The issue of distracted driving is becoming increasingly widespread.
Specifically, research reveals that far too many drivers become extremely distracted while driving past emergency responders helping resolve accidents on highways. A shocking 24% of drivers admitted to texting and taking photos during regular driving situations, but 71% point out that they take photos and text when they are passing emergency vehicles and personnel.
Why people are willing to risk their own lives and everyone else’s on the road is baffling, but it’s clear that there is a tremendously high number of drivers who take part in this careless behavior. This is also scary since it introduces the possibility of even more danger for the first responders.
So, how do people get away with distracted driving, and what should you do if you’re involved in an accident?
Well, the statistics might make it seem like people are getting away with it, but the odds are that it will eventually lead to trouble. In many states including Florida, distracted drivers who cause collisions are liable for the damages that the crash caused.
If you’ve been hurt in a crash and someone was driving while distracted, there are a few things that you should do right away.
1. Obtain Medical Care
Treatment and recovery should be top priorities after a collision. It’s helpful to have a paper trail also because if the victim doesn’t receive appropriate medical care and later needs to file an insurance claim, the claim might be denied without supporting medical evidence.
2. Keep A Copy Of The Police Report
After a collision, the police will file a report that lists all legal data regarding the accident. It includes all driver’s names, insurance policy information, and their addresses. The report also lists witness contact information and any tickets that were given.
3. Touch Base With Witnesses And Request Written Statements
Though you might remember that the other driver crashed into you because they were distracted, it must still be proven in court. One way to prove this is with eyewitness testimony. Since witnesses aren’t directly involved in the accident, they might forget details relatively fast afterward, so it’s best to contact them right away for a factual statement.
4. Inform The Prosecution Of Injuries You Have
If the driver was cited for distracted driving and a pedestrian was hit while walking in Florida, the guilty party might hire an attorney to get the charges reduced to a lesser offense. The prosecution should be aware that someone was hurt in the crash because it could make a difference in the final decision. It will be too late once a plea agreement is finalized. Either the victim or an attorney for the victim can communicate this information to the district attorney.
5. Get A Copy Of Any Collision Certificates Of Disposition
If any of the drivers involved in the accident plead guilty to distracted driving charges, you might need a copy of this document to ensure the liable party covers the damages as they are legally required to do. Without a copy of this certificate, there might not be much proof another person caused the accident.
6. Consider Your Interactions With Insurers Carefully
Once the accident is over and you’re beginning to recover, you can expect that an agent from your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company will contact you. Since these interactions are often recorded and can determine the resolution of your claim, it’s important to be careful what you say. One example is to admit fault accidentally by apologizing when you were not responsible for the crash.
Since distracted driving accidents can be life-altering, it’s important to protect yourself afterward. Though the situation is likely stressful, doing these things promptly after your accident (or having an attorney do them for you) can decrease stress and complexity.