Being the victim of a drunk driving accident can have significant repercussions for your life. If you have been the victim of a drunk driver, you need to understand how a DUI arrest of the other driver can impact your settlement negotiations.

If the police on the scene suspect drunk driving, having this outlined in the police report can help your claim. If you witness behavior before or during the accident that might indicate how alcohol was a factor in the accident, share this with police. Someone driving drunk can leave significant damage in his or her wake.

Typically, these cases in California will proceed similarly when compared with other injury or damage claims. If you suspect that the other driver was operating his or her vehicle drunk, it is important that you point this out to the police officers if they don’t appear to know this yet. For example, if you are witnessing signs that the other driver is belligerent and under the influence of alcohol, you need to report this to the police officer who will then investigate it and consider including it in his or her police report. If you smell marijuana or alcohol on the other driver’s breath, you need to let the officers know. Between the time it takes for you to make the phone call about the accident and for the officers to arrive on the scene, the other driver may make efforts to conceal the odor or hide other signs that he or she was drinking and driving.

Securing proof of drunk driving in a California car accident should not be that difficult if it is outlined in the police report. Typically police reports will contain a separate section known as contributory factors. The officer will make entries in that section about any outside factors that could have led to the drunk driving crash and indications that someone was under the influence should be included there. Make sure you request a copy of the police report as soon as possible after your drunk driving accident. This may prove pertinent in your negotiations with the insurance company and your personal injury claim.