In the aftermath of an accident, the first thing you want to do is determine liability and find out if the other driver’s negligence at the time of the crash puts them at fault. If you suspect that the other driver is at fault because they were texting on their cell phone, there are specific steps that you need to take. A car accident lawyer experienced with texting while driving cases will assist you in making sure that you receive compensation for damages that you are entitled.
Texting while driving falls under the category of distracted driving, which is rising in prevalence and taken seriously in most courts of law. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention from the road while behind the wheel.
It goes without saying that texting on a cell phone while simultaneously trying to maintain control of a vehicle, which is essentially 3000 pounds of metal hurtling down the highway, is a dangerous proposition, indeed. So what do you do if you have been in an accident and you believe that the other driver was texting and driving?
It is obvious that obtaining the correct medical treatment should be your first priority following any accident. When the victim is trying to prove negligence on the part of the other driver that was allegedly texting and caused the accident, time is of the essence and you should immediately seek medical help.
The police report will include vital information such as the name of the driver, insurance and contact information. However, a National Safety Council study looked at police reports from across the country and found that they don’t capture adequate data for a conviction by themselves. Fortunately, the report will also detail whether there were any witnesses.
It’s highly important to contact any witnesses in a timely manner and ask for statements in writing from them. It is never sufficient to just claim the other driver caused an accident but instead, you will have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. The best way to do this is through testimony from an eyewitness.
Many witnesses can forget things or remember incorrectly if too much time passes so you will want to contact them as soon as possible. You can do this by yourself or can also enlist the help of a car accident lawyer who is experienced in tracking down reticent witnesses.
If a ticket was given to the other driver for negligence due to distracted driving, in most cases, they will hire a lawyer and try to bargain a plea. Eye witness accounts and medical reports of injury make it less likely that the defendant’s lawyer will accept a plea. However, keep in mind that once a plea is agreed upon, it is difficult–if not impossible–to overturn.
Certificates of Disposition
These certificates are basically guilty pleas that can be used to incriminate the other driver. It is always worth taking the time to track this information down.
Dealing with the Insurance Company
The way you handle the other driver’s insurance company can greatly affect your case and you will likely hear from them shortly after the accident. Many accident victims find insurance companies intimidating and may feel more comfortable obtaining the assistance of a reputable car accident lawyer.
A car accident lawyer also has the resources to either get any camera footage reviewed or petition for the cell phone records of the other driver to help prove the other driver was in fact texting while driving. With this evidence, your case becomes easy to prove that you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence. With a case like that, getting a fair settlement is possible if the correct course of action is taken.