caused an Accident in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts is one of a few states in the U.S. that uses the no-fault system for car insurance. In Massachusetts, when you’re harmed in a car accident, you can seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and related losses associated with the accident by filing a claim with your own insurance. While the accident may technically be someone else’s fault, your insurance is nevertheless responsible for compensating you accordingly.

However, there are exceptions. If your injuries are particularly severe and your insurance can’t provide all the compensation you deserve, you may have the option of filing a separate third-party claim or lawsuit against another party if you can show your accident resulted from their actions or negligence.

Strongly consider hiring an attorney to assist you with your case regardless of whether you believe filing a third-party claim is an option. At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., a Boston car accident attorney will review your case at no charge to you and will offer dedicated representation if you decide to hire us. Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at (617) 742-1900 to schedule a free consultation.

Need Help?

If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.

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About the Author: Kristy L Rivers
Kristy L. Rivers is a trial lawyer at Swartz & Swartz, P.C., who began a career of zealous advocacy for her clients while representing indigent defendants in Florida. She is admitted to practice law in Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, and the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

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