Distracted driving has become an epidemic throughout the United States. The mobile phone has given drivers yet another distraction. Distracted driving has always been a problem, but the smartphone has made it far worse.
Now, drivers have something that can regularly take their attention off the road for a few seconds at a time. They may frequently check their emails or social media when they drive. When a driver sends a text, they take their eyes off the road and both hands off the wheel.
if you or your loved one have been injured in an accident with texting driver, reach out to our experienced distracted driving accident attorney for legal guidance and support.
Distracted Driving Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries
In the time it takes to send a text when driving on a highway, the car can travel the length of an entire football field. Not every road is perfectly straight, and even the ones that are, have other motorists around in traffic.
The driver may have already been in a serious accident before they can return their eyes to the road because all it takes is a split second to cause a serious accident.
Almost one in every ten car accident fatalities stems from distracted driving. For every person who loses their life in a distracted driving accident, countless others suffer serious injuries. Their lives may never be the same again, and they are left to deal with the mounting economic and physical costs of such an accident.
Distracted driving crashes are often worse than the “average” motor vehicle accident. One driver is not paying attention, so they cannot slow down or change course. The other driver does not expect the accident, so they cannot take any evasive action. These accidents also usually happen at higher speeds and at dangerous angles.
See a Doctor After a Distracted Driving Accident
The first thing you should do after being injured in a distracted driving accident is get all the medical help you need. If you were seriously injured, you were treated at the scene and taken to the hospital.
If you did not receive treatment immediately after the accident, you should get checked out by a doctor in the days following the crash. You may have suffered an injury in the accident but do not know it yet. When you notice the symptoms, your medical condition may have worsened. In addition, the insurance company can claim that you made your medical condition worse by not seeing a doctor right after the accident.
Hire an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
When wondering what you can do about a distracted driving accident, you should always pose that question to a car accident lawyer. First, you can take advantage of the free initial consultation that a car accident lawyer offers you. They will explain your legal options and tell you whether you have a strong case against the responsible driver.
You are under no obligation when you take an initial consultation. You are welcome to speak to as many attorneys as you wish, although you should not take too long to hire a lawyer. Waiting too long can cause you to be behind the curve, especially when gathering evidence.
Your Damages in a Distracted Driving Car Accident Case
If you have suffered an injury due to a texting driver, you have the right to full financial compensation for your injuries.
Once you prove fault, you might receive damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Embarrassment and humiliation
These damages can add up if you suffer life-changing injuries.
From a legal perspective, the first thing that you should do is contact an experienced car accident attorney. You can turn the details of the legal process over to them.
As it proceeds, you will work closely with your attorney to make the key decisions in your case. The first step is to call them for your free initial consultation. You will not have to pay them any money upfront for their services. No money will change hands – they do receive part of your settlement or jury award if you receive one.
Your Lawyer Can Gather Evidence in Your Case
One of the first things your car accident lawyer will do is gather evidence to prove that the other driver was to blame for the crash. There is a legal requirement that you prove that the other driver was negligent in the car crash.
If you cannot prove negligence, you will not be in a position to receive a car accident settlement or even talk about one. The burden of proof is on you. Unless you can meet this burden, you cannot seek compensation.
At the time of the accident, you may not have known for sure that the other driver was texting. However, the circumstances of the accident may cause you to suspect something was wrong. Based on how the accident happened, you may think that drivers who are paying attention to the road should never do what this driver did.
Sources of Evidence in Your Car Accident Case
Your lawyer will take it from there when they launch their investigation of your accident.
They can review and obtain evidence from:
- Witnesses who saw the accident or what may have happened in the time immediately preceding it
- The police report (which cannot be evidence in a trial, but it can help the insurance companies determine liability)
- Pictures of the scene of the accident, including where the skid marks were
- Testimony from an accident reconstruction expert
- Dashcam and traffic camera footage around the area of the accident
When someone violates a statute or a regulation in an accident, they automatically assume negligence. Texting while driving is against the law in 48 states (absent Missouri and Montana). If the police officer showed up and issued a ticket to the other driver for texting while driving, it can help your case if they plead guilty.
How You Can Prove the Driver Was Texting
It will help your case if you can prove that the driver was texting during the accident. Your lawyer might obtain the driver’s phone records from when they crashed. The drivers will not give this evidence just because you ask. Your lawyer can subpoena the other driver’s phone records. The records can show that the driver texted around the time of the accident.
You can also establish that a driver texted through other means. For example, witnesses may have seen that the driver did not look at the road at the time of the crash. Other drivers in the area before the crash may have seen the motorist driving erratically.
The accident scene may also give clues that indicate what went wrong to cause the crash. If the other driver rear-ended you, and there were no skid marks, you can deduce that they made no effort to stop. Similarly, drivers who run red lights in a busy intersection are often distracted. Thus, you can also prove distracted driving through circumstantial evidence.
You Do Not Actually Have to Prove Distracted Driving, But it Helps
In most cases, you may not actually need to prove that the driver texted. It will help your case if liability is a close call. Normally, a distracted driver does something unmistakably negligent, such as rear-ending a car in front of them or running a red light. However, when a driver runs a red light or stop sign, they may claim that you violated traffic rules. Then, you may need cell phone records to win the truth contest.
How to Get Financial Compensation After a Distracted Driving Accident
To get the financial compensation that you deserve, you have two options:
- You can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company
- You can file a lawsuit against the responsible driver in court (which the insurance company will defend)
Usually, the insurance company knows that it has to settle distracted driving cases. Unless they feel that you do not have sufficient proof, they know there is a significant chance they can lose the case. They also know that a jury is composed of people with human emotions, who may get angry when they see the harm a texting driver caused.
However, getting all the money you deserve from the insurance company may take time. They think dragging out the case will make you more willing to accept less money. They try to take advantage of what they believe is your desperation.
Hiring a Lawyer Gives You Legal Options
When you hire an experienced car accident lawyer, you are operating from a position of strength. Your lawyer knows how much your case is worth and how to negotiate with the insurance company for more money.
The insurance company is not in a position where they can push you around because you can do something about it, and they know it. The insurance company may still play games because it is part of their business model. If you cannot settle your case, you can go to court. In a distracted driving case, that may be the last thing the insurance company wants.
If the other driver did not have enough insurance coverage (or if they did not have insurance coverage in the first place), you can file a claim against your own uninsured motorist coverage.
You can expect many of the same issues when dealing with your insurance company. They also make it hard for you to get the money you deserve. Insurance companies have a long history of rough treatment of their own customers.
Hiring a lawyer also shows the insurance company that they cannot push you around. They treat claimants who have car accident attorneys differently than those who file their own claims.
They know that an experienced lawyer with a track record will hold them accountable and make things harder for them. The insurance company realizes it cannot get away with the same tactics it uses on self-represented claimants.
Don’t Wait to Discuss Your Injuries with a Car Accident Attorney
Time is limited when filing a car accident claim, especially one involving potential distracted driving. You need to gather evidence before someone else destroys or conceals it, and while witness memories are still fresh. Your personal injury lawyer will handle all of this – your only job is to begin the process by seeking a free case evaluation.