If you were hurt in an auto accident in Indianapolis, Indiana when the other driver was texting and driving, you are far from alone. Statistics show that during daylight hours alone, more than 800,000 automobiles are being driven by someone using a mobile phone. As drivers become more reliant on mobile phones for music, GPS, and other conveniences while behind the wheel, that number could very well continue to rise.
The Indiana Department of Labor breaks down the definition of distracted driving in three categories:
- Cognitive distraction takes your thoughts off the road and causes your mind to focus on something else.
- Visual distraction takes your eyes off the road and causes you to physically look at another activity.
- Manual distraction means that your hands are physically removed from the wheel and are instead holding something else and not the steering wheel.
All forms of distraction are dangerous and can cause a serious or fatal accident, but texting, in particular, is so lethal because it combines all three forms of distraction. As a direct result, texting and driving car accidents now outnumber those of drinking and driving. This startling fact is likely the reason for a 2011 law put into place in Indiana. The law states that for drivers of all ages, it is now unlawful to read, type or send emails and text messages on any type of communication device while operating a vehicle in Indiana.
The law is most definitely on your side if you find yourself the victim of a distracted driver who you think may have been texting and driving. However, it isn’t always easy to prove and can easily be your word against that of the person possibly guilty of distracted driving.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, there are some things you can do to help prove your case. Your step-by-step action plan is below.
Check the Clock When It Comes to Car Accidents
Be sure to write down the exact time the accident occurred. Although it may not seem important at the time, if you suspect the other driver was texting, this information is vital to your claim. If cell phone records are pulled (which can take several months), the time of the texting-related accident will inevitably prove your case.
Get the Police Involved Immediately – Especially if You Suspect Distracted Driving
Even if you aren’t hurt, pick up the phone and call the police, especially if you suspect texting was involved with the other driver. When they arrive, give them a detailed account of what happened and share with them your suspicions that the other driver may have been distracted via texting. If they arrive quickly, this will happen first. If you have some lag time between the accident and the arrival time of police officers, take the next steps.
Scan the Scene and Take Pictures for Proof of Texting and Driving
If you can do so safely, take a picture of the interior of the other driver’s car. They probably won’t let you inside, but carefully take a few shots of the interior from outside, keeping a close eye on a mobile phone that may be in a certain position that could help prove your case. Also, take pictures of the cars and their positions. In many cases, this alone can prove which driver was at fault (i.e., a car crossing a yellow line, running a red light).
Ask: What Did You See?
Witness accounts are crucial when it comes to car accidents. If you see anyone around, simply ask: Did you see what happened? May I have your contact information for my insurance company as they look into this accident? Most people will happily oblige and often are the sole reason for a favorable outcome for the victim. If the police ask for the witness contact information, be sure to keep a copy of that information for yourself before handing it over to the police.
Also, don’t hesitate to ask the other driver if they were texting. It may seem unlikely that they would admit their wrong doing, but if you get an unexpected answer, share that information with the police, who, by now, are already on their way or at the accident site.
Consult with an Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer About Your Texting and Driving Wreck
There is no safe way to text and drive. No one is good at it, not matter how skilled they think they are. If you have been in a car accident and suspect it happened as the result of texting and driving, there is help and you are not alone. Here at Rowe & Hamilton, we will make sure you get proper representation when it comes to your case. Talk to our car accident lawyers in Indianapolis today to see how we can help prove that a texting driver caused your accident.