We live in a world today where everyone seems to be more distracted than ever before. No matter where we are at–be it work, school, home, or even in the car–our attention constantly gets pulled in different directions. Distractions are not only unhelpful and unproductive in our day to day lives, but they can also be downright dangerous or even deadly when we encounter them on the road.
If you are involved in an automobile accident, and you believe the driver who caused the accident was distracted, there are ways to identify this and be compensated for your injuries and losses.
Types of Distractions
There are several scenarios that qualify as distracted driving. Basically, anything that takes someone’s full attention away from the road ahead is a distraction. Some very common examples include: texting, eating, applying make-up, looking at billboards or other items on the side of the road for too long, talking to others in the car, or talking on the phone without a hands-free unit. This is just a small sampling of what can be considered distracted driving.
These types of activities take people’s attention and eyes off the road, for even the briefest of moments, and cause delayed reactions to the cars, people, and road conditions ahead. It only takes a split second and lives can be changed forever.
When an Accident Occurs
First and foremost, always notify the police immediately after the accident. The best way to identify a distracted driver is for the police to investigate, take witness statements, and document the distraction in an accident or police report. You could also make observations and document them yourself while on the accident scene as well, but this is ultimately best if done by law enforcement. If they do not come to the accident scene for some reason or you think they aren’t aware that the driver was distracted, you can certainly take your own notes and create documentation to reference later on.
During the Claim
Once you have a claim started with the insurance company, make sure they are aware that the other driver was distracted. Often, this along with the police report will help speed up the process of assigning liability. If you are having difficulties with either the other driver admitting to distraction or finding evidence that he or she was distracted, there are further steps you can take.
If you believe the driver was on a cell phone, you can request their cell phone records. You might even be able to go so far as to request traffic camera footage to prove a distraction. These last two options may be difficult to do on your own and may take the assistance of a car accident lawyer.
The big message here is to stay safe and stay alert while on the road. While you can control your own actions by not driving with distractions, that does not mean someone on the road next to you will do the same. If you do get involved in an accident with a distracted driver, documentation is key.
If it looks like you won’t get that documentation without hiring an attorney, it may be worth it to do so. Distracted driving is not only dangerous but can also be lethal. If you are injured in an accident involving a distracted driver, fair and just compensation is possible.