According to the United States Department of Transportation( NHTSA), 3,142 persons died due to distracted driving accidents in 2019. Adjusting the radio, applying makeup, or eating and drinking are typical examples of distracted driving. NHTSA also identifies using cell phones while driving as one of the significant culprits too. If you are a car crash victim of a negligent driver texting, you deserve fair compensation for your loss. Our car accident lawyers at Calhoun, Meredith, & Sims PLLC will get you the legal representation you need in no time.
Liability is a crucial part of personal injury claims. That's because it's only when liability is established that the parties know who ought to pay compensation. In car accident matters, liability always rests on the at-fault driver. In turn, to determine who the at-fault driver is, the law looks at the negligent party.
In summary, negligence is an essential part of determining liability in a personal injury claim. To prove negligence in an injury claim, the claimants must show that the defendant owed them a duty of care. Next, they must also prove that the defendant breached such duty of care and suffered some loss as a result.
Proving duty of care in auto accident cases doesn't pose many problems for the plaintiffs. That's because the law mandates all drivers to use the roads in ways that don't put other lives in danger. This includes obeying traffic signals, avoiding traffic violations, and paying maximum attention to the highway.
Therefore, in an auto accident that involves drunk driving, the drunk driver is usually liable. It follows then that in a texting and driving accident, liability rests on the texting driver.
A texting driver is liable for damages if he/she caused an accident. However, accident victims need sufficient evidence to prove their claims. Regardless of the facts of the case, your claim for fair settlement will fail without proof.
Are you worried about proving that the negligent driver was texting and driving? We've discussed five ways to get proof below:
One of the best methods of proving texting and driving is through cell phone records. The phone records will show the exact time and location that the phone was in use. Many cell phone companies can also specify if the distracted drivers were talking or texting on their cellular devices.
However, the texting driver's phone company wouldn't give up the records without a court order. As such, you'd need an accident attorney to get that done.
Law enforcement officers can play a significant role in providing you with evidence for your case. When police officers arrive at the accident scene, they may issue a traffic citation to the texting driver. That's especially if they suspect distracted driving.
Usually, law enforcement officers will document the citation in their official police report. Obtaining the report can help prove texting and driving. Also, it'd be better if you got the police officer to testify on your behalf.
If there were bystanders at the traffic crash scene, you could get them to act as witnesses on your behalf. The police officers will include the witnesses' statements in their reports. Subsequently, you can subpoena them to testify on what they saw if the need arises.
Depending on the crash location, traffic cameras can capture occurrences leading to the accident. Rest assured, if the negligent driver was on a mobile device while driving, the camera can capture that too.
You can also get video footage from police dash and security surveillance cameras. If a bystander happens to record the accident on a cellular device, that can help too.
Accident reconstruction experts can recreate a car accident scene to determine the circumstances of an accident. In doing this, they can establish the possibility of distracted driving. As a result, their findings can serve as evidence to strengthen your claim, especially if it corroborates an eyewitness testimony.
If you are a victim of a traffic crash by a texting driver, you should do the following to increase your chances of maximum compensation:
1. Dial the Local Police:
One of the first things to do after a traffic crash is to dial 911 and contact local law enforcement. In Texas, you must report a fatal crash scene to the police authorities. You must also report accidents that involve bodily injuries or property damage of up to $1000. Failure to report these accidents is a crime, attracting penalties that may include jail time.
However, escaping punishments isn't the only reason to call law enforcement. When the police arrive at the crash scene, they document relevant details of the accident in their police report. This report can come in handy when trying to claim compensation for damages.
2. Call for Medical Attention:
Whether you sustain severe injuries or not, you must treat every car crash as a medical emergency. Sometimes, shock from the accident can numb your pain from the accident for a while. Many victims feel okay at first, only to discover that they had internal injuries from the crash much later. Apart from endangering your life, refusing to call for medical help immediately can adversely affect your compensatory claims.
3. Gather Evidence:
As a claimant in a car accident claim, the burden of proof is on you to prove the at-fault driver's negligence. As a result, you need all the evidence you can get to prove your case. Therefore, it's essential to document as many details as you can at the accident scene. Take pictures and make videos of the scene. If possible, you can ask to take a snapshot of the police records.
4. Speak with a Distracted Driving Attorney:
Whatever you do, don't neglect to contact your lawyers. They'd provide you with all the legal assistance you need to navigate your claims process seamlessly. They are the best hands to handle negotiations with insurance companies, and they will always have your interest at heart. Your distracted driving attorney will get you the maximum compensation possible and will represent you in court if need be.
The primary aim of filing a car accident claim is to get damages for your injuries. If you are a victim of a distracted driving accident, you are entitled to various compensation types. However, the kind of payment you will receive depends on the peculiarities of your case.
Contact your car accident lawyer to determine what options are available to you. However, these are the likely types of compensation available to you:
1. Pecuniary Damages
In some rare cases, the law allows pecuniary damages against the defendants as punishment for their recklessness. These damages also serve to deter future wrongdoers.
2. Pain and Suffering
Car crashes usually inflict physical pain and emotional suffering on victims. The law allows the claimants to get damages for such pain and suffering.
3. Medical Expenses
If you incurred expenses due to medical treatment from accident injuries, you are entitled to compensation for what you spent.
4. Loss of Wages
Sometimes, accidents leave you incapacitated and unable to work for specific periods. You can get compensation for the wages you lost during the time.
5. Car Repairs and Property Damages
The law mandates the at-fault drivers to compensate the victim for property damages/loss and the cost of car repairs.
If you or your loved ones are victims of a texting and driving accident, you can rely on us for legal assistance. At Calhoun, Meredith, and Sims PLLC, our personal injury lawyers believe that you deserve the maximum compensation possible and nothing less. Our sole aim is to make that happen. Let's get started. Schedule a consultation with us today.