Distracted Driving and More: Receiving Compensation for Car Accidents

Every day in the US there are more than 1,000 car accidents caused by distracted driving and at least nine people die every day in car wrecks due to distracted driving. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the US and taking your eyes away from the road for just a second can have deadly consequences.

If you have been injured by a distracted driver or any other type of car accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the driver and their insurance company. Whether you were a driver in another car, a passenger, or even a pedestrian, you may want to consider consulting with a personal injury lawyer to learn more about what type of compensation you might be entitled to.

Read on to learn more about these accidents and compensation for which you may be eligible.

Common Car Accident Injuries

Car accident injuries can cause short-term and long-term difficulties in your life. Some of the common injuries that you should seek compensation for include:

  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Arm and leg injuries
  • Burns
  • Whiplash to your neck

Many of these injuries don’t emerge right away. Rather, they may take a few days to manifest themselves. The adrenaline that is often flowing after an accident will often mask the pain that you are in and make you think that you haven’t been injured.

Even if you think you’re ok, you should still seek medical care at the emergency room or an urgent care clinic to evaluate you fully for possible injuries, and so you can document that you received timely medical treatment related to the wreck that you were involved in.

Calculating Damages

When you are the victim of a car accident, whether it was the result of distracted driving or some other issue, you are entitled to compensation. If someone else is responsible for the accident, you can seek compensation from them and their insurance company.

The compensation that you are entitled to include the repairs to your vehicle, medical expenses related to your injuries, and the pain and suffering and/or loss of enjoyment of life that you may have suffered due to the injuries you suffered from the car wreck.

Medical expenses are easy to calculate as they are the total amount of your medical bills as charged by the medical providers who treat you. The pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life is more difficult to estimate, as the impacts of an injury affect people differently.

Certain injuries may have a much bigger impact on young people, for example, who have their entire life ahead. A severe injury could significantly impact their lifetime earning potential and their ability to perform certain jobs.

Your lawyer will be able to help estimate the compensation you are entitled to based upon the following:

  • Your medical bills and expenses (this includes current injuries and any future care you may require)
  • Lost wages and loss of lifetime earnings
  • Emotional damages
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium (loss of companionship of your spouse)
  • Loss of enjoyment (if you are no longer able to enjoy activities that you used to)
  • Punitive damages under certain circumstances

Remember that the insurance company’s focus is their bottom line, so they will typically give you an initial lowball settlement offer that is much less than you deserve. They do this just to see if you are willing to settle early and cheaply.

Conversely, when you have an attorney, they will negotiate with the insurance company for you and handle any communication with the insurance company. This prevents you from sharing too much information or revealing certain things that could damage your case.

Determining Liability

Determining liability can also be difficult. It might be clear who is responsible, such as the driver of another car rear-ends you. However, in some cases, it’s not clear.

The adjuster will typically review the responding officer’s accident report and then collect information from you, the other driver, and witnesses to the accident, such as bystanders, pedestrians, or passengers.

Additionally, most conversations with an insurance adjuster will be recorded, so remember that anything you say to them can be used against you. If you hire an attorney, they will handle the communication for you and you do not have to speak to the adjuster in person any longer.

It is always a good idea to speak with an attorney before you give any type of statement, recorded or otherwise, to an insurance adjuster, even your own.  Most people’s words do come back to bite them.  

What to Do After an Accident

There are certain things you can do (and things you should avoid) after an accident to help ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. After you secure your vehicle, move it off the road if possible and move yourself away from the vehicle if you are able. Most importantly, don’t admit fault to anyone. Then, call 911 and let the police handle everything at the accident scene.

The police will talk to those involved as well as witnesses and then prepare a full report. If you are able, try to take pictures and video of the scene as well as get the information for any witnesses (these will also be in the police report). Take pictures from both up close and from a wider angle to get the entire accident area in the photos. Make sure you take pictures of your car as well, especially if it has to be towed from the scene.

You’ll also want to document your injuries with photographs and medical records from any treatment you receive. Don’t refuse medical treatment; even if you think you aren’t injured, you should still get examined by a doctor.

Once you are able, you will want to consult with an accident attorney, especially if you were injured in the accident. They will want all of this information and will likely do some investigating of their own as they prepare your case.

Hire a Distracted Driving Attorney Today

Distracted driving is incredibly dangerous. Not only is it considered a traffic violation in most states, it puts other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians at risk. If you suffered injuries as the result of a distracted driver, make sure you get what you are entitled to by hiring an experienced attorney.

A personal injury lawyer, like the ones at Reasonover Law Firm, will help you build a case to get the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today for a free case consultation.