Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents in the US. Some people think it’s safe to use their cell phones to send a quick message or to reapply their makeup at a red light. But when a driver takes even this small risk, it can have catastrophic consequences - for them and other road users.
Recent data has revealed that drivers in Mississippi are more likely to use their cell phone when driving than any other US state. Due to the advancement in mobile technology and the common use of electronic devices, more people are finding it difficult to keep their cell phones out of reach when they are driving. More drivers are getting distracted at the wheel and increasing the potential risk of causing an accident.
If you have been involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, here is what you need to do next.
Here is some advice on what to do at the scene of the accident and afterwards.
Collect evidence of the accident
After you’ve been involved in any type of auto traffic accident, it’s recommended you collect some information about the collision and the other driver. This data-collection is important because it will be used later when speaking to your insurance company and if you want to claim compensation.
- Take photographs: Taking photographs of the accident, the location and the cars involved means you have photographic evidence that can be used if the other driver attempts to dispute your claims.
- Take contact information from the driver: Don’t forget to take contact information from the other driver. Their phone number and insurance details are the key bits you need. If you’ve been involved in a chain reaction accident, take contact details from all drivers in the area.
- Write your own account of the accident: As soon as possible, write down what happened. The longer you leave it, the more likely you will forget key information. If the driver who caused the accident was distracted at the wheel, you need to write down what they were doing. Were they using their cell phone? Were they eating or drinking? Were they doing their make up? These actions may not be illegal but they are a dangerous distraction.
- Get contact details from witnesses: If there are any witnesses who saw the driver acting negligently at the wheel, then ask the witnesses if you can take their contact information. You may need to use their eyewitness account to support your claims.
If the driver fled the scene of the accident, they have a committed a crime and you need to contact the police. A hit and run accident is a criminal offense but you can still claim compensation.
Visit your doctor or seek medical assistance
Cervical injuries can take time to surface and develop. There have been cases where drivers have suffered traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries but the symptoms have taken months or even years to develop. Getting checked out by a doctor will confirm there are no hidden problems.
Speak to an experienced law team
Distracted driving is a common cause of auto traffic accidents in Mississippi. Even though many drivers are warned about the risks, they ignore them. If your insurance company is not giving you the help you need or you’re looking for compensation, you will need to speak to an attorney. While you may be tempted to pick an attorney based on a friend’s recommendation or go with a family friend, you need to find an attorney who is experienced dealing with car accident claims.
At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, we’re an experienced team of attorneys. We’ve been helping people who have been negatively affected by distracted driving in Mississippi for over 35 years.
We offer free case consultations. Complete this form and one of our team will examine your case and determine whether you’re eligible for compensation.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.