What to Do Following a
Distracted Driving Accident
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one in five accidents in Texas involves a distracted driver. These types of accidents can have serious and even fatal consequences. If you or a loved one has been involved in a distracted driving accident in Austin, TX, there are several important steps you should take to protect yourself.
After an Accident...
- Remain calm and pull over to a safe area - If possible, move your car to the side of the road, preferably to the shoulder rather than to the median. Turn on your hazard lights. If you are not injured and it is safe to do so, exit the car.
- Call emergency responders - Check on all others involved in the accident, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. If anyone appears hurt, call 911 and request police presence and an ambulance. Keep in mind that not all injuries present with immediate symptoms. It is safest to be checked and cleared by a medical professional.
- Cooperate & do not admit fault - A police accident report can be invaluable when determining fault in an accident. Cooperate fully with police, but do not admit fault to them or anyone else. Even apologizing can be viewed as an admission of guilt and later used against you. If the police do not come to the scene, you can file an accident report through the DMV.
- Gather information - It is important to document the names and contact information of drivers and passengers, as well as eyewitnesses. You should also record insurance information, license plate numbers, and the make and model of other vehicles. Be sure to take down the name and badge number of responding police officers.
- Document the scene - If you have a smartphone with a camera, take photographs of the accident including any property damage and injuries. Try to capture the scene from different angles, and take close-up and wide shots. There may be details that appear in the photographs, such as traffic lights and weather conditions, that can be useful for your claim. As soon as you are able, you should write down what happened while the information is still fresh in your mind. Having a detailed account will make your claim easier to prove.
- Contact a reputable car accident attorney - A qualified car accident attorney can review your case and seek justice on your behalf. Our team has been providing strong legal counsel to car accident victims for decades and can help you recover the damages you deserve.
According to AAA, drivers using their cell phones had their eyes off the road about 4.1 of the last 6 seconds leading up to an accident.
Was Distracted Driving the Cause of Your Accident?
Any activity that takes your eyes off the road, your mind off of driving, or your hands off the wheel is considered distracted driving. This includes:
- Using a cellphone
- Adjusting navigation or music
- Eating and drinking
A recent study conducted by the CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) found that students who reported that they frequently texted while driving were more likely to drink and drive and less likely to wear a seatbelt. Young drivers under the age of 20 are especially at risk.
What Wenholz | Dow, P.C., Trial Lawyers Can Do for You
A car accident attorney at our firm will handle all of the legal aspects of your case. We can file necessary paperwork by the appropriate date, gather evidence to bolster your claim, and deal with insurance agencies to maximize your compensation. Your past, current and projected future losses will be calculated based on:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Distracted driving accidents can be overwhelming for you and your loved ones, and you need an attorney you can trust to hold negligent parties accountable. By attempting self-representation or choosing an attorney without the necessary qualifications, you risk minimizing compensation or losing it altogether.