It can be difficult to set aside our phones. They’re almost always glued to our hands, even while driving. Distracted driving isn’t only dangerous; it can also be fatal. In 2017 alone, 3,166 people lost their lives due to distracted driving.
Were you recently in an accident caused by someone texting and driving? There are a few steps you need to take in order to protect yourself. Otherwise, you might end up paying medical bills out of your own pocket.
Here are steps you need to take if you were hit by a distracted driver.
1. Remain Calm
If you were hit by someone texting and driving, it’s important to remain calm. Chances are, the other party is in just as much shock as you. Take a breath and try to maintain composure. Remaining calm can help you avoid potential fights or altercations. If a fight does occur, the other party could use it against you in the event of litigation.
2. Call the Police
It’s important for you to call the police while you’re still on the scene. This step is essential for both legal and insurance purposes. Can you sue someone for hitting you if they were texting? Yes. While it may be tempting, do not accept cash to settle the situation. This will make the situation more complicated if you decide to file a legal or insurance claim. When the police arrive, make sure to give an honest and clear statement. Request a copy of the official police report before you leave the scene.
3. Move to Safety
After you’re hit, make sure to move everyone out of the way of traffic. Only move if you’re able to do so on your own. Otherwise, make sure to ask for help. Don’t attempt to stand up on your own without someone’s assistance.
Before you move your vehicle, take ample pictures of the scene. Call a friend or family member to help if you are unable to take the photos yourself. Take photos of the full view of the accident and detailed photos of the damage to both vehicles. For reference, you should also take photos of nearby buildings, and landmarks as well. You’ll need these photos for your insurance company as well as your lawyer.
Take time to write down a statement of what happened or keep notes on your phone. Adrenaline can fog your mind, making it difficult for you to remember certain details. Taking a record as soon as possible will help you keep the information clear while it’s fresh in your mind.
4. Ask for First Aid and Get a Second Opinion
Don’t wait around to ask for help. You might only notice a few small cuts and bruises at first. However, you shouldn’t rush to move around. Call 911 if you are unsure of the severity of your injuries.
After the accident is cleared and you leave the scene, make sure to visit a doctor. They can fully evaluate your injuries. They’ll also determine if you have a concussion. Some injuries, such as neck or back pain, may not appear until hours or days after the accident. Your doctor can complete X-rays and a full physical exam to maintain a complete chart of your injuries. Make sure to request copies of their charts for your records.
5. Obtain Everyone’s Information
While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, you should also gather the other driver’s information. This includes their:
- Driver’s license
- Vehicle license
- Insurance information
Look around for witnesses. Get their names and contact information as well. Don’t assume a police officer will gather this information for you.
6. Document and Preserve Evidence and Details of the Accident
Make sure to gather all of the information associated with the accident. Important details include:
- What happened
- Where it happened
- How it happened
- Road, traffic, and weather conditions
Don’t forget to document your injuries. Keep all of your police records, medical records, and photos together. You can provide this information to your attorney.
7. Seek Professional Advice
If you want to make a claim against someone who was texting and driving, you’ll need a qualified lawyer. Make sure to search for a lawyer who specializes in this type of casework. They’ll advise you on how to best proceed. They’ll also negotiate with the insurance companies and represent you throughout the process.
Their experience and expertise can ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Otherwise, your claim could fall short.
8. Call Your Insurance Company
Your personal injury protection insurance should cover your injuries. Make sure to provide all of the information relevant to your case. Don’t forget to provide your doctor’s statement as well. It’s important to note that once a settlement is finalized, you can’t re-open it. Working with a lawyer can ensure you make the most of this opportunity.
Hit By Someone Texting and Driving? What to Do to Defend Yourself
If you were hit by someone texting and driving, you could miss work due to your injuries. This could cause you to lose income for an unforeseen amount of time. Medical bills could accumulate to astronomical amounts. Instead of trying to pay for it all on your own, make your case.
Knowing how to defend yourself can make all the difference in your claim. Ready to get started? Contact us today to discuss your accident with a member of our team.