Gavel, alcohol, and car keys on wooden table

What to Do If You Are Hit By a Drunk Driver

Abrahamson Law Office Feb. 9, 2023

If you have been hit and injured by a drunk driver, the situation can be both frightening and overwhelming. The steps taken following an accident are critical as they will help protect your rights and ensure that justice is served.  

With an office in Omaha, our car accident attorneys at Abrahamson Law Office represent accident victims and their families throughout the state of Nebraska, including Otoe County, Saunders County, Sarpy County, Washington County, Douglas County, and Dodge County.   

Steps to Take if You Are Hit by a Drunk Driver  

It is essential to take the correct steps immediately following an accident to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for any injuries or damages sustained: 

  1. Seek medical attention. The most important step to take if you’ve been hit by a drunk driver is to seek medical attention right away. It is critical to get checked out immediately as some injuries may not show symptoms until several days or even weeks after the accident. It is also essential that medical documentation exists of your injuries and treatment plan should it become necessary in a court of law later on.  

  1. Call the police. Once you get to safety, the next step should be calling the police. A police report will provide evidence of who was at fault and what happened during the accident. This report will also help with filing insurance claims and pursuing legal action in court if necessary. Be sure to get a copy of your police report for your records.  

  1. Talk to witnesses. If there were any witnesses present at the time of the accident, be sure to talk with them about what they saw happen. Ask them for their contact information so that their statement can be used in court should it become necessary.  

  1. Gather evidence at the scene. Take photographs and record videos of damage done, skid marks, debris at the scene, and empty bottles or open alcohol containers in the other driver’s vehicle. All this information can help prove your case against a drunk driver in court and increase your chance of receiving compensation for damages suffered due to their negligence behind the wheel.   

  1. Contact a lawyer. Finally, contact an experienced lawyer who specializes in handling cases involving intoxicated drivers so that they can make sure all paperwork related to this matter is filled out properly and accurately. They will also guide you through any legal proceedings necessary and provide advice on how best to proceed with seeking damages from the person or entity responsible for causing the accident.  

Taking these steps can help protect your rights when seeking just compensation for damages suffered and injury or property loss incurred because of the drunk driver’s conduct.  

Liability in Drunk Driving Accidents  

If you have been in an accident involving a drunk driver, it’s likely that you are looking for answers and clarity regarding your legal rights. The drunk driver might seem like the only party responsible for the accident, but it is not always the case.  

Nebraska also has a dram shop law to hold bars and other establishments liable for damages caused by customers who have been over-served alcohol. The law states that if a minor (under the age of 21) has been served alcohol and then subsequently causes an injury or death due to their intoxicated state, the establishment can be held liable for those damages.  

This means that if you have been injured due to a drunk driver under 21 who was over-served at a bar or restaurant, then you may be able to pursue legal action against the establishment under this law. However, if the driver was of legal drinking age, you cannot sue the bar or establishment under Nebraska’s dram shop law.  

In addition to holding serving establishments accountable through Nebraska’s dram shop law, it is also important to understand that criminal conviction of the drunk driver can make it easier for victims of accidents involving a drunk driver to establish negligence in civil court as well. This means that if the drunk driver is convicted of criminal charges related to their intoxication level at the time of the accident, this could mean less work on behalf of the injured victim when attempting to prove liability in civil court. 

Protect Your Health, Your Life, and Your Future  

If you or someone you love has been involved in a drunk driving accident in Omaha or other parts of Nebraska, our car accident attorneys at Abrahamson Law Office can help. We can assist you with filing your personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit (if your loved one died because of a drunk driver) to seek justice and obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact our office today to request a consultation.