You are minding your own business and driving on the road when another car swerves into your path and crashes into you. You realize afterwards that the driver was texting and driving, and may be wondering what your rights are in such a case.
If someone has ever injured you because they were texting and driving, your case is just as valid and deserving of compensation as someone hit by a drunk driver. This article will explain your car accident rights in Philadelphia in greater detail.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Accidents caused by texting and driving are included as distracted driving accidents. Distracted driving essentially means that the driver in question did not have his full attention focused on driving. This lack of awareness is often related to when a driver is concentrating on an electronic device, including phones, GPS, MP3 players, and tablets.
Texting and driving are illegal in nearly all places and can even be considered a criminal offense. Due to this, drivers will have to go to court and be deemed guilty or not guilty, which will also affect your lawsuit.
What to Do When You Are Injured
When you are injured because of a texting and driving accident, know that you have legal options to receive compensation. These are the steps that you can take after the accident.
1. Receive Medical Treatment
Your priority should be to make sure you receive the appropriate medical treatment. Ensure that you keep any receipts of necessary medication or procedures that you have to go through because of the car accident.
If you require ongoing treatment or future forms of physiotherapy due to the accident, take note of this as well. This information is important because your request for medical compensation from the driver's insurance company should typically include all forms of medical bills arising from the accident.
2. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Suppose you have decided you want to pursue the legal route to receive compensation over the event. In that case, the next step should be contacting a lawyer who has experience dealing with traffic incidents and injury cases—having someone more knowledgeable about the legal process will dramatically improve your chances of having a successful legal claim.
Even if you are still unsure if you want to get into a legal dispute, hiring a personal injury attorney is an excellent way to have an expert evaluate your options and advise you on the most rewarding choice. If your case is not strong enough, for instance, your lawyer may be able to persuade the driver and the insurance company to settle for compensation outside of court.
If you decide on hiring a personal injury attorney, they can perform most of the subsequent steps for you.
3. Request a Copy of the Police Report
The accident's police report will have a lot of the necessary information about the accident, including the other driver's contact details and insurance information. This information makes it an important document to get ahold of and build your case on.
4. Obtain Witness Testimonies
Where possible, approach witnesses of the accident and obtain their accounts of what exactly happened. This information will help strengthen your case because their testimonies can support your own and bring you more credibility. This testimony is critical if they saw the other driver holding on to a mobile device during the accident.
Make sure you receive written statements of their testimonies that you can show the court.
5. Communicate With the Insurance Company
Shortly after the accident, it is likely that the driver's insurance company will contact you. They may contest your claims or try to negotiate for a set compensation instead of a court case.
You will usually receive compensation for your medical injuries, car damages, and other aspects such as lost wages resulting from the injuries.
The way you deal with them will depend on your interests and how strong your case seems to be from this point. If you believe you still want to go to trial and file a legal claim against the other driver, this is well within your rights to do so.
6. Observe the Outcome of Their Criminal or Traffic Case
Because texting and driving are illegal almost anywhere, the driver will have to face a court trial anyway to determine whether they are guilty. How they plea – and what the court rules in the end – are helpful for your case.
If they plead guilty to texting and driving, you can use this plea in your injury lawsuit. This way, you do not have to prove that they were indeed texting, which makes your case a whole lot easier to win. A guilty plea will also increase the probability that the driver will want to settle for a higher price instead of going to court.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Philadelphia Today
Sustaining injuries from a car accident can be traumatic and distressing, both physically and mentally. Especially if the accident is caused by texting and driving, you can, in return, choose to file a lawsuit. You can also settle for insurance compensation that provides coverage over all your different expenses, such as your medical bills, lost wages, and car damages.
If you are injured and require a personal injury attorney in Philadelphia, D'Intino Law is well-equipped to provide legal assistance for you. We are highly experienced in car accident cases and can advise you on your options.
Contact us today to access our services in Philadelphia.