Distracted driving is one of the top causes of fatal car accidents in California and is estimated to be responsible for 25% to 50% of all auto accidents. Although the majority of cases of driver distraction involve texting or talking on the phone, it can also be caused by eating or drinking, talking to others in the car, or playing with all the bells and whistles that many new cars have (navigation screens, etc.,).
If you’re in a car accident involving a distracted driver, there are specific steps you should take immediately after:
- Call the police then stay where you are - Make sure your vehicle is completely stopped and then assess your injuries. If it is too painful to move, remain where you are and wait for the paramedics to arrive. Call 911 to report the accident to the police. Moving when injured can make an injury worse or cause secondary injuries, so wait for emergency medical responders to arrive and render aid instead of risking further injury by moving yourself.
- Document the scene - If you feel well enough to move, take photos of the vehicles involved, the street or intersection, any visible damage on the vehicles, and license plates.
- Exchange information with the other driver(s) - You will want to collect the full name of any other drivers and insurance information (company, policy number, and insurance number).
- Collect witness information - If there are witnesses, get their names, addresses, and phone numbers.
- Call your insurance company - you are obligated to report an accident to the insurance company. Do not agree to settle outside of insurance, even if the damage seems minor. You may not know the extent of medical injuries sustained (sometimes they can occur a few days after the incident) or damage to your car just by looking at it.
- Seek medical help - Visit your doctor. Seemingly minor injuries can sometimes develop into much more serious conditions. Keep records of your diagnosis, after-care instructions, medications prescribed, and follow-up visits.
- Call an attorney - If you intend to file a claim, it is best to do so under the guidance of an experienced car accident attorney.
Accidents can cause tremendous pain and suffering and leave victims with financial burdens caused by medical bills and lost income. Because insurance companies would rather offer small settlements than pay out what victims deserve, working with experienced attorneys like those at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP can help you fight for the compensation you need.
Working with an experienced car accident attorney can improve your chances of being fully compensated. Statistics show that people who work with attorneys are paid 3.5x more than those without legal representation.
At Bostwick & Peterson LLP, our team of car accident attorneys has secured record-breaking verdicts and settlements and has recovered over $1 billion in compensation for clients. Plus, if we don’t win, you don’t pay.
If you were injured or someone you love was seriously injured or killed in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact our California car accident lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for a free and confidential consultation: (888) 831-8448.