When it comes to driving, people do some crazy things. Talking, texting, shaving, drinking, applying makeup, and other behaviors take the attention of the driver off of the road. This lack of attention, even for a couple of seconds, can result in a serious car accident.
In fact, distracted driving is the most common reason for vehicle accidents in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is defined as any activity that diverts the attention of the motorist from driving. These distractions fall into three main categories. These include:
Visual – Taking your eyes off of the road.
Cognitive – Taking your mind off of the activity of driving.
Manual – Taking your hands off of the wheel.
Being distracted in any one of these three ways can cause a danger to other drivers. Activites that distract the motorist in more than one of these ways are especially dangerous. For example, texting distracts a person’s eyes, attention, and takes their hands off of the wheel. Let’s take a look at what you should be doing in the aftermath of being involved in an accident with a distracted driver.
Call The Police
This should be the first activity on your list to complete. You need to contact the police in order to get an accident report completed. If you are injured as a result of the accident, you should seek medical treatment at the hospital via an ambulance. As any skilled personal injury lawyer will instruct you, seeking medical attention at the time of the accident as opposed to delaying will greatly increase your chances of receiving compensation from the claim.
Take Pictures Of The Accident Scene
Taking pictures can help to recreate the scene of the accident and prove specific evidentiary facts that can be brought up in court to defend your claim. Most everybody has a cellphone with a built-in camera that can be easily used. Your pictures should include the accident scene, the damages to both vehicles, and any injuries that you obtained from the crash.
Get The Other Driver’s Information
You should obtain the at-fault driver’s insurance information, name, and contact information. Be sure to document their license plate number and vehicle information as well. This will allow you to file a claim later. If there were any passengers involved, you should get their name and contact information.
Talk To Witnesses
A major part of proving any distracted driving case is having witnesses that can back up your story of the events that unfolded. You should look for any witnesses that were present at the time of the accident and get their name as well as their contact information. Writing down their statements can also be helpful in the event of proving the case later down the road.
Contact Your Own Insurance Company
You should always contact your own insurance company to inform them of the accident, even if you are not at-fault. In the case that you need to use your medical liability coverage to handle the expenses associated with your accident, you only have a small window to contact your agent before you forfeit your rights to do so. In addition, this will inform your insurance company of the accident so that you can more easily file a collision claim later down the road if you have trouble getting the other insurance company to admit responsibility to do so.
Talk To Your Lawyer
Before you contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you should speak to your personal injury attorney first. You can even have your lawyer contact the other insurance company on your behalf. It’s important to not give out any information that is not necessary for the claim to be filed.
Most insurance agents are trained to pick up on any discrepancies that a driver has when trying to file a claim. These discrepancies can help to discredit the driver and help to reduce the percentage of fault that the insurance company will claim. This all means they will end up paying out less money in the claims process. You want to avoid giving those agents any ammunition to use against you later.