What happens if you are involved in a texting and driving accident depends on the circumstances of the collision, but you may need to file insurance claims for injuries you suffered and the financial losses you incurred. If you caused the accident, you may be able to seek compensation from your own insurance company. If another driver caused it, you may have the option to pursue financial recovery from your insurance company or the other driver’s liability policy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three categories of distracted driving. Manual distractions occur when a driver takes their hands off the wheel, visual distractions take place when a driver takes their eyes off the road, and cognitive distractions refer to any instance in which a driver takes their mind off of driving and focuses on something else. Texting and driving involves all three. If you were involved in a texting and driving accident, a lawyer can help you determine the next steps to take in your case.
Seek Medical Attention for Your Injuries
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that in 2018 alone, approximately 3,000 people died in texting and driving accidents, and an estimated 400,000 victims suffered injuries. After an accident, you should seek medical attention right away, even if you do not notice any obvious injuries. It is critical that a healthcare professional performs a thorough exam to check for any concerns that you may not be aware of or that may present delayed symptoms. If you wish to file a claim for injuries you suffered in the accident, you will need proof of the medical care you received, and the costs associated with your treatment.
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Filing Insurance Claims for Injuries and Property Damage
Some states require their residents to purchase liability (full tort) auto insurance, which covers the financial losses victims accumulate because of car accidents caused by the policyholder. Others have laws that mandate no-fault insurance policies, which means the policyholder must provide for their own damages regardless of who causes the collision. Pennsylvania, on the other hand, has a hybrid system, which allows residents to choose whether they would like no-fault or full tort coverage. The approach you must take to filing an insurance claim depends on the type of coverage you have and the circumstances of your case.
Filing with Your Own Insurance Company
If you opt in for a no-fault auto insurance policy, your own insurance company holds responsibility for covering financial losses associated with your medical care and property damage. In most cases, no-fault policyholders cannot file claims against the other driver unless their own insurance policy limits do not allow coverage for the full extent of their injuries. In these instances, victims may have the opportunity to sue the other driver for damages; however, their ability to recover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering may be limited.
Even if you file a claim with your own insurance company, they may be hesitant to pay you adequate compensation for your injuries. Adjusters often use specific maneuvers to avoid a loss of company profit, such as undervaluing your injuries. They may also offer an upfront settlement, but the amount may not cover your losses. A lawyer can help you assess the value of your damages so you can pursue fair financial awards in your case.
Filing with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
If you have limited or full-tort insurance coverage and another driver caused your accident, you can seek damages from the liable driver. Limited tort allows you to receive compensation for economic damages such as injuries and property damage, but it does not allow you to seek pain and suffering from the at-fault driver. If you have full tort insurance, you can sue for any type of damages you accumulated as a result of the accident.
When dealing with your own insurance company, you may find it difficult to handle your claim with the other driver’s carrier. Adjusters might try to blame you for all or some of the accident, which can limit your ability to achieve compensation. Lawyers understand the tactics they use and can manage all negotiations with adjusters on your behalf to help you avoid underpayment for your injuries.
Contact Us Today for Assistance with Your Accident Claim
What happens if you are involved in a texting and driving accident varies based on your case and the type of insurance you carry, but the lawyers at Berger and Green can help you determine what to do next and guide you through the process of filing your claim. We will thoroughly examine your case, establish liability, and calculate your damages so that we can seek the compensation you deserve for your losses. Contact us today at (412) 661-1400 to talk to our legal team about the details of your texting and driving accident.