DISTRACTED DRIVERS COULD CAUSE YOU PERMANENT INJURY OR DISABILITY
On behalf of Devon DuPuy of Lloyd & DuPuy PLLC posted in blog on Wednesday, August 16, 2017.
You try to be responsible when you get behind the wheel of a car. You know better than to make phone calls, or send or read text messages when you drive. Sadly, other people often can’t resist the temptation of their phones when operating a motor vehicle.
All it takes is a few seconds of staring down at the screen to make a mistake that could result in a serious collision. Now, because of someone else’s mistake, you have mounting medical bills, a serious injury and an uncertain financial future.
Texting isn’t the only form of distraction that can lead to accidents. People also choose to eat while driving, read books, argue with passengers, fiddle with the radio or apply makeup. Anything that takes a driver’s eyes and focus off the road and hands off the wheel presents a serious risk to other people on the road.
Texas takes a firm stance against distracted driving, but that doesn’t stop people from doing it. In 2015, the most recent year with analyzed figures, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 3,477 people died in distracted driving crashes.
Documentation is key in distracted driving cases
You may feel injured or confused after a crash, but do your best to speak up. Make sure that the law enforcement officers who arrive know that you believe the other driver was distracted. This ensures that they check the driver’s cellphone and vehicle carefully for evidence of distraction. If possible, use your cellphone to record a video about behavior you witnessed that makes you suspect the other driver was distracted.
Did a driver step out with lipstick smeared all over her chin because she was applying it when she hit you? Was the driver wiping french fry grease off his hands when he approached your vehicle? Did the driver attempt to toss something away from the scene of the accident, like a bag of food or a book? Did you witness the driver frantically trying to delete records from his or her cellphone?
Maybe you actually saw what was happening at the time of the crash. Whatever you witnessed, the sooner you make a record of it, the more believable your claim will be.
Deleting text messages doesn’t get rid of all records
Law enforcement is generally aware that those who drive distracted may take steps to delete any evidence of that decision. They can request records from the cellphone provider to determine if the text system or data was in use at the time of the accident. If law enforcement doesn’t take you seriously, you may consider working with a lawyer, who can also legally request those records for a potential case.
Whether or not you pursue civil litigation against the other driver, those records could help you with insurance claims and proving that you are not partially responsible for the crash.