What Should I Do If I’m Involved in an Auto Accident With Someone Who Was Texting
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Texting and driving is illegal in Michigan, but it still happens. In 2019, 3,142 people were killed by distracted drivers, according to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Even more disturbing are the NHTSA statistics on teen driver distractions. 11% of drivers involved in a fatal car crash due to distracted driving were between the ages of 15 and 20.
Distracted driving can lead to serious injuries or even wrongful death. If you’re involved in an auto accident in Livonia with someone who was texting while driving, contact a personal injury attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. for legal advice after getting checked out by emergency personnel. You may be entitled to compensation from the negligent party for your injuries.
Michigan’s Law for Texting While Driving
According to Michigan’s distracted driving law, it is illegal for all drivers to text while driving. This means a driver shall “not read, manually type, or send a text message on a wireless 2-way communication device.” The ban applies to everyone including truckers and school bus drivers.
Those who use an “on-demand automated motor vehicle network,” which is essentially a driverless car, are exempt from Michigan’s texting while driving law. While Michigan’s cell phone law prohibits drivers from holding their phones in their hands or laps to text, it does not restrict texting while using hands-free devices such as voice-activated systems.
Kelsey’s Law: Michigan’s Cell Phone Law for Teen Drivers
In honor of Kelsey, a 17-year-old girl who died in a cell phone-related crash in 2010, Kelsey’s Law prohibits drivers with a level 1 or 2 graduated license from using a cell phone while operating a vehicle. The law defines “use” as initiating a call, answering a call, or listening or engaging “in verbal communication through the cellular telephone” but does not apply to those using voice-activated systems in their cars.
Teen drivers receive no fine or points toward their future licenses. For a Kelsey’s Law violation, the provisional period of the driver’s graduated licensing status may be extended or expanded.
What Should I Do If I’m Involved in an Auto Accident With Someone Who Was Texting?
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in Michigan because someone took their eyes off the road to text, it’s important to take the following steps:
Call 911 Immediately
In the event of an accident, call 911 for police and emergency services. Answer any questions the police might ask you for the accident report.
Even if you think you’re okay, you should get checked out by one of the emergency medical technicians since you may have internal organ damage, fractures, or a concussion. Accept ambulance transport to the emergency room if it is recommended for any potential injuries or fractures. The police will take photos and collect all the drivers’ contact, insurance, and vehicle information to have the evidence you need to file a claim.
Exchange Contact Information With the Other Driver
If you do not require immediate medical attention, it’s important to gather information on your own to support your claim for damages. You can ask for the other driver’s contact, license, and insurance information.
Take Photos of the Car Accident
Take photos and videos of the cars, accident scene, weather conditions, and road conditions, like potholes. Photos can show the positioning of the vehicles and help identify who was there at the time and how the crash occurred.
Report Your Accident to the Insurance Company
The other driver may try to get out of liability for the accident, and to protect yourself, you should always call your insurance company. If the at-fault driver is requesting not to go through insurance, but pay you out of pocket for vehicle damages instead, you should still ensure you have all their information in case medical issues resulting from the accident surface in the weeks or months following.
Visit your Primary Healthcare Provider
Adrenaline can mask any pain you feel after an accident. Make sure to get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible and note any injuries or symptoms. If symptoms show up hours or days following the collision, you may need diagnostic testing to determine the problem. Out-of-pocket medical expenses and potential long-term complications can result from injuries that weren’t treated in time after the accident.
Contact Our Experienced Accident Lawyers
Bring copies of your medical records and bills, the accident report, photos, videos, and other relevant documentation when you meet with a personal injury lawyer in an initial consultation.
The attorney can review these documents to get a clearer picture of the case and give you accurate advice. You can expect the attorney to provide an opinion on the value of your case, whether it is likely to settle an offer with the insurance companies or if your case needs to be taken to court.
If the other driver is texting while driving at the time of their accident, you can find out if they are at fault, like police reports and an admission from the other driver. A subpoena may be needed to obtain the driver’s cell phone records to verify they were texting at the time of the crash.
How an Auto Accident Lawyer in Livonia Can Help You
If you have been involved in an auto accident with someone who was texting, you must understand Michigan auto law and Kelsey’s Law, for teen drivers.
When you speak with a personal injury lawyer, they can help determine if you can receive compensation for property damage. They can also help you get fair compensation for medical bills and lost income if you suffered severe injuries requiring extensive medical treatments such as head trauma and fractures resulting from a driving accident.
To answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding an auto accident in Livonia, MI, contact our law firm for a free consultation today.
Our telephone number is 866-MICH-LAW.
What’s the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim?
Michigan’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury or property claim is three years from the date of the accident.
What if no one is injured, but there is property damage at the accident scene?
Property damage over $1,000 must be reported to the police immediately. Michigan laws do not exempt personal property. This means the cost of repairing or replacing any damaged personal property needs to be taken into account in addition to the vehicle damage.
Can the insurer refuse to cooperate?
Insurance companies and their claim adjusters are under no legal responsibility to settle your claim or inform you that the statute of limitations will end. Contact a personal injury lawyer to help you file your claim.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.