Did You Get Into an Accident with a Texting Driver? Here’s What You Can Do
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident caused by a texting driver, it’s understandable to feel anger and frustration. The driver’s negligence may have changed your life forever, causing serious injuries and making it hard for you to continue in your job or even live independently.
A car accident attorney can help you hold the reckless driver accountable through a personal injury lawsuit for the injuries and losses they caused you. After an accident, it’s important to follow a few key steps.
Record All Information About Your Car Accident
As soon as possible, document everything that happened in the moments leading up to the accident. Start an accident journal, and include details about the weather and road conditions and who was with you in the car.
With time, it can become more difficult to recall these details. So it’s best to record them as soon after the accident as possible.
Making sure you have your memories written down helps you and your car accident lawyer better reconstruct the events if you have to give testimony or a deposition.
Keep Evidence from the Wreck
You likely depend on your vehicle for work and school, so getting it repaired or replaced is a priority. Before you have the body shop start work, take photos and a video of all the damage.
Point out what was broken during the collision so that you and your car accident attorney have evidence. The responding police officer will probably take photos to go with the accident report, but a detailed video and plenty of pictures in daylight can help demonstrate how badly your property was damaged.
All paperwork associated with the wreck is also evidence, from the auto body shop’s estimate to your medical bills. Save everything, including any communication related to the accident.
Obtain Your Own Copy of the Official Police Accident Report
The police accident report is vital evidence for your claim against an accident caused by a texting driver. Both you and your car accident lawyer are permitted to have a copy of the police accident report, even before it is released as a public record, so get one as soon as possible and add it to your file.
Although the civil courts in many jurisdictions do not allow a police report as evidence in a car accident lawsuit, some do allow them, and they may come into play during mediation.
Even if your county does not permit you to use the accident report as evidence, your car accident attorney can use plenty of essential information in the report to build your case, such as:
- Names and contact information of all drivers and passengers
- Road and weather conditions, including construction work
- Damages to each vehicle
- Witness names and statements
- CCTV or other video or photo footage of the collision
- Indications of whether a driver was under the influence or seemed to be texting and driving
The most important part of the police report is the police narrative. Many municipalities permit the responding officer to write out how the accident occurred and make an informed conclusion about who caused it.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Helps You After a Wreck
Your lawyer’s role is to ensure you are fairly compensated for financial losses after a wreck.
In Connecticut, this includes covering all medical bills from injuries you suffered after the accident and aftercare, like surgery or physical therapy. If you require modifications to your home or vehicle to live independently after a wreck, you can receive compensation for that, too.
Any pain and suffering or emotional trauma you experience are also eligible for compensation.
Many people may develop PTSD or situational anxiety after a car accident, especially if they are seriously injured. You may need counseling or therapy to recover, and those expenses should also be the responsibility of the driver that hit you.
Any expenses that you otherwise would not have had if not for the car accident are part of the claim your lawyer files. Your attorney manages the process on your behalf, including communicating with the other party, negotiating a fair settlement, going to mediation, and litigating your case in court, if necessary.
How Can You Prove the Other Driver Was Texting and Driving?
If you, the responding police officer, or your car accident attorney suspect that the other driver caused the wreck because they were distracted by using their phone, you may need to prove this to demonstrate liability in the car accident suit.
You may not know immediately whether the driver was using their phone. It is possible that one of their passengers or your passengers noticed the phone in their hand.
In the chaotic moments after a crash, the other driver may admit they were texting. Pay close attention to comments the driver makes that can give your lawyer probable cause to ask for the other driver’s phone records from the minutes before the crash. These records may prove that they were using the phone at the time of the accident.
Additionally, police officers are trained to identify clues that one driver may have been using their phone or driving under the influence and will include this information in the police report.
The most telling evidence that a texting driver hit you is a traffic citation received by them for operating the phone while driving. Police officers can issue traffic citations at the accident scene, including those for texting or distracted driving, failure to follow posted traffic signs, or operating the vehicle under the influence.
Are You a Victim of a Texting and Driving Collision?
If you were the victim of a texting and driving collision, you do not have to deal with the aftermath alone. An experienced New London personal injury lawyer has the resources you need to prove that the other driver caused the wreck and your injuries by texting while driving.
Contact a qualified car accident attorney to start working on your claim today.