Getting into any car accident is a terrifying experience. Finding out the other driver involved was possibly texting leading up to the accident can make you feel angry and frustrated. Additionally, sustaining injuries and damage in a car accident due to texting can disrupt your life. It can derail your ability to work, take care of your family and live your day-to-day life.
While it is common to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about the accident, your injuries, and your future, you can take steps to protect yourself as best you can, including your legal rights to potential compensation. Contacting a Long Island car accident attorney is in your best interest.
Get Medical Treatment for Your Injuries
Your most pressing priority after a car accident involving a texting driver is to ensure you get help for your injuries. For example, injuries after a car accident can range from minor to severe. Still, regardless of how significant you think your injuries might be, you need to see a doctor immediately.
Assuming you will feel fine in a few days or that your injuries will eventually heal on their own can create challenges and difficulties for you if and when things do not go as expected. Car accident injuries can be deceptive. What may appear like nothing more than a few bumps and bruises, your injuries can be much more destructive and debilitating on your body. This will lead to higher medical bills and more significant disruption and impact on your life.
If you visited the emergency room after the car accident, ensure that you now continue to follow up with all appointments and the advice of your medical team. Recovery can take longer than you would like or expect. However, remaining dedicated to your physical recovery will give you the best chance at reaching an optimal recovery and will also help if and when you must prove the injuries and damages you sustained due to the crash.
If you did not visit an emergency room or doctor in the immediate aftermath of the accident but have injuries, you must do so urgently. Passing too much time between sustaining injuries and getting medical attention can damage an insurance claim or lawsuit for your losses.
Document Your Car Accident Experience as Soon as You Can
As a car accident victim, you may want to take action quickly and make things happen as soon as possible. While there are many things out of your control in the aftermath of a car crash, there are effective measures you can take to benefit your case without interfering or causing potential complications later on down the line. Beginning a journal to document what happened from your perspective can help an attorney representing you in an accident claim or case.
As time passes and the days become weeks or even months, remembering the specific details around the accident, your injuries, and events leading up to and following the crash can become more difficult. Speak to your attorney about possibly starting a written journal, you can make sure that you will have the ability to recollect more subtle aspects of the case that you may forget but that can have a beneficial impact on the outcome of your case.
Your attorney may want you to journal the events and timeline of the accident, your recovery, your healing process, and the impacts the injuries and accident have had on your life.
Collect and Keep All Evidence Available to You
As the days go by after a car accident, you will begin to acquire what can feel like a mountain of paperwork. At the same time, it may be tempting to discard paperwork; but you should instead set aside a bin, folder, or drawer where you can keep everything organized and safe.
You should keep all bills, medical records, employer communications, repair estimates, letters from insurance companies, and any other evidence regarding the crash and its aftermath. When you hire an attorney to represent you in the case, they can review this evidence to determine what is relevant and helpful to your case and claim.
Obtain the Police Report
The most wanted piece of evidence following a car accident is the police report. As soon as you can get a copy, it would help if you did so. Typically, it can take anywhere from a week to a month for the police report to become available to those involved. In most cases obtaining a police report is a reasonably straightforward process where you can either make a request online, by phone, or in person at the police department that responded to the accident.
The police report contains evidence and information regarding the damages at the scene, the statements of witnesses and parties, the opinion of the police officer, as well as information regarding any citations issued for the accident, which could help prove who is at fault for the collision and the cause of the accident.
Call a Lawyer
While you may not think it is necessary, getting a lawyer should be on your list of tasks following a car accident where you believe the cause is a texting driver. There is a common misconception that getting a lawyer involved in your case will only delay your case or cause complications, but this is not true. A lawyer that represents your interests as the victim will offer not only additional protection of your legal rights but can help you avoid obstacles, complications, and delays in the case that commonly occur when victims attempt to represent themselves.
How Can a Lawyer Help You with Your Accident Case?
An attorney’s role in a car accident case representing you as the plaintiff can make a difference, not just in how an insurance company handles your case from the outset but also in how much compensation may be available to you.
