Do you know what to do if you get injured in a distracted driving accident? These types of crashes are often caused by people who are texting, eating or doing other activities that take their attention off the road. Unfortunately, many people still fail to realize that distracted driving is one of the leading causes of serious car crashes today.
Learn what you should do after a distracted driving accident and what evidence may support your claim for damages.
At Jay Trucks, our Grand Rapids car accident lawyers work hard every day to help crash victims recover maximum compensation. Not sure if you have a claim? Find out for FREE in a no-risk consultation with one of our qualified attorneys. We are here to help.
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How Do You Know if Your Crash Was Caused by Distracted Driving?
It can be difficult to know if your crash was caused by distracted driving. No matter what you suspect, the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff seeking damages. In short, you need more than suspicions to prove a distracted driving accident. That said, there are a few clues that may help.
In fact, you may have seen some pretty strong signs the other party was driving distracted without realizing it, such as:
- It was dark, but you saw the glow of the phone on the driver’s face
- The driver was looking down or away from the road
- You saw the driver texting
- The other driver was reaching into the back of the vehicle
- You noticed the driver eating or drinking something
These are just a few of the high-risk actions that are also frequent causes of distracted driving accidents. The Michigan State Police provides more details about distracted driving, including other behaviors to avoid while behind the wheel.
What Can You Do if You Suspect Distracted Driving Caused Your Crash?
First of all, it is important to share your suspicions with the police officer who responds to your accident. What you saw is not likely to be enough evidence on its own. However, it is still important to mention what you remember about the seconds leading up to the crash.
At the accident scene, be patient and wait for the officer to come to you. You will have your chance to give a statement.
When asked, relate the facts about what happened, being sure to:
- Take a minute to think before speaking – the officer will understand since you have just been in a crash.
- Relate what you remember clearly and without rambling. Unnecessary details can make you seem confused.
The details you provide the officer, such as seeing the other driver texting, will be documented in the police report. They may also later be strengthened and supported by what accident investigators find at the crash scene.
What Do Accident Investigators Look For After a Distracted Driving Crash?
Crash scene investigators may not specifically be looking for proof of a distracted driving crash. However, they may find evidence that points to a distracted driving accident, including:
- Video footage: Traffic cameras are everywhere these days and may have caught distracted driving behavior.
- Eyewitnesses: A credible eyewitness may have seen the other party texting or doing other activities before the crash.
- Admissions of fault: While surprising, distracted drivers admit their actions more often than you might think.
- Recovered cellphone data: Even deleted data can be recovered to show any phone activity prior to the crash.
- Reviewing social media posts: Time-stamped posts may reveal if the driver was on social media before the accident.
- Type of collision: Sometimes the type of crash helps to reveal how it happened. For instance, no skid marks often means the driver was distracted and made no attempt to brake. Similarly, if a driver is looking away from the road, drifting into another lane is common. Driving through stop signs and red lights is also sometimes evidence that the driver was not paying attention.
Michigan state law, section 257.602b, prohibits driving while texting on a hand-held device. Offenders may be assessed with a ticket and hefty fines. Teens with a level one or level two graduated license may not use their cellphones at all while driving.
What Should You Do First After a Crash?
After any accident, it is important to remember that you are likely in shock. Take a moment to adjust to your surroundings and try to remain calm. Talking yourself through what you need to do next can help you to focus. Your priority should always be to protect your health.
Call 9-1-1 immediately to get first responders and medical assistance to the scene as quickly as possible. When speaking to the dispatcher about the crash, be sure to keep the details short, clear and accurate, including:
- Where the crash happened
- How many vehicles were involved
- Whether others may be injured
- If the crash scene is blocking traffic
After any accident, check out these other steps that can help to maximize the value of your injury claim. We also strongly recommend contacting a qualified attorney after a car crash. Doing so can help you to avoid making mistakes that may damage your claim.
Need Legal Help? Our Qualified Attorneys Are Ready to Help
According to the NHTSA, distracted driving killed 3,142 people in 2019. Hundreds of thousands more were seriously injured.
If this has happened to you, seeking legal help may be your best move to help ensure you get the compensation you need.
Contact Jay Trucks today to discuss your situation. There is no risk, cost or obligation to meet with one of our qualified attorneys.
FREE Case Review. Call: 989-244-0356 today.