Distracted driving has lead recent surges in roadway fatalities across the nation, and while efforts to raise awareness and pass tougher laws are constantly being waged, many motorists still choose to engage in risky multi-tasking that places others at risk of suffering harm. If you or someone you love has recently been harmed in a car accident caused by a driver who was distracted at the time, you are not alone. Distraction behind the wheel causes over hundreds of thousands of injuries and deaths each year. Fortunately, you have rights – and our legal team at The Daspit Law Firm is prepared to help.
Because taking the right steps after a preventable accident is critical to ensuring you secure the justice and compensation you deserve, our Houston car accident lawyers want to provide some helpful information that can help as you navigate the legal process ahead:
- Gather information – Gathering evidence and information following any type of auto accident should always be a priority. This includes exchanging information with all other involved parties and witnesses, including insurance information, license plate numbers, vehicle makes and models, names and phone numbers, and any other relevant information. Pictures of the scene of an accident, vehicle damage, and any visible injuries can also be helpful as you begin the personal injury claim process. Additionally, you should obtain a copy of any police report that was taken, as it provides an objective account of what happened during the crash, as well as information about whether drivers admitted to being distracted or were cited for any violations.
- Be wary of insurance companies – Insurance companies are motivated by money, and they go out of their way to deny, dispute, and underpay claims. Following an accident involving a policyholder, insurance companies may reach out to you for recorded statements. You do not have to provide a statement, and should instead speak with a lawyer. These statements provide an opportunity for insurance companies to get you to say something that can be used against you. Additionally, you should be wary of any settlement offers from insurance companies, as they often lowball victims in an attempt to quickly settle a case for less that victims deserve.
- Seek medical treatment – Seeking medical treatment after a crash is critical to your health. You will want to diagnose and treat any injuries you have, even if you think you might be able to tough them out. Seeing a doctor can also provide evidence of your injuries, which is crucial to your personal injury claim.
- Know the law and your rights – It is important to note that distracted driving is not always illegal. While Texas does enforce cell phone and texting bans for school bus drivers and novice drivers under the age of 18, it does not enforce a statewide ban for all drivers. However, some cities and municipalities do (for example, Austin has distracted driving laws). Even when there are no laws prohibiting the type of distraction involved in your accident, you should still be aware that there are laws in place that protect you after being harmed as a result of negligence. You have rights after being injured in a distracted driving crash because distracted driving is a negligent act, and our legal team is fully prepared to help you exercise those rights.
- Call a lawyer – After a distracted driving accident, the most important thing you can do is to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Our lawyers at The Daspit Law Firm make themselves available 24/7 to speak with accident victims immediately after their wrecks. During free consultations, we discuss the nature of the accident, their rights, and what we can do to help. By working with a lawyer, you ensure the right steps will be taken, mistakes avoided, and a level playing field created between you and insurance companies that want to pay you as little as possible.