Did You Get Into an Accident With a Texting Driver? Here’s What You Can Do

Did You Get Into an Accident With a Texting Driver Here's What You Can Do

Cell phones and similar digital devices offer many wonderful benefits but have a dark side: texting and driving. Texting while driving is incredibly hazardous and can cause severe accidents, injuries, and even death. If someone hits you while texting and driving, you can receive compensation in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. A car accident attorney in Bakersfield experienced with distracting driver cases can evaluate your legal options.

Distracted Driving Kills Thousands Of Americans Annually

Texting and driving is one of the most common forms of distracted driving. Distracted driving is a serious problem in the US, mostly because of the prevalence of cell phones. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that the many forms of distracted driving killed at least 3,000 people. In addition to the deaths, texting and driving also leads to tens of thousands of serious injuries every year.

Texting and driving are especially hazardous for many reasons. When a car driver glances away from the road, they can’t see changes in traffic or road conditions. This is why texting and driving is against the law in most states. Texting and driving typically incur a fine, and causing an accident with injuries can lead to misdemeanor charges in most cases. You can also file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault party to claim damages.

Texting And Driving Is Different From Other Distracted Driving

Texting And Driving

The truth is that anything that distracts a driver from driving is dangerous, such as eating and drinking, talking to passengers, checking or programming the radio or GPS. However, texting and driving is especially pernicious because it takes the driver’s eyes from the road longer than other distractions.

According to estimates, sending or reading a text message can divert a driver’s attention from the road for up to five seconds. This might sound like a short time, but think about it: If a car moves at 55 miles per hour, it can drive 100 yards in five seconds! Imagine what can happen during those five seconds:

  • A car can slow down or stop.
  • An animal can dart into the road.
  • A child might cross the street.

Modern cell phones are essentially tiny, powerful computers, so texting is just one of the distractions that can remove a driver’s eyes and concentration from the road. Scrolling through social media and surfing the internet while driving, drivers endanger themselves and others on the road. Sometimes, they cause serious or fatal accidents. If a texting driver injures you, you have legal options.

Common Crashes From Texting And Driving

The most common accidents from texting and driving are rear-end accidents. The rear driver may be texting and looking down. They don’t see the stopped or slowing vehicle in front of them. Rear-end crashes are most dangerous at high speed, but even a low-speed event can cause serious harm. The front driver can have serious head and neck injuries and more.

Other common accidents caused by texting drivers are:

  • Head-on collisions: When an oncoming vehicle crosses the center line and slams into your car, severe or fatal injuries almost always result. Head-on crashes are relatively uncommon but are among the most severe auto accidents. Texting, fatigue, and drunk driving are the most common reasons for these deadly mishaps.
  • T-bone accidents: A T-bone accident usually happens when a vehicle runs a stop sign or red light and slams into the side of the vehicle with the right of way. It can also happen when a driver turns left in front of an oncoming vehicle. Texting and driving can lead to grave T-bone accident injuries because the side of a vehicle offers little protection in a crash.
  • Blindspot accidents: Blindspot accidents can happen to anyone but are more common when a driver is distracted.

How A Texting And Driving Accident Can Wreck Your Life

Don't Text and Drive

When a driver is distracted by a cell phone and hits you, it can upend your life. If you’re fortunate, you will eventually fully recover and put the accident and injury behind you. Sadly, not every distracted driving victim fully recovers, or it can take months or years. Some of the consequences of being hit by a texting driver may include:

  • Physical injuries and pain: A distracted driver hitting your vehicle or person, even at low speed, can cause great physical harm. You might have broken bones, scrapes, cuts, dislocated joints, head and neck injuries, and even burns if the fuel tank ruptures. Some victims of distracted driving suffer from scarring, disfigurement, limping, or other physical limitations. If texting and driving causes you physical harm and pain, you can receive compensation for your medical bills and suffering.
  • Emotional pain: Many serious auto accidents also come with tremendous mental and emotional trauma. Being hit by a texting driver can be terrifying, especially if the collision is at a higher speed. This awful experience can leave you with nightmares, PTSD, and a fear of driving and cars. You may also have emotional and mental trauma from your injuries and physical limitations. Plus, pain from your treatments and rehabilitation can cause great emotional stress.
  • Financial difficulties: Financial trouble is common after a texting and driving accident. You may have large medical bills, be out of work, and cannot go about your daily affairs. You can have difficulty paying daily expenses, not just medical bills. However, if another driver caused the accident, you can receive ample compensation for your economic and non-economic losses. These include medical bills, income loss, earning capacity, and pain and suffering.

Hire An Attorney For Your Texting And Driving Claim

If you are reading this page, it is likely because a texting driver hit and injured you. One of the most important things you can do for your life and future is to hire an experienced car accident attorney immediately. The attorney will attempt to prove that the other driver’s negligence led to the accident and your injuries. It isn’t enough to say that the other driver’s texting and driving led to your injuries: You must prove it.

