You should contact law enforcement, get medical attention, and talk to a lawyer after getting hit by a texting driver. The steps you take in this situation will impact your health and your claim for compensation.
Contact Law Enforcement
The fact that the driver was texting while driving will be an important factor for law enforcement to determine who was at fault in the wreck. If the officer charges the texting driver with causing the crash, it will be easier for you to pursue a claim for damages against that person.
Give the officer all the facts you know about the person who was texting while driving. Every detail matters in these situations. For example, you might have seen the person holding up the cell phone while texting or noticed that the driver was looking down at his phone instead of looking at the street.
The police officer might be able to obtain the cell phone and check the text message history or get the information from the cell service provider. The officer can also ask the other drivers and bystanders who might have witnessed the driver texting.
If the officer does not gather the evidence immediately, it might be impossible to retrieve it. The driver might have been using a “throwaway” phone, particularly if he has previous citations for texting while driving.
You should get professional treatment for your injuries immediately after a car accident. You should not wait until your condition becomes a medical emergency. If you develop complications like hemorrhaging, you want to be at the healthcare facility when that happens.
Some injuries do not show signs right away. Even broken bones sometimes take a day or two before exhibiting symptoms. If you have been in a significant collision, you should get a physical examination at the emergency room, urgent care center, or your doctor’s office, whichever is appropriate.
Your medical records will link your injuries to the accident. We will have to prove that element to hold the at-fault driver responsible for paying compensation to you. If you wait for a while before seeking medical attention, the defendant could allege that your injuries came from some other cause, and not the accident.
Talk to a Lawyer
Georgia law does not force you to work with a lawyer on your car accident injury claim, but it can be a very good idea to do so. The insurance company has many lawyers working for it. Having an attorney on your side can help to level the playing field.
A lawyer can protect you from tactics that the insurer might use to devalue or deny your claim for compensation. When you have an attorney, the insurance company is not supposed to contact you directly. If they do, tell them to talk to your lawyer.
We can gather the proper evidence, like the police report and your medical bills, to build your case for money damages. We can negotiate with the adjuster to try to settle your claim for a fair amount. If the insurer refuses to pay what you deserve, we can file a lawsuit to go after compensation for your losses.
Liability of a Texting Driver
We will have to prove all four of these elements to hold the texting driver responsible for your injuries:
- Duty. All drivers have a legal duty to keep focus their attention on the road.
- Breach. Texting while driving distracts a person’s attention from the act of operating the vehicle and diverts the eyes away from the street ahead. Texting while driving breaches the legal duty to pay attention to the road. Violating a legal duty of care is negligence.
- Causation. The negligent act must be the cause of the accident that hurt you. If the driver ran into you because he was texting, and that is how you got hurt, the negligence caused your injuries.
- Measurable damages. You must have quantifiable injuries as a result of the negligence. Physical harm qualifies as measurable damages.
When we can prove all four of these aspects of liability, we can hold the texting driver responsible for your losses within the statute of limitations.
Damages in an Accident With a Texting Driver
We cannot give a “one size fits all” dollar amount for the compensation you can get for your injuries from a crash with a texting driver. The damages you can recover from a collision with a texting driver will depend on the facts of your situation.
Here are some examples of the damages we have won for our clients:
- Medical expenses to treat your injury
- Lost wages for the time you missed from work without pay
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and other intangible damages
A car accident lawyer will calculate a fair settlement amount for your injuries and work hard to get you all the compensation you deserve.
We like to help people who have suffered injury because of the careless behavior of others. At S. Burke Law, you will be treated like family. We deliver personal attention to our clients. Call us today at 404-842-7838 for a free consultation.