Accidents Caused by Texting Drivers
September 6, 2022
Over six billion text messages are sent every day in the United States. Unfortunately, many people think that they are able to use this popular form of communication while they are driving. Reach out to a Grand Rapids car accident lawyer.But sending or reading a short text takes about 5 seconds, and if you are driving 55 miles per hour, looking at your phone for 5 seconds is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. It is thus no surprise that crashes often happen when a driver is texting.
If you have been injured in an accident because the other driver was texting, you have legal remedies available. An experienced motor vehicle attorney can help you pursue compensation if you are injured due to another person’s negligent choice to text and drive.
The Steps You Should Take Following a Motor Vehicle Accident With a Texting Driver
Although talking to witnesses or taking pictures of the crash scene is probably the last thing you want to worry about after a motor vehicle accident, they can keep you safe and safeguard your legal rights. For these reasons, following one of these accidents, you should consider doing the following:
Contact the Authorities Immediately After the Accident
After an accident with a driver who was texting, you should call 911 immediately. If you cannot do this yourself, have someone else call on your behalf. Reaching out to the authorities after the crash is the fastest way to alert the police and the medical personnel of the collision and your injuries and the quickest way to get your injuries on record.
After the police get to the crash scene, they will perform a preliminary investigation and write their findings in their police report. If you decide to pursue legal action after this crash, this report can provide your lawyer with valuable details that they can use to fight for your rights.
Try to Take Photographs of the Scene
If the area is safe and you do not require emergency medical treatment, take as many photographs of the crash scene, including photos of:
- Visible injuries
- The cars involved in the collision
- The placement of these vehicles on the road
- The damage to each of the cars
- Skid marks on the street
- Road defects
- Traffic signals or signs near the collision site
- The weather conditions
- Other evidence that can help show what happened
Yet, do not panic if you cannot obtain all of these photos because of your injuries. Once you retain an experienced car accident attorney, these legal professionals can gather this evidence while you focus on getting better.
Get Driver Information
If the other driver is willing to talk to you, try to get their name, driver’s license number, make and model of their car, contact details, and insurance information. However, if they are giving you a hard time, prioritize your safety by waiting in the car for the police to arrive. These officers can obtain these details from the at-fault driver, and your lawyer can get them from the police report once it is prepared.
Check With Others From the Scene
If anyone saw the accident, get their names and phone numbers. These witnesses can substantiate your claim and provide your attorney with further details regarding what happened and who was at fault.
Be Careful What You Say
However, as you talk to these other individuals following the accident, you will want to make sure you watch what you say to them. This means avoiding comments like “I am sorry” or “It was my fault,” as the other side can use these statements to hurt your case.
In addition, try to stay off posting on social media accounts and online forums. Posting online can create a chain of evidence that the other side can use against you to decrease the compensation you can receive for your injuries.
Get Medical Treatment Right Away
Even if your injuries look minor, you should still get to a medical professional immediately after the accident. These doctors can not only get you the necessary medical treatment you need, but they can also check for serious, hidden injuries, such as brain trauma, that can take time to manifest.
In addition, these doctors can also provide you with a medical report that can be useful to your legal claim, especially since the insurance company will be looking for any reason to deny your case or reduce the compensation you receive. And by not getting prompt medical treatment, the insurance company will likely try to argue that your injuries are not that severe or a result of a subsequent event.
Fortunately, with this medical report, your attorney will have access to documentation explaining the extent of your injuries and evidence of a direct link between the harm you suffered and the motor vehicle accident.
Watch out for the Insurance Companies
Before you speak with the insurance company, you must realize that the insurer is not there to help you after a crash. They are a business, and like other businesses, they are there to make a profit, which means paying you less for your claims.
That is why these insurance adjusters will try to do anything they can to make this money, even offering you a meager settlement after your collision that will barely pay for any current costs, let alone future expenses. Worse yet, if you accept this amount, you cannot return to the insurance company down the road for more money.
In addition, these companies are known to get you on the phone shortly after your accident when you are most vulnerable in hopes that they catch you saying something that can hurt your claim. As a result, it is often in your best interest to talk to an experienced car accident attorney before you speak with these insurance companies or accept any offer from them.
