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 apply 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’ve been involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, here is what you need to do next.
What to do After a Car Accident
The very first thing you should do after a car accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you don’t immediately feel as though there’s a problem, it’s still worth having yourself checked. Once you’ve done that, here are a few tips for what to do next.
Visit Your Doctor
Consult a Legal Expert
After you’ve been involved in any type of 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. It can be difficult to prove that someone was distracted at the time of an accident but the more evidence you collect, the easier your claim will be.
- 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. Try and take multiple photos of the same things and include any damage to the surrounding area, like traffic signs and street lights.
- Take contact information from the driver: Don’t forget to exchange contact information with the other driver. Their phone number and insurance details are the key details you need. If you’ve been involved in a chain reaction accident, take contact information from everyone involved.
- 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 makeup? These actions may not be illegal but they are a dangerous distraction. Don’t lie or fabricate any parts of your statement as this can harm your claim for compensation.
- Get contact details from witnesses: If any witnesses saw the driver acting negligently at the wheel, then ask them 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 incident is a criminal offense but you can still claim compensation.
Visit Your Doctor
We’ve already mentioned that you should seek immediate medical attention. Even in the case of a minor accident, you may still need to visit a doctor. A quick check will ensure you’ve not suffered any serious hidden injuries.
For example, cervical injuries can take time to surface and develop. There have also been cases where drivers have suffered traumatic brain or 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.
Consult a Legal Expert
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. A legal representative can ensure you take the best course of action and help you to get compensation for loss of earnings, hospital bills and vehicle damage.
While you may be tempted to pick an attorney based on a colleague’s recommendation or go with a family friend, you need to find a legal professional who has successfully managed car accident claims before.
Find the Right Attorney for You
Coxwell & Associates is home to a team of dedicated and experienced attorneys. We’ve been helping people who have been negatively affected by distracted driving in Mississippi for over 35 years. Get in touch with our specialists today for a free case consultation.
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.