Distracted Driver Hit You? Follow These Steps
A distracted driver is a dangerous practice that can lead to serious – and even fatal – accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 3,000 people died in distracted driving accidents in 2019.
While sending one text, or fiddling with the GPS, can seem like an innocent, quick task, taking your eyes off the road for even a second can have serious consequences.
Learn what distracted driving is, and what you should do if you are hit by a distracted driver.
What Is Distracted Driving?
According to the NHTSA, distracted driving is classified as anything that takes your attention away from driving. Typically, these can fall under three categories:
- Visual distractions: If you look away from the road, it is considered a visual distraction. This can include looking at your GPS, reading a text message, looking at another passenger in your vehicle, or turning around to check on your children in your backseat.
- Manual distractions: A manual distraction is when you take one or both hands off the wheel. This can include texting, playing with the stereo, adjusting your heat or AC, eating, drinking, searching for something in your purse, and more.
- Cognitive distractions: A cognitive distraction is when your mind is focused on something other than driving. This can include talking on your phone, listening to an audiobook or podcast, talking to others in your vehicle, or even daydreaming.
Steps To Take After the Accident with a Distracted Driver
When you are hit by a distracted driver, it’s essential to take the right steps so you can gather the correct evidence for a potential lawsuit.
After the accident, the first thing you should do is call the police. If you suffered a serious injury, you should also request an ambulance. While waiting for the authorities to arrive, you should gather information from the other people involved in the accidents, as well as any witnesses. You need to get each person’s name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and insurance information. You also need to get information from their vehicle, including the make, model, and license plate number.
Next, you need to document evidence from the accident scene. Take photos of your vehicle, as well as the other vehicles, and capture any damage caused. If you suffered any injuries, you should take photos of those as well. You should also document traffic control signs, street signs, any skid marks on the road, or other evidence as to how the accident occurred.
You should also document any behaviors that indicate the other driver was distracted. This can include if they were on their phone, if their hands were not on the wheel. if they were speeding or swerving, or other indicators.
Next, you should call your insurance company to report the accident. Then, you should call your injury attorney. He or she can help guide you through what steps to take to ensure you don’t overlook anything you will need to file a claim later.
Finally, if you did not suffer an injury that was serious enough to call an ambulance, you should now seek medical attention. Even if you don’t think the injury is serious, it’s important to have it documented by a medical professional. Your medical records can be used as evidence during your lawsuit. Your medical bills can also be used to establish how much you can seek in damages during the claim.
If you were injured by a distracted driver, contact the attorneys at Gallagher & Kennedy at 602-530-8400. We care about our clients and are committed to using our skills, work ethic, and resources to help you or your family obtain compensation and justice.