Texting and Driving: A Triple Threat

The odds are that, at some point, most of us will be involved in a motor vehicle crash.  There is also the likelihood that the cause will be a driver whose attention was distracted from the road because they were using a cell phone. In fact, the National Safety Council has reported that a quarter of all car accidents involve cell phone use. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2013, 3,145 people were killed and approximately 424,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. Texting while driving is particularly distracting because it involves taking your hands off of the steering wheel, diverting your eyes from the road and turning your mind to something other than the task of driving – a triple threat.

If you do find yourself involved in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of the cause, here are a few pointers for what you should do to handle the situation:

  • Try not to move your car until the police arrive – it allows them to prepare a more precise investigative report.
  • Stay in your car until the police arrive – if you are injured, you may worsen your condition by moving.
  • If you are experiencing any injuries at all, let the police know.  Otherwise, they will report that you were not injured and this can be used against you later on.
  • Say very little, if anything, to the other driver.  You may be misunderstood or misinterpreted.
  • If you feel that you are injured, ask to be taken to the hospital via ambulance for an immediate examination.
  • If you do not feel comfortable taking an ambulance to the hospital, then you should immediately see your primary care provider or seek a referral.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company immediately, even though it is not your fault.  If you delay too long, they may refuse coverage.
  • Only discuss the issues involving your damaged vehicle with the other insurance company.  There is no need for them to know about your injuries and you probably have not been fully diagnosed as of yet.  If you discuss injuries with the insurance company, it is likely that the statement is being recorded.  Therefore, if you don’t list all of your injuries during the recorded interview, then any subsequent injuries may be deemed unrelated to the accident.
  • Try not to do anything to worsen your condition, like lifting weights, extraneous exercise, etc. until you have seen a doctor and been released from care.
  • Keep copies of all out-of-pocket receipts, such as prescriptions, etc.
  • Keep a record of any time missed from work.  If you are self-employed, record all missed meetings.
Lastly, if you are not a professional personal injury lawyer, you will be up against a trained insurance adjuster, whose goal is to save their insurance company as much money as possible.  Contact Hymson Goldstein Pantiliat & Lohr and have a trained and experienced personal injury attorney working for you. Our Business is Your Peace of Mind®.

Written by Attorney Eddie A. Pantiliat, eap@hgplaw.com

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