How a Lawyer Can Help in a Distracted Driving Accident
Distracted driving has become an alarming epidemic on the roads today, leading to 40,000 deaths in traffic crashes in 2020. When you're involved in a distracted driving accident, it can be a traumatic experience.
You may be left with physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial burdens. In such a situation, hiring a lawyer who specializes in distracted driving accidents can make a significant difference in your ability to seek compensation and hold the responsible party accountable.
This comprehensive guide will delve into how a distracted driving lawyer can assist you, from gathering evidence to negotiating with insurance companies and representing your interests in court.
Understanding Distracted Driving
Distracted driving refers to any activity that diverts attention from driving. It includes actions such as texting, eating, talking on the phone, or adjusting the radio. These actions significantly increase the risk of accidents, as drivers are not fully focused on the road.
Consultation and Assessment
The process typically begins with an initial consultation with a lawyer who specializes in distracted driving accidents. During this meeting, you'll discuss the following:
- Details of the accident
- The extent of your injuries
- Any information you have about the distracted driver's actions
The lawyer will assess the viability of your case and explain your legal rights and options.
Investigation and Evidence Gathering
One of the crucial roles of your lawyer is to gather evidence to support your case. This may involve the following steps.
Obtaining Police Reports
Your car accident lawyer will obtain the official accident report, which often contains critical information about the accident. This includes statements from the involved parties and witnesses.
This is also why it's so important to contact emergency services and call 911 as soon as you are in an accident if you are able or ask someone to do it for you. This way, the right authorities can arrive and make notes on the accident before you move the vehicles.
Gathering Witness Statements
If there are witnesses to the incident, your lawyer will interview them to collect statements about what they observed. In order to assist the lawyer with this task, make sure to take down the names and contact information of anyone who was around during the accident.
You might not be capable of this if you get injured, but if possible, taking audio or video statements from witnesses is a good idea as well. This is because people forget what happened in the accident a few days after it happened.
Can't do it yourself? Ask a relative or friend who was with you to help you out with this. The lawyers will take care of it in any case, but it takes time for you to contact and hire a lawyer after a distracted driving accident.
Obtaining Cell Phone Records
In many cases, a distracted driving incident could have involved a mobile device. That is, the person was chattering away on their phone and got distracted enough to look away from the road, causing the accident, big or small.
If that is the case, then your lawyer may request the distracted driver's cell phone records to prove their negligence.
Reviewing Surveillance Footage
In some cases, security cameras or traffic cameras may have captured the accident. Your lawyer will obtain and analyze any available footage.
This isn't something you are capable of looking into yourself, so it's nice to have a lawyer on hand to take care of this for you.
Depending on the complexity of your case, your lawyer may consult with accident reconstruction specialists or medical experts to provide testimony in support of your claim.
A distracted driving accident attorney has lots of experience in this regard, so they will be able to figure out exactly which expert witness would help your case the most.
Negotiating With Insurance Companies
Your lawyer will handle all communications with insurance companies involved in the case, including yours and the distracted driver. Insurance companies may try to minimize their liability or offer lower settlements.
Your lawyer's expertise in negotiation will help ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages. They'll also help you navigate the complexities of dealing with multiple insurance policies if more than one party is involved.
To build a strong case, your lawyer will help you document all damages resulting from the accident. Many kinds of damages can potentially be incurred from an accident. Some of them are:
This includes current and anticipated medical bills, rehabilitation costs (ranging from $716 to $991 per day), prescription medications, and any necessary assistive devices. This is why visiting a medical professional very soon after your distracted driving accident is so important.
All texting and driving accident attorneys will tell you the same thing. Visit the doctor and get a report from them ASAP.
Don't try to assess your injuries on your own. Not only could you be missing something crucial, but an objective professional's opinion is the best evidence to present in court.
If your injuries prevent you from working, your lawyer will calculate your lost income. This will include potential future earnings if your injuries lead to long-term disability.
Pain and Suffering
Non-economic damages like pain, suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life will also be considered. Of course, this isn't something you can usually put a number toward. But distracted driving lawyers do their best to assess what the monetary value of such a situation would be.
Costs related to repairing or replacing your vehicle and any personal property damaged in the accident. This is even more important if you absolutely need your vehicle to get to and from work, or to shuttle your loved ones around for their important day-to-day tasks.
Proving liability is a key element in any distracted driving accident case. Your lawyer will gather evidence to establish that the distracted driver's actions directly caused the accident.
This may involve using eyewitness accounts, expert testimony, and any available digital evidence, such as cell phone records.
Filing a Lawsuit
If negotiations with insurance companies fail to yield a satisfactory settlement, your car accident lawyer may recommend filing a lawsuit. This step is taken when it's in your best interest to pursue a legal remedy through the court system.
Your lawyer will prepare and file all necessary legal documents, such as the complaint, and represent you throughout the litigation process.
The great thing about hiring a distracted driving accident lawyer is that you don't have to worry about a thing throughout the process. You can sit back, relax, and recuperate from your injuries if you have any. If you don't have an injury, you can relax and spend time with loved ones while you wait for your lawyer to work their magic.
Litigation and Trial
The hope would be that your case would be mediated, negotiated, and settled out of court. This way you can get the settlement you deserve without the hassle of going through the trial. But that's not always the case.
Sometimes litigation and trial are inevitable.
During the litigation phase, car accident attorneys will:
- Conduct discovery to gather additional evidence
- Depose witnesses and experts
- Negotiate with the opposing party's legal team
- Represent you in court during trial if a settlement cannot be reached
Settlement or Verdict
As iterated earlier, most cases are resolved through settlement negotiations rather than going to trial. Your car accident attorney will work to secure the best possible settlement on your behalf.
If the case does go to trial, your lawyer will present evidence and arguments to support your claim, aiming for a favorable verdict.
Once a settlement or verdict is reached in your favor, your distracted driving attorney will assist you in collecting the compensation you're entitled to. This may involve negotiating payment schedules, liens, or other financial matters.
Appeals (If Necessary)
If the case does not go in your favor, your texting and driving accident attorney will assess the possibility of an appeal and guide you through the process if it's deemed appropriate. This can also be the case if you believe that the compensation awarded wasn't fair enough and your distracted driving accident attorney agrees with you.
Again, each case is different and unique in how it runs through the process. But this rundown should give you a good enough idea of how a distracted driving lawyer can help you fight the good battle in the courts in such a case.
Hiring a Distracted Driving Lawyer Is a Critical Step
There are many reasons why you should hire a distracted driving lawyer as soon as you are in a car accident, no matter what kind. Don't Google, "car accident lawyer near me", though.
With so many distracted driver lawyers to choose from, you might be confused. We are an authority in the area of distracted driving car accidents and are ready to help you fight your case.
Set up an appointment with us today to get started on this journey. The faster you call us, the faster we can get to work on your behalf.