Individuals who text and drive significantly increase their chances of causing a car accident. Texting and driving accidents is caused by a driver looking down and diverting their attention away from the road. Even a one-or-two-second distraction may be sufficient time for a distracted driver to miss seeing an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian, thereby causing a crash.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident that a distracted driver caused, you should seek medical treatment for your injuries as soon as possible. Moreover, you should talk with an experienced car accident lawyer in your area as quickly as possible.
Your lawyer can discuss your legal options with you and help you pursue the monetary compensation you deserve from the responsible driver’s motor vehicle insurer. This typically involves filing a claim with the insurance company and, in some cases, litigating it in court. Your lawyer will do everything they can to maximize the damages you recover in your personal injury case.
A distracted driver is one who ignores their most important responsibility: watching the road and looking out for other vehicles and pedestrians.
Texting and driving is a type of distracted driving. Many jurisdictions have laws pertaining to texting and driving, and in some locations, a texting driver may incur a civil infraction requiring payment of monetary fines. Moreover, if the distracted driver negligently causes a car accident in which one or more people suffer injuries, the responsible driver and their insurance company can be accountable for damages.
A knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your area can investigate the circumstances of your accident by reviewing police reports and, if necessary, retaining an expert accident reconstructionist who can review the evidence and piece together exactly how the accident occurred.
After completing an investigation, your lawyer can determine if you can file a car accident claim seeking damages. If so, your lawyer can assist you with every step of the claims-filing process and work to recover the total amount of monetary compensation you deserve for your injuries.
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Types of Car Accidents that Result from Distracted Driving
When drivers negligently text and drive, they may cause an accident that leads to severe injuries—and even fatalities. Some of the most common accidents that result from distracted driving include rear-end crashes, sideswipe collisions, head-on accidents, and broadside collisions.
In a rear-end crash, the front of one vehicle strikes the rear of another vehicle. When a driver becomes distracted and fails to watch the road, they may not notice an abrupt traffic slowdown or an approaching intersection with a red traffic light. Consequently, they may be unable to stop their vehicle in time to avoid crashing with the vehicle in front of them.
Sideswipe accidents happen when the sides of two vehicles moving in the same direction strike one another. These accidents usually occur on multi-lane roadways with heavy traffic. A driver who looks down to send a text message on a cellular phone or tablet might negligently cause their vehicle to drift into an abutting travel lane, striking another vehicle and pushing it into oncoming traffic. In some instances, the impact force may push the other vehicle entirely off the road.
A head-on accident happens when the fronts of two vehicles that are moving in opposite directions collide. These accidents are common on dual-lane roadways with one travel lane in each direction. A distracted driver who looks down to send a text message might negligently cause their vehicle to cross the double line or median strip in the middle of the road. When the driver crosses that line, their vehicle can negligently strike an oncoming vehicle heading in the opposite direction. When head-on crashes occur at high speeds, they may cause severe injuries and fatalities.
Finally, a broadside accident—or T-bone crash—occurs when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of an adjacent vehicle. These crashes typically occur at intersections where a distracted driver negligently fails to observe a red light, proceeding through the intersection and striking a vehicle on the adjacent roadway. These accidents also happen at highway merge lanes, where a distracted driver fails to yield the right-of-way to ongoing traffic when merging.
If you suffered injuries in an accident that a texting driver caused, your lawyer can protect your legal rights and explain all of your options going forward. If you are eligible to file a personal injury claim, your lawyer can submit the claim package to the appropriate insurance company adjuster and work to recover fair settlement compensation on your behalf.
Common Injuries that Car Accident Victims Suffer
When distracted drivers cause accidents, the driver and passengers in the impacted vehicle can suffer serious injuries that require ongoing medical treatment. The exact injuries that an accident victim will suffer typically depend upon the force of impact, the type of collision that occurs, and the way in which the accident victim’s body moves in their vehicle. In some instances, the accident victim’s body will move from side to side, or frontwards and backward, in an abrupt manner. This can lead to soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash.
At other times, accident victims may strike something in their vehicles, such as the steering wheel, window, or headrest, and suffer severe injuries as a result. For example, an accident victim who strikes their head on the steering wheel might suffer a traumatic head or brain injury. Accident victims also suffer bone fractures, internal organ damage, spinal cord injuries, paralysis injuries, and death in the most severe accidents.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident, you should seek immediate medical treatment at an emergency room or urgent care facility. By seeking prompt medical care, you help to ensure that your injuries will not become any worse. Also, when you seek prompt treatment, the medical provider can examine you and order the necessary MRIs, brain scans, and X-rays to diagnose your medical condition. If you require surgery or another follow-up medical procedure, your doctor can make those recommendations.
