The term “distracted driving” refers to several unsafe driving habits that motorists engage in which endanger both themselves and others around them. As most drivers know, operating a vehicle requires that their full attention be paid to the road, and anything less than that increases the risk of collision.
This is especially critical in cities and neighborhoods, where drivers must be attentive to traffic lights. If you are involved in a car accident because another driver who may have been distracted failed to follow these traffic lights, it is important to ensure your rights are protected and that you have the right to file a claim against the distracted driver and recover funds for the damages you incurred.
What to Do If You Are Hit by a Distracted Driver
Although the purpose of stoplights is to manage traffic, not all drivers respect or recognize this function. This lack of acknowledgment can result from many behaviors; however, the most common is being distracted from the road. When a light turns red, a driver may not realize if they are interacting with passengers in the vehicle, doing their makeup while driving, using a mobile device, or any number of reckless activities.
Even if you were fulfilling your legal obligation, specifically, your “duty of care,” and entered the intersection according to the green light, you are in danger because of this distracted driver’s actions. This is central to building your case for compensation, as it provides the foundation of liability for your claim. Keep this in mind as you follow the steps below to collect evidence and personal information after the crash:
- Call the police. The police report will contain all details of the collision, including the fact that the driver ran the red light. If necessary, the officer will speak with witnesses in addition to the parties involved in the crash.
- Exchange information with the negligent driver. Collect their phone number, address, and full name, along with their insurance information and driver’s license number. Never imply fault on your behalf when speaking with the other driver. Avoid apologizing or expressing guilt.
- Collect evidence from the crash scene. Take photos and videos of the scene and document the events leading up to the crash.
- Contact your insurance company. Report the accident to your insurer as soon as possible, and do not agree to provide any recorded statements or signed documents to the other party’s insurer.
It is critical that you contact a car accident lawyer after your crash as well, since they are equipped to help you to collect the necessary evidence to hold the negligent driver accountable.
How a Lawyer Can Help Your Case
Though it may seem easy to prove liability in your auto collision, even cases in which the negligent driver ran the red light can become quite complex to resolve. To improve your chances of proving the other driver’s fault and securing your compensation, a car accident lawyer can retrieve footage from traffic cameras, for one.
They can also gather witness testimonies, and consult with accident reconstruction experts to demonstrate the precise events that led to your crash, and absolve you of any fault in your case. With a lawyer’s help, you can take one step closer to funding your repairs and medical expenses after the crash, and hold the negligent driver responsible for their actions.