Driver negligence is often at the heart of car accidents. While every form of driver negligence is hazardous, texting behind the wheel makes some other forms seem relatively minor. When a driver is busy with the art of texting, they simply don’t have the mental bandwidth to pay careful attention to either the road or the traffic around them, which is the “duty of care” they owe to everyone else on the road. If a driver who was texting behind the wheel leaves you injured, turn to the professional legal guidance of an experienced car accident attorney in South Carolina for the help you need
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) share that each day in the United States, an average of 8 people are lost to accidents caused by distracted driving. Texting is the undefeated champion of dangerous distractions because it combines the three basic categories of distraction into one dangerous motherlode of distraction. These categories include:
- Visual distractions that tempt your eyes off the road ahead and off the traffic all around
- Manual distractions that require you to take a hand (or both) of the wheel
- Cognitive distractions that engage your thoughts
Drivers who refuse to put down their phones leave everyone else on the road extremely vulnerable. The basic statistics related to distracted driving are quite grim and include:
- In 2018, more than 2,800 people were killed in accidents involving distracted drivers, and another 400,000 were injured. These are huge numbers.
- Each year, about 3,000 people lose their lives to driver distraction.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) makes an even bolder statement when it shares that texting is the most alarming distraction. It backs this declaration up with the fact that it takes an average of five seconds to send or read a text behind the wheel and that this translates to about the length of a football field when driving at highway speeds. The thought that there are motorists out there driving virtually blind for the size of a football field is pretty terrifying.
How Your Car Accident Claim Will Work
You’ve been injured by a driver who was texting, and you will file your claim with that negligent driver’s car insurance provider. While the car insurance company is responsible for covering your claim, it has its profit-based agenda, which means that you will need to skillfully negotiate for just compensation that covers your complete physical, financial, and emotional damages. Because you are injured, are facing mounting medical bills, and are experiencing decreased income, it is not an excellent time for you to take on this complicated task – even if you did have the experience and legal insight to do so. This is why your first steps after being injured by a texting driver should include the following:
- Seek the medical attention you need immediately after the accident that leaves you injured
- Follow your doctor’s instructions
- Hire an experienced car crash lawyer and allow them to guide your claim toward its best possible resolution skillfully
Obtaining just compensation is essential to your ability to heal, making professional legal counsel on your side paramount.
The level of distraction involved with texting behind the wheel can lead to severe accidents and life-threatening injuries. While you can suffer virtually any kind of injury in a crash, some severe injuries are most commonly associated with these dangerous accidents.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
An injury to your brain is a serious matter, and the effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be life-altering. Some of the psychological consequences of these severe injuries include:
- Severe mood swings
- Panic attacks and increased anxiety in general
- Depressive episodes
- Sleep disturbances
- Social anxiety
- Changes in personality
- self-isolating tendencies
In many cases, people who suffer severe TBIs experience significant social and professional issues and may never live independently again.
Even if you suffer a simple fracture, it can leave you out of commission for a considerable amount of time, and these injuries are exceptionally painful. If you suffer a complicated break, you are very likely looking at surgeries and ongoing medical needs. Further, if your brake fails to heal as it should, it can result in chronic pain and permanent physical difficulties.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury is an exceptionally painful injury that is closely associated with significant issues, including pain and loss of range of motion. If the spine is seriously injured or severed, you can lose the ability to control bodily movements and maybe permanently paralyzed. A severe spinal cord injury can alter the course of your life and leave you facing a lifetime of medical needs. Paralysis is a catastrophic injury that is closely associated with secondary health issues and the need for assistance with the activities of daily living.
Burns, Cuts, and Abrasions
The immense impact of car accidents, the potential for flying glass, and the fact that victims are often thrown around within the vehicle leave plenty of opportunities for severe burns, cuts, and abrasions. These injuries are painful, slow to heal, vulnerable to dangerous infections, and can become permanently disfiguring when they are on or near the victim’s face.
Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that is very closely associated with immense pain and significant losses in range of motion. Whiplash can lead to chronic pain and the need for ongoing medical attention and care.
The Losses You Face
The losses you face due to being injured by a driver who was texting behind the wheel can be staggering.
Your Medical Bills
The medical costs associated with your serious injuries are likely to start strong and may be ongoing. Some injuries require intense follow-up care and can lead to secondary health concerns down the road that need medical attention. Simply adding up your early medical expenses is not likely to provide you with an accurate reading of your damages in this category. Common medical costs include:
- Emergency care and transportation
- Surgical care and follow-up care
- Medical treatments, care plans, and testing
- Pain management
- Treatment from doctors and medical specialists
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Prescription medications
- Adaptive physical devices and adaptations to home, office, and vehicle
- Home health care
Your Diminished Income
While you heal from the severe injuries you’ve suffered at the hand of a texting motorist, missing time on the job is nearly inevitable, and with this comes lost pay. Further, your earning potential can take a hit if your injuries are severe or if they preclude you from doing your job. If your career takes a hit, you can also expect to experience intense emotional consequences.
Your Pain and Suffering
The pain and suffering associated with being injured by another driver’s negligence are all too real, and it needs to be carefully identified in your car accident claim. Many victims of texting motorists find the emotional consequences just as challenging to overcome – if not more so – as the physical and financial hardships. Many claimants experience terrifying accident flashbacks, a fear of getting back behind the wheel, panic attacks, and more.
The Insurance Company
As mentioned, the insurance company is driven by profits, and some of the techniques it employs to ensure that it hits its goals include:
- Making early settlement offers that fail to cover claimants’ complete damages (but that they are tempted to accept out of desperation)
- Prolonging and complicating the claims process to the extent that claimants simply give up
- Shifting blame in the matter away from their policyholders (the texting drivers) and toward the claimants
- Calling the extent of claimants’ damages into doubt
Some of the ways you can protect yourself from these less-than-honest tactics include:
- Not signing off on a settlement offer until you’ve discussed the matter with a South Carolina car accident attorney with experience handling cases like yours
- Following your doctor’s instructions carefully and demonstrating to the insurance company in the process that your injuries are just as serious as you claim
- Laying low on social media and not providing the insurance company with any information that it can twist to its designs (and ultimately use against your claim)
An Experienced Car Accident Attorney in South Carolina Is on Your Side
The experienced South Carolina car accident lawyers at David Aylor Law Offices dedicate their legal practice to skillfully defending the legal rights of clients like you – in focused pursuit of their claims’ most beneficial resolutions – and we’re here for you, too. For more information, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact or call us at 843-733-7662 to schedule a free case evaluation today.