Lawyers representing victims of car accidents have the experience to guide you through what you can expect and how to approach your claim and case. Texting and driving accidents can have disastrous consequences on your life. Getting a lawyer to help you with your claim can give you a better chance at fighting for the maximum compensation available under the law.
The Dangers of Drivers That Text While Driving
Texting is one of the most commonly reported driving distractions. Texting while operating a motor vehicle is dangerous and potentially deadly for the driver engaged in the behavior and to all the other drivers and passengers in vehicles on the road around them. Texting not only takes a driver’s eyes off the road but also takes away their focus when they must remain alert to the traffic and their surroundings. Reports by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that over 3,000 can lose their lives in distracted driving accidents each year.
Over recent decades texting has become a rising problem and cause of injuries and deaths in motor vehicle accidents. The vast majority of the population owns at least one or, in some cases, multiple phones and electronic devices. Staying connected comes at a cost, and when people cannot disconnect even in potentially dangerous scenarios, innocent victims can pay the price of these negligent actions.
Texting and Driving Laws
The trends in accidents and deaths surrounding texting while driving have led many states to take action to try to improve the safety of the general public while traveling on the roads. Most all states have some form of texting laws to protect the public and prevent drivers from engaging in this dangerous practice while operating their vehicles. Depending on the state you are in, texting laws can range from not actively texting while driving to a complete ban on using handheld devices while behind the wheel.
Where your accident occurs will determine the texting laws that apply to a motor vehicle collision. Familiarizing yourself with the texting laws in your state can help you better understand what is acceptable versus possibly negligent behavior. Keep in mind that just because something is not against the law does not mean it cannot still rise to negligence under the law and be the cause of a car accident.
How Did You Discover Another Driver Was Texting at the Time of the Accident?
The events leading up to a car accident and the cause of the accident, and your subsequent injuries can significantly impact the types of compensation available to you and who may be responsible for those damages.
If you suspect that texting caused your accident, you may need a lawyer who can show the other driver caused the crash and, in turn, is liable to you for your losses. You may not immediately know after the motor vehicle collision that a texting driver caused it. Information after the accident may reveal that texting may have played a role in the crash.
They May Have Said Something to You at the Scene
In the chaos at the scene of an accident, a driver may freely admit they were texting behind the wheel. Often, drivers engaged in distracting behaviors may admit to doing so and initially apologize for their actions.
Another possibility is that a driver may have been in a vehicle with other passengers who saw the individual texting while driving and ultimately becoming distracted. It is also possible that you, yourself, or other drivers or witnesses in the vicinity saw the driver texting before the accident occurred. These details can help you prove that the driver was texting during the collision.
They May Have Said Something to the Police
Maybe the other driver does not interact with you after the accident or offer up any information to you but may still admit to the police that they were texting when the accident occurred. During their investigation, it is also possible that the police discovered evidence that the driver was texting, even if they do not admit to doing so.
Did The Other Driver Get a Citation for Texting While Driving?
The evidence the police gather at the crash scene, and their determination as to the cause of the accident, are likely to be in the police report. The report will also include whether the driver received a citation and for what reason. For example, if the police suspect or have evidence that the driver was texting, they may issue a ticket for texting while driving, a traffic offense in many states.
This citation may carry a fine and require a court appearance. While a citation is not automatic proof that the other driver caused the accident, it can benefit you. It will likely help your case by supporting the notion that the driver was reckless and negligent leading to and during the accident.
Are Cell Phone Records for Another Driver Accessible in a Car Accident Case?
Yes, but it is not always an easy process or something that will be readily available to you. A car accident attorney representing you can help you obtain cell phone records to help prove the other driver may have been texting when the collision occurred. Because of privacy concerns, getting access to cell phone records requires a complex legal process. Your lawyer has the resources and knowledge of the legal system to request these records when appropriate and beneficial to your case.
If you or a family member is a victim of a texting-while-driving car accident, contact a lawyer in your area for a free consultation to discuss your case and options for recovering your losses. Meeting with an attorney can help you make the best decision moving forward for you and your rights.