Car accidents happen and sometimes they’re unavoidable or just the result of the sort of ordinary driving errors that everybody makes from time to time. When you’re the victim of a drunk driver, however, it can be hard to keep your cool on the scene simply because you know that accident was avoidable.

Try to remember that drunk driving accidents need to be approached like any other accident — the only difference is that instead of both you and the other driver going your own ways in the end, the drunk driver is likely going to jail — at least until he or she is tested and booked and able to bond out.

There are some basic steps you need to take at any accident scene — just tailor them a little to fit the situation:

1. Call the police and, if necessary, call an ambulance. When a drunk driver is involved, you want to let the authorities handle as much of the scene as possible.

2. Save your anger for another time. If you were in an ordinary accident, you might be tempted to apologize. Since the accident involved a drunk driver, you might be tempted to lose your temper at the other driver. Calm down and hold it in — you don’t want to say or do anything that could back to haunt you in court later.

3. Take notes, names and photos. Gather as much evidence as you are able, under the circumstances. If there are witnesses gathered, get their names and contact information. Use your cellphone to your advantage and take as many photos as you can of the accident. Jot yourself a note (use your text function if necessary) about anything the other driver says that could be important — like how much he or she claims to have had to drink.

4. Call your insurance company and call an attorney. Your insurance company will help you deal with the damage to your car and any immediate injuries you have. An attorney can help you recover fair compensation for your injuries and your suffering by negotiating with the other driver’s insurance company or, if necessary, taking the case into court.

Our firm aggressively represents the victims of drunk drivers. If you’d like more information about our approach, please visit our page.