Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in Raleigh, NC
If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver of a car or truck in North Carolina, it’s normal to feel angry, frustrated, and anxious. Drunk driving accidents can be prevented, and you were injured because someone else chose not to prevent the crash. You may worry about whether you will ever fully heal or how you will support your home and family if you cannot work due to your injuries.
If these concerns sound familiar, call the Raleigh automobile accident attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., today. We can help you identify all your options, choose a path that protects your legal rights and pursues the compensation you deserve.
Let us deal with the insurance companies, the courts and the other concerns related to the crash. With us fighting for you, you can focus on fighting to get your life back together.
At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., our drunk driving accident lawyers have received the highest rating from the respected Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and our firm uses a state-of-the-art case management system to ensure attentive representation. You will work directly with an experienced legal team who will be dedicated to your case.
Contact us now for a free consultation about your legal right to compensation from the drunk driver who caused your crash.
What to Do If You’re in an Accident Caused by a Driver Driving Under The Influence
No form of negligent driving has been the subject of more media scrutiny or targeted law enforcement campaigns in the past few decades than drunk driving. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous: reaction times are slowed, attention is impaired, and a driver’s sense of space, time, and speed can all be affected. In North Carolina, perpetrators of these crashes are considered drunk if they drive while possessing a blood alcohol content (BAC) that meets or exceeds the legal limit of .08 percent.
Despite the targeted attempts of the media, transportation safety agencies, non-profits, and law enforcement to spread the word about the dangers of drunk driving, however, drunk drivers got behind the wheel millions of times in the past year – with serious or even deadly results. In our state, nearly 1/3 of auto accident fatalities are caused by drivers under the influence.
If you are in a car accident with a driver whom you suspect is drunk, take as many of the following steps as you can. If you cannot do any of these tasks yourself, consider asking another person, such as a passenger in your car or a witness.
Move everyone out of the way of traffic.
If possible, move the vehicles and people involved in the accident to the side of the road. If a vehicle is too damaged to be moved, use hazard lights, flashlights, flares, or reflective equipment to make the vehicle easier for oncoming drivers to see. This will help others avoid becoming entangled in the crash. If any person at the scene is unconscious or is complaining of head, neck, or back pain, do not move them. Instead, wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive.
Call, or ask someone to call, 911.
The sooner you or someone nearby makes this call, the sooner emergency help can arrive. Emergency medical personnel can help treat anyone who is injured, and police can help secure the scene, make an accident report, and take other steps to protect those on the road.
Document everything you can.
Write down everything you remember about the moments leading up to and during the accident. If you have a smartphone or a camera, take pictures of the accident scene. If not, try to draw a diagram or have someone help you. Collecting the names and contact information of any witnesses will help you reach them if you need their help later. And don’t forget to get the contact information and insurance information of the driver.
Don’t admit fault.
In some accidents, you’ll know right away that the other driver caused the crash. In others, you may not be sure, or you may even think that you make a mistake that led to the accident. No matter what happened, however, don’t admit that the accident was your fault. Wait until police have investigated the scene and you and your lawyer have collected all the details before deciding whether or not it is fair for you to take the blame. Were you unable to get to some or all of these steps in the moments after your accident? Don’t worry. Your attorneys can help you gather information, contact witnesses, and determine what happened at the scene.
Drunk Driving Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Drunk Driving Accident
What If My Accident Was a Hit and Run?
Many drunk driving accidents in North Carolina are hit-and-run accidents, meaning that the intoxicated driver collides with a car, pedestrian, or bicyclist, then leaves the scene instead of stopping. Hit-and-run accidents can feel especially overwhelming because you don’t know who the driver was – and unless the crash left behind plenty of evidence or eyewitnesses, there is a chance you will never know. However, even if you are never able to locate the drunk driver who caused the crash, you may still be able to obtain the compensation you need to pay medical bills and certain other expenses related to the accident. Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage exists to help you meet expenses when another driver does not have adequate insurance or – as in a hit and run – that driver cannot be located. To learn more about your options in a hit-and-run drunk driving crash, contact Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. Your lawyer can help you determine which insurance coverages will apply to help you meet expenses, negotiate with insurance companies, and continue to investigate the crash so that you maximize your chances of finding the person who injured you and holding him or her accountable for the harm caused.
The Drunk Driver Who Hit Me Was Arrested. Can I Still Seek Compensation?
Yes! Even if the driver who hit you is facing criminal charges, you can still seek compensation for your injuries by filing an insurance claim or by bringing a civil lawsuit in court. You can pursue your claim for compensation even if the criminal case is still pending in court. You may be entitled to compensation from the driver even if he or she is acquitted of the charges. Criminal cases for drunk driving are separate from civil lawsuits and differ from them in two important ways. First, the criminal charges are filed by the state prosecutor’s office. However, you and your lawyer file the civil lawsuit directly, giving you more control over when, where, and how it is filed. Second, in a criminal case, a person who is found guilty may face penalties like fines, jail time, probation, community service, and other requirements. In a civil case, however, a person who is found liable will be expected to pay only money damages to compensate you for your losses. It’s also important to remember that the burden of proof is lower in a civil case than a criminal case. Because criminal and civil cases can interact in complex ways, it’s important to talk to a lawyer if there is a criminal case against the drunk driver who injured you. Your lawyer can help ensure your rights and interests are protected as both cases proceed.
Contact a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Raleigh Today
At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., we understand how tough it can be to handle your ordinary home and work tasks after a crash. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing excellent service to each of our clients, with a priority on compassion. We fight to protect the rights of our clients while also securing the full and fair compensation they deserve after a drunk driving crash. And we also emphasize listening, understanding your needs and goals, and striving for results that meet your goals within the bounds of the law.
To learn more, call our Raleigh office today or fill out our online contact form – whichever is easiest for you. Your initial consultation with our office is free and confidential.