If you were injured by a distracted driver using their cell phone, consider talking to a Houston car accident lawyer about your case. With the increasing popularity of smart phones, many people find themselves in an accident with someone who was distracted while driving. Maybe they blew through a stop light or veered into your lane. Maybe they rear ended you in traffic. Whatever the case, distracted drivers can cause accidents that can seriously injure others. Each case is different, so you should discuss the particulars of your case with an experienced attorney. However, here are some general things to know about accidents with drivers using their cell phone.
Talk to Your Houston Car Accident Lawyer About Injuries from a Distracted Driving Accident
Getting in a car accident can ruin your day, but it can also impact your health. Even so-called minor accidents at lower speeds can cause injuries, such as broken bones, soft tissue injuries, or even traumatic brain injuries. Any time there is an injury involved in a car accident, it can add a layer of complexity to the case. Often, injuries drive up compensation amounts to help with damages like medical expenses and lost wages from medical visits.
Also, healing from injuries can sometimes take a lot longer compared to, say, getting your bumper replaced or repairing a dent in the body of your car. What’s more, some auto accident injuries may not even show symptoms until days or even weeks after the accident, which can further complicate your case.
In addition to these potential challenges, proving that the other driver was distracted by their cell phone can be difficult. It’s important to understand that whether you’re seeking compensation from the other driver’s insurance or through a lawsuit against the driver, typically you have to provide proof of the other driver’s fault. Essentially what this means is that you need to show that the other driver acted negligently, which led to the accident. Using a cell phone while driving is a form of negligence, but it may be difficult to find evidence of it. However, your Houston personal injury lawyer can help you gather evidence to strengthen your case.
Why is Distracted Driving Dangerous? What Role Do Cell Phones Play?
What does it matter if the other driver was using their cell phone? Evidence actually shows that cell phone use can cause distracted driving that may result in poor driving behaviors and even car accidents, even when using hands-free features. As a trusted Houston car accident attorney, we see it all the time.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, an estimated 1,000 people or more are injured by distracted driving every day. Many of those cases involve cell phone use. Cell phone use can include things like texting while driving, talking on the phone while driving, or things like changing the music from your phone or recording video while driving. For instance, it’s a common trend to record or live-stream videos for various social media platforms, such as TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook, while driving. Unfortunately, many people pay the ultimate price for these distracted driving behaviors. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, 3,142 people lost their lives in 2019 due to distracted driving.
There have been many anti-texting-while-driving campaigns over recent years, as well as texting and driving laws. For example, it’s illegal to text and drive in the state of Texas. However, many other types of cell phone use are technically not illegal. It’s important to understand that even if something isn’t illegal, they can still cause distracted driving. For instance, the Texas Department of Transportation advises never using a cell phone while driving, as evidence suggests even hands-free cell phone use can draw your focus away and negatively affect driving. So, if you were injured in a car accident and suspect the other driver was using their cell phone in any way, it’s helpful to mention it to the authorities as well as your Houston car accident lawyer.
What Your Houston Car Accident Lawyer Recommends After an Accident
Building your car accident case can start at the accident scene. Here are some things our accident attorneys recommend to do after an accident.
First and foremost, stop and check for injuries. If anyone is seriously injured, you should call 911 for an ambulance. However, if no one has severe injuries, then you can typically call Houston PD’s non-emergency line at (713) 884-3131. You also need to exchange information with the other driver, such as insurance and contact details.
You can also start gathering evidence at the scene in many cases. If you can safely do so, consider taking pictures of the scene. This includes things like damage to both vehicles, nearby traffic signs, skid marks, and driving conditions. Try to make note of any security or traffic cameras you see that might have caught footage of the crash. Also, if you can get statements and contact information from witnesses, this may also be helpful for your case. It can also be useful to write down the details of the accident as soon as possible, while they are still fresh in your memory.
You may want to consider getting medical attention, even if you feel fine. In many cases, the confusion and adrenaline from a car crash can mask symptoms of an injury. If you feel any symptoms, you also might want to get checked out by a doctor.
Next, you likely want to contact your insurance company and inform them of the accident. Even if you weren’t at fault for the accident, typically your insurance company will require you to tell them about any accident you’re involved in. If you were injured from the car accident, then consider contacting an accident attorney to discuss your case.
How Your Houston Personal Injury Lawyer Helps You Gather Evidence of Distracted Driving
Why might you consider hiring a Houston car crash attorney to help with your case? One important reason is a legal professional can help you gather evidence of your case. Proving that the other person is at fault for the accident due to cell phone use can be difficult. However, your attorney can help you find evidence to build your case.
For instance, in many cases we can request a copy of nearby security footage that may have caught images of the driver using their cell phone while driving. Also, if there’s reasonable cause to believe they may have been using their cell phone, sometimes we can subpoena their phone records. For example, if a witness claims they saw the driver using their cell phone, that may be enough to ask to see their records to determine if they were on a call or sending messages while driving.
Other types of evidence might include searching the person’s social media accounts. As we mentioned earlier, it’s becoming more and more popular for people to record videos and live stream videos for social media while driving. For your case, it may be helpful for your Houston car accident lawyer to look at social posts from the day of the accident to see if the timestamps line up to right before or during the crash. There are many ways our car accident lawyers can help you gather evidence for your case.
Your Houston Car Accident Lawyer Advocates for You After an Accident
In addition, hiring a Houston car accident lawyer means you have a legal advocate working on your behalf. This can take some of the weight off of your shoulders as you recover from your car accident injuries. For example, your attorney can work with the insurance adjuster on your behalf and negotiate a fair settlement agreement. Your lawyer can also help you gather evidence of your accident-related expenses and of the other driver’s fault.
If you can’t reach a proper settlement amount with the insurance company, then we can help you file a lawsuit and represent you in court as you seek compensation for your damages and injuries. Therefore, many people find having a Houston car accident lawyer on their side is helpful after they are injured in a car crash.
Injured in an Accident? Talk to an Accident Attorney from Maida Law Firm
You shouldn’t have to pay the price for someone else’s distracted driving. If you were injured by a driver using their cell phone, an experienced attorney can help you with your case. Our team at Maida Law Firm offers years of experience with car accident personal injury cases. We work on a contingency basis, which means you owe us nothing unless we win your case. Reach out today to get a free case evaluation with our attorneys.