Injured by a Distracted Driver in Indiana?
Distracted driving is any activity that pulls a driver’s attention away from the critical task of operating a motor vehicle. Texting is one of the more common and dangerous types of distracted driving. Drivers who are texting are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident, as stated by the Indiana Department of Labor. Researchers have found that texting while driving reduces reaction time by approximately 30% and results in drivers spending an average of 10% of their driving time out of their lane.
What Makes Texting and Driving So Dangerous?
As a form of driver distraction, texting is particularly alarming because it requires manual, visual, and cognitive attention.
- Manual distraction takes a driver’s hands off the wheel, while he or she is manipulating a cell phone.
- Visual distraction takes the driver’s eyes off the road while reading or sending a text.
- Cognitive distraction takes the mind off driving – the driver’s attention is on texting instead of the road ahead.
How Does Distracted Driving Occur?
In addition to texting or talking on a cell phone, many different activities can take a driver’s attention off the road and away from driving. Common examples include:
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Taking pictures with a cell phone camera
- Changing music on the radio, CD player, or MP3 player
- Grooming or applying makeup
- Using a navigation system
- Watching videos
How Do You Prove Distracted Driving Caused a Crash?
In Indiana, it is against the law to text or talk on a cell phone while driving, unless you are using hands-free or voice-operated technology or calling 911 to report an emergency. Car accident claims are based on negligence. If you can prove the other driver was using a cell phone or otherwise distracted when the crash occurred, it is generally enough to establish negligence. Eyewitness testimony or camera footage can be used to prove a driver was talking on the phone or texting or engaging in other distracted driving behavior. A personal injury lawyer may be able to subpoena the cell phone records of the at-fault driver.
What Should You Do If You Are Involved in a Collision Caused by Distracted Driving?
- If you are involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, your first priority is to get medical attention for your injuries. Call 911 and report the accident. Get emergency medical treatment if necessary. Otherwise, see a doctor as soon as possible after the crash, even if you do not believe your injuries are serious. Symptoms can be delayed, and seeing a doctor establishes a record in your case.
- When you call 911 to report a traffic crash, in most cases the police will arrive to investigate the accident. The police report that results from this investigation can help support your injury claim.
- Collect information at the accident scene. Get contact information for any witnesses (do not rely on the police to do this, as witnesses may leave the scene before they are interviewed). Take as many pictures as possible, including damage to the vehicles, skid marks on the road, the surrounding area, your own injuries, and anything that may be relevant to your case.
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney. It is important to talk to a lawyer before you accept any settlement offer from the other driver’s insurance company.
Our Indianapolis car accident attorneys at Emerson Divorce and Accident Injury Attorneys, LLC can assess the full extent of your losses and negotiate skillfully with insurance companies on your behalf. We will fight to get the compensation you deserve. Call us at (317) 969-8000 to schedule a free consultation if you have been injured in a distracted driving accident.
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