Distracted driving is extremely dangerous as it is one of the main reasons for accidents that result in serious injuries or deaths. Combined with trucks, accidents can have disastrous effects. These large vehicles will cause catastrophic damage to other vehicles involved, while they may not sustain serious damage. In best cases, the other vehicles will get totaled, which will cost their owners a big amount of money to fix. If you have been in a distracted truck driving accident, you shouldn’t be responsible for fixing the damages. There are several ways to hold the distracted driver legally responsible for the accident.
What Is Considered Distracted Driving?
You must know first what actions are considered as distracted driving to hold someone liable for it. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has divided distracted driving into 3 categories:
This is anything that takes the driver’s eyes off the road.
2. Manual Distractions
This is if anything made the driver take their hands off the wheel.
This is about anything that takes the driver’s mind off the road.
Visual distractions include actions such as texting, dialing a number, watching videos, or browsing social media on any portable electronic device such as a mobile phone. Truck drivers spend a lot of time driving, and they tend to do other things while driving which are considered distracted driving such as personal grooming, eating, drinking, smoking, talking with other passengers, or driving while fatigued.
What to Do After Being in an Accident?
If you get injured in a truck accident, you must seek medical attention immediately to prevent further complications and to prove that the injuries were caused by the incident. If you are not injured, you should gather any kind of information you can find, as it can help you in the lawsuit against the other driver. Call the police to get a police report, as it also can be useful down the line. If there are any eyewitnesses, you should get their contact information as well.
How Can You Prove Distracted Driving?
Proving that what took place as a result of distracted driving is the tricky part, and that’s why you must gather information as much as you can from the moment it happened. If you hired an experienced truck accident attorney, they will know how to gather evidence that can prove distracted driving. You can prove the driver was distracted by checking the driver’s mobile phone records, and some other distracted truck driving accidents are proven by checking the footage of dashboard-mounted cameras. Every truck should have an event data recorder (black box) and the information on it can prove if the driver was distracted or not. The driver’s social media or internet activity is proof that they were distracted by it at the time of the accident.
What Other Parties Can Be Held Responsible?
Looking closely at the root cause of a truck accident, other parties may also be equally responsible. That’s why it is necessary to gather as much evidence to support your case and find out liable parties. If the trucking company didn’t give its drivers proper training or hired drivers with driving rule infractions, it means they compromised others’ safety to save money. If negligence was proven from the cargo shipper or loader, they will be liable for the damages as their cargo was the cause of the accident. Other parties that might be responsible for the accident include:
- Outsourced vendors
- Truck manufacturers
- Parts makers
- Government agencies
- Government contractors
Having a lawyer by your side is vital as they can determine who are the liable parties, and they know how to gather the required evidence.
What Compensation You Should Ask For?
Once you are able to prove distracted driving, you should ask for compensation for all the damages you have suffered, whether physically, emotionally, or financially. That’s why it is essential to seek medical attention to put all current and future medical expenses on your list of demands as compensation. If you are going to miss work, you should be compensated for lost wages or potential lost earnings. Any damages to your property are not your responsibility to fix, and the other party must pay for the damages.
Tackling the aftermath of a truck accident caused by distracted driving is not an easy feat. You must know what to look for and how to prove it. You should gather evidence to strengthen your claim. Some people opt for handling the case by themselves, but they may get less compensation than what they actually deserve. Having an experienced truck accident attorney by your side will increase your chances of winning the lawsuit and get fair compensation.