With these lawyers on your side, you can rest easy knowing that you will not get taken advantage of by these insurance companies. These attorneys can even take over your conversations with the insurer, ensuring you do not make statements that can hurt your case.
File a Claim Before You Run out of Time
Although most car accident claims settle outside the courtroom, some may end up in front of a judge or a jury. However, before bringing this lawsuit, you need enough time to file your case.
According to the statute of limitations, which is a regulation that mandates the deadline people have to pursue a lawsuit after an accident or alleged offense, individuals involved in a texting and driving accident will only have a few years to pursue their suit.
This deadline typically depends on the state where the accident occurred, such as in Michigan, where the statute of limitations to pursue a personal injury claim is three years. If exceptions apply to this rule, this deadline can also change.
For these reasons, it is usually a good idea to reach out to an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible after a motor vehicle crash. These attorneys can help you verify not only the total amount of time you have to file your case, but they can also ensure that, if required, your motions and files are prepared and submitted to the appropriate court before time expires.
Go After the Financial Damages You Need
If you can pursue a lawsuit for a car accident due to distracted driving, you may recover financial compensation. This compensation usually breaks into two categories:
These damages refer to payment for the verifiable losses resulting from the car crash.
They include losses related to:
- Costs for medical treatment, such as surgeries, hospitalization, doctor visits, medications, emergency treatment, and other medical assistance
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Future medical treatment, adaptive devices, and ongoing therapy
- The help with costs of daily living (such as cleaning services, child care, and home aides)
- Property loss (including the cost of motor vehicle repair or replacement)Other costs resulting from the accident
These damages refer to compensation for the hard-to-quantify losses that result from the accident, including losses due to:
- Physical impairment
- Physical disfigurement
- Loss of society and companionship
- Other emotional distress
However, to figure out which monetary damages may apply to your case, it may be best to reach out to an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can review the extent of your losses, determine which of these damages may apply to your case, and prepare the most compelling legal claim on your behalf as they go after maximum compensation.
What Evidence Can Help Your Civil Case?
In general, when a party is charged criminally for a car accident, it means the state will prosecute them, and as a result, their punishments can include community service or jail time. However, a victim of this accident will not be involved in this case, outside of maybe acting as evidence of the wrongful party’s misconduct.
In comparison, victims must file a personal injury case separate from a criminal one to pursue compensation. If the victim is successful in their claim, they can obtain monetary damages for the injuries and losses they suffered from their accident.
However, criminal and civil cases are not always disconnected, primarily regarding the evidence involved, since evidence of the at-fault driver’s criminal actions could be used as evidence that the motorist acted recklessly or negligently in the civil case.
Consequently, if you want to know what evidence you can use in your personal injury case and whether the at-fault party’s criminal charges can help you secure compensation for the harm and losses you sustained, it may be a good idea to reach out to a knowledgeable car accident attorney as soon as possible and go over the facts of your accident.
Fight for the Justice and Damages You Deserve with an Experienced Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney
After a motor vehicle collision, you have enough on your plate. Do not worry about how to secure compensation to cover your injuries and bills on top of everything else. Thankfully, when you retain experienced legal counsel, you will not have to deal with this stress alone. Instead, these lawyers can take on this legal battle for you and help you go after the justice and financial damages you deserve.
Once hired, these lawyers can:
- Review the facts of your motor vehicle accident, figure out if you have a viable legal case, and determine the legal remedies you can seek.
- Investigate the collision and try to secure the evidence needed to show fault and damages.
- Hire experts to validate your case, including financial specialists, accident specialists, engineers, and others.
- Tackle the settlement negotiations with the insurer and the other side and go after the fair settlement offer you need.
- Proceed to trial if the other side does not want to negotiate fairly and fight for the maximum recovery you deserve.
If a car collision harmed you or someone you love because another driver was texting and driving, now is the time to act. Reach out to an experienced Grand Rapids personal injury attorney today for your free case consultation and find out how a legal professional can help you.