While it is helpful to prove that the other driver was texting and driving, it isn’t essential. You can collect compensation if you and your attorney prove the other driver’s negligence or wrongful act injured you. Some of the evidence that may be relied on to prove negligence, including texting and driving, are:

  • Eyewitnesses who saw the negligent driver violate the law or do something that caused the accident. For example, an eyewitness may have seen the other driver looking at their phone and running the red light.
  • The police report may cite the driver for causing the accident. This evidence cannot be admitted in court but is useful during insurance settlement negotiations.
  • Photographs and videos of the involved vehicles and accident scene, as well as the vehicle positions and the type of damages, may be useful to prove someone was texting and driving or otherwise distracted.
  • Accident reconstruction professionals’ testimonies can illustrate how the crash occurred and determine who was at fault.
  • Traffic camera or dash cam footage to show how the accident unfolded.

As noted above, proving that the other driver was texting during the crash is helpful but not essential. Your lawyer can subpoena the at-fault driver’s phone records to reveal whether their cell phone was used during the crash.

Other methods can demonstrate that the driver was not paying attention. Witnesses may have seen the driver on their cell phone. Other drivers may have seen the driver weaving and driving erratically before the crash. Also, if the other driver left no skid marks, this suggests they were distracted.

Your attorney will be vital in gathering the most important evidence to prove your texting and driving case. Retain an attorney as early as possible to ensure a favorable outcome in your personal injury claim.

How You May Obtain Compensation For Your Texting Accident Injuries

Compensation For Your Texting Accident Injuries

Proving liability for the accident is essential to receive fair compensation for your losses. When a texting and driving driver injures you, you have two options for receiving compensation.

First, you may file an insurance claim with your own or the other driver’s auto insurance. This is the most common way to handle distracted driving accidents. Their insurance company would likely accept liability if the other driver was at fault. If you file with your insurance company and the other driver was at fault, it will seek reimbursement from the other driver’s insurance company.

The next step is negotiating a settlement with the insurance company for your medical bills and other losses. You can sometimes handle your claim with the other driver’s insurance company. But if serious damages are at stake and your injuries are serious, retain an attorney immediately. They will usually negotiate a better settlement than you can.

Second, you can file a personal injury lawsuit if the insurance company won’t offer you or your attorney an acceptable settlement. This is often a last resort when the insurance company won’t offer enough money to the injured party for their injuries and other damages. Most distracted driving claims end in a settlement because the insurance company knows a jury may award a much higher sum to you than the settlement amount.

If you are in a no-fault accident state, there is another way to obtain compensation. You may be required to file a claim with your insurance company for your initial medical bills and lost income. You can file a lawsuit for additional damages once your coverage is exhausted. However, you may need to prove that you have a severe injury, such as a traumatic brain injury, amputated limb, etc.

Several methods can conclude a texting and driving claim. You may want a car accident attorney to review the case today. They will guide you in understanding your legal options, including strategies to obtain the maximum compensation. A personal injury attorney in Bakersfield receives compensation through a contingency agreement from your settlement or jury award, eliminating any out-of-pocket legal costs for you.

What Affects The Size Of A Texting And Driving Claim?

You probably have medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering after being hit by a texting driver. An insurance settlement is the most likely outcome, but how much can you receive? Providing an ‘average estimate’ for a personal injury claim is impossible. However, several factors may influence what you ultimately receive:

  • Injury severity: The largest factor in a personal injury settlement is, without a doubt, the severity of the injuries. Someone with major injuries will almost always receive more compensation than an injury victim with minor injuries. For example, if a texting driver causes a traumatic brain injury, you can have months or years of treatment and recovery. This case will be more valuable than someone who simply broke their arm in the crash.
  • Amount of lost earnings: The injury victim who is out of work for a year or permanently disabled will receive a higher settlement than someone who didn’t miss work. If you have a serious injury, you may also be due to lost earning capacity because you cannot work or cannot do the job you did before the crash.
  • Pain and suffering: People with serious pain and suffering from severe injuries usually receive a higher settlement. If you suffer burns in the crash, you can have a very painful recovery, which will lead to a higher settlement. On the other hand, someone who simply sprained their back in a texting and driving accident may only have minor discomfort.

Speak To A Car Accident Attorney Today

Car Accident Attorney, Mickey Fine

Mickey Fine, Car Accident Lawyer

If a distracted driver slams into your vehicle and injures you, state law allows you to hold that person liable for your damages and injuries. However, getting the most compensation from a distracted driver claim or lawsuit is tricky. Leaving insurance settlement negotiations or litigation to an experienced auto accident attorney is best. Your attorney will prioritize your rights and interests and fight for the most compensation for your losses. Contact an auto accident attorney in your community today for a free legal consultation.

Car Accident
by Mickey Fine Law
Last updated on - Originally published on