The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2018, almost 3,000 people died due to distracted driving. Texting is one of the most dangerous types of distracted driving. It takes your eyes off the road for five seconds and, at 55 miles per hour, texting behind the wheel is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
The dangers of distracted driving cannot be overstated. If you were hit by someone who was texting and driving, there are certain steps you need to take to protect your rights. Following these steps will put you in an advantageous position if you end up filing a lawsuit.
If you are hit by someone who is texting and driving, you need to seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Also keep in mind that some injuries are not evident immediately after the accident. Even if you don’t think you need to see your doctor quickly after the accident, it’s still important to get checked out. It’s also critical that you keep any follow-up visits they may recommend.
The police report will have a lot of information included. It will provide you with the name, address and insurance information for the person who was driving. There may also be information on witnesses to the accident, including passengers in the other car or people passing by. If the other driver was issued a ticket, that will also be included in the police report.
It is highly possible you will be contacted by the insurance company for the other driver and they will probably ask you to make a statement. Whatever you tell the investigator can be used in any future litigation. If you make a statement, stick only to the facts and do not add any additional information beyond what you are asked.
It is usually a good idea to have an attorney present when you make the statement as they can advise you what questions you must answer and which you can avoid. They have experience with the insurers, and they won’t let you say anything that might affect the value of your settlement.
You will need to prove that the other driver was texting and driving. The best way to do that is to talk to witnesses who saw them on their phone. The process of forgetting happens more quickly than you may think. Unfortunately, people forget details as time goes on, so you need to interview witnesses and get written statements as quickly as possible. Although you can do this on your own, it is usually better to have an investigator who works for an attorney talk to them.
Many traffic accidents are often handled quickly and the driver at fault may be offered a plea to a lesser charge. Most states have severe penalties for texting and driving. For this reason, the attorney for the person who hit you may try to have that charge dropped for something with a lesser penalty. If the prosecutor is aware that someone was injured, they may be less likely to accept a plea to a reduced charge.
Once the case has been decided, you will want to know what penalties were assessed. If the driver pleads guilty to using a cell phone behind the wheel and is penalized for that offense, that information can be used in a civil suit against the driver. Even if you think your injuries were not serious, you need to determine “is it worth it to hire an attorney for a minor accident?” In almost all cases, it is worth hiring an attorney if you are injured by someone texting and driving.
If you have been injured by someone who was texting while driving, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to see how we can help you get the compensation you are entitled to under the law. You can arrange for a no obligation consultation by calling or filling out the easy online form today.