Seeking medical treatment early and often following a car accident is extremely important to your personal injury case. If you do not seek early medical treatment, the insurance company will likely assume that your injuries are not severe. Similarly, if you fail to treat continuously for your injuries, the insurance company will likely assume that you are not taking your medical treatment seriously. In either case, the insurance adjuster is unlikely to offer you significant settlement compensation for your injuries.
While you focus on your medical treatment, your car accident lawyer can start handling the legal components of your claim. Your lawyer can gather up your medical treatment records, lost wage documents, photographs, and other potential evidence and assemble them into a settlement demand package. Once you finish treating your injuries, your lawyer can send the demand package to the insurance company adjuster and begin negotiating a claim settlement on your behalf.
Filing an Insurance Claim with the Responsible Driver’s Insurer
In most instances, a car accident lawyer will file a personal injury claim with the insurance company for the responsible distracted driver. Once the insurance company accepts responsibility for the accident, settlement negotiations can start. In most instances, initial settlement offers from adjusters are extremely low—and far below the actual claim value.
After all, adjusters are advocating for the insurance company’s interests, and they are never on your side. A settlement adjuster’s primary goal is to try and settle a personal injury claim for as little money as possible, thereby safeguarding the insurance company’s monetary interests and resolving the case quickly.
Your car accident lawyer can aggressively negotiate with the adjuster and convince them to increase their settlement offer. If the adjuster does not increase their offer meaningfully, your lawyer can threaten litigation and, if necessary, file a lawsuit in court on your behalf.
During litigation, the parties may continue their settlement negotiations. However, the court will establish deadlines for the case, and the parties must engage in oral and written discovery. As part of written discovery, the parties will answer written questions, called interrogatories, and exchange various documents. Moreover, the defense lawyer may take the accident victim’s discovery deposition to find out more about their version of the case.
If the parties still have not settled the claim after completing discovery, the case may go to a jury trial. At a jury trial, the jury will decide what, if any, monetary damages to award the accident victim for their injuries. As an alternative trial, the parties may pursue mediation or binding arbitration. At mediation, a third-party mediator helps facilitate the parties’ settlement discussions, while at arbitration, a neutral arbitrator reviews evidence in the case and decides how much to award the accident victim.
A knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your area can help you decide whether to accept a pending settlement offer, litigate your case, take it to trial, or pursue alternative dispute resolution. When you have a knowledgeable lawyer on your side, you can rest assured that they are looking out for your legal interests at every stage of your claim.
Recovering the Monetary Damages You Deserve for Your Car Accident Injuries
When a driver negligently texts while behind the wheel, they may cause an accident that causes severe and debilitating injuries. If the accident victim can establish that their crash resulted from negligence—and that they suffered at least one injury in their accident—they might be entitled to recover various monetary damages.
The damages that a car crash victim recovers will depend upon various factors, including the nature and extent of their injuries and whether or not they have a permanency claim. To establish that a particular injury is permanent, a healthcare provider must demonstrate, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, that the injury is unlikely to become better in time.
Potential damages that a car accident victim may recover include compensation for lost wages, loss of earning capacity, permanent disfigurement, permanent disability, loss of the ability to use a body part, loss of life enjoyment, pain, suffering, inconvenience, and loss of spousal companionship and family support.
Lost wage compensation is available to car accident victims who have to miss work time to attend medical appointments and recover from their injuries. Accident victims who must switch to a lower-paying job due to their injuries can bring a claim for loss of earning capacity.
Similarly, accident victims may bring a claim for past and future pain and suffering. Past pain and suffering damages compensate accident victims for the symptoms they endured between their accident date and the current date. However, future pain and suffering damages compensate accident victims for their anticipated future symptoms. To recover these latter damages, a medical provider must state—to a reasonable degree of medical certainty—that one or more of the accident victim’s injuries will last for the rest of their life.
A knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your area can evaluate your claim and determine which of these damages you are eligible to recover in your personal injury claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer can then take the necessary legal steps to maximize the monetary damages you recover for your injuries.
Call a Skilled Car Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today
If you suffered injuries in a car crash that a distracted driver caused, you may be entitled to recover various damages. One of the most important steps you can take after your car accident is to retain a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your area to represent you.
Your lawyer will be on your side, advocating for you at every stage of your case. In addition to negotiating aggressively with the insurance company adjuster handling your claim, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and litigate your claim if that step becomes necessary. Finally, your lawyer can represent you in all courtroom proceedings and advocate for your legal interests there. Your lawyer will work hard to maximize the monetary recovery you receive for the injuries you suffered in your car crash. Contact a lawyer today to receive your consultation.