Everyone knows Drinking and Driving (DUI) is illegal in Oregon. However, people need to understand that the fear of getting arrested should not be the only concern when a DUII driver gets behind the wheel.  Statistics for the State of Oregon note hundreds of injuries and fatalities that result from DUI crashes each year.  Alcohol, controlled substances, marijuana, and prescription drugs are all contributing factors to these crashes.   Below is a terrifying video of a DUII driver that is lucky to be alive.

As a result, the law allows injured people in certain circumstances to collect additional compensation from the DUI driver that injured them.  An injured party can obtain punitive damages from a DUII driver.  An injured party may also be able to collect money from a bar that over-served the DUII driver.

The question then becomes what should you do if you are hit by a DUII driver.  The following list should assist you in obtaining compensation when you are involved in a crash with a suspected DUII Driver:

  1. Report the Crash to the Police Immediately if you suspect you were injured by a DUII driver.  Many police departments do not respond to minor crashes, but will respond to a crash involving a DUII driver.  It is imperative to call 911 if you suspect you were in a crash with a DUII driver.
  2. Gather information from the DUII driver regarding where the DUII driver was consuming alcohol or the controlled substances.  This may give rise to an additional dram shop claim.
  3. Gather Witness information and contact information.   If someone saw any part of the crash or spoke with the DUI driver  get the witnesses address, phone number, or email.  Also it may help to take a photo of a witness’s license plate so you can look them up in the future if necessary.
  4. Take Photos.  Pictures are worth a thousand words.  Cell phone photos of the crash scene, and maybe an empty beer bottle is powerful evidence to assist in the prosecution of the DUI driver and to assist you in your personal injury case.
  5. Contact your Auto Insurance company immediately and inform them you think you were hit by a DUII driver.  Provide them the police officer’s name and report information.
  6.  If you, or a loved one, are seriously injured, call a personal injury attorney immediately and cooperate with law enforcement.  Many times the DUI Driver’s minimal insurance policy of $25,000.00 will be expended by a two day hospital stay.   This leaves the injured party with nothing, and only reduces the medical bills they will be forced to pay if they don’t have other insurance sources.   It is important to contact a personal injury attorney so the attorney can investigate all potentially liable parties.  An investigation may reveal additional sources of insurance that will provide the injured person compensation in the future.
  7. Cooperate with the District Attorney if you are asked to come to court or send documents to the District Attorney.

The above list is not exhaustive, and your situation will likely vary.  However, these are things to keep in mind if you are hit by a DUII driver in Oregon.  If you are injured by a DUII driver in Oregon call Portland Oregon Personal Injury Attorney Jeremiah Ross for yourfree  personal injury consultation.  Cal 503.224.1658.  This post is not to be considered legal advice, so please call a lawyer.