Distracted drivers are responsible for thousands of fatalities—and many more injuries—every single year. While there are more than a dozen things vying for your attention at any given moment when you’re behind the wheel, your smartphone is probably the most accessible—and tempting—among them.
Unfortunately, texting is not only one of the most common driving distractions but also one of the most dangerous. Typing a message on your phone takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your focus off the vehicles around you.
If you were struck by a motorist whom you think was texting, you’re probably wondering how to hold them accountable. In most cases, filing a third-party claim with their insurer is the best way to proceed.
Should this be the path you end up taking, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about building such a claim:
1. How Can You Prove Someone Was Texting & Driving?
When trying to prove a wreck was caused by distracted driving, the circumstances surrounding the crash will determine which pieces of evidence end up being the most valuable. Chances are they’ll include at least a few of the following:
• Cell phone records;
• Black box data;
• Dash camera footage;
• Surveillance recordings;
• Social media posts;
• The official police report; and
• Eyewitness testimony.
2. What Kinds of Damages Can You Seek by Filing a Third-Party Claim?
In Minnesota, those who are struck by distracted drivers can seek compensation for the costs associated with their medical bills, lost wages, property repairs, and replacement services. The North Star State also recognizes non-economic damages like mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment in life, and pain and suffering.
Whereas you can use invoices, receipts, and other forms of documentation to demonstrate your monetary losses, proving non-monetary losses poses a challenge. Since they’re intangible, they’re not accompanied by any formal records.
Thankfully, there are a few widely accepted ways to prove non-economic damages. Detailed journal entries, statements from loved ones, and psychological evaluations are usually acceptable.
3. How Long Do You Have to Take a Distracted Driver to Court?
If the insurance adjuster disputes liability, devalues your damages, or otherwise refuses to offer a fair settlement, filing a formal lawsuit may be the only way to seek the funds you deserve. In Minnesota, the typical statute of limitations for such suits is six years; however, since there are a number of exceptions to this deadline, it’s advisable to consult an attorney as soon as possible.
Call 800-770-7008 for a Free Consultation with a Minneapolis Car Accident Lawyer
At Bradshaw & Bryant, we know how much destruction distracted drivers can leave in their wake. If you were struck by someone who was texting behind the wheel, we’ll help you gather the evidence needed to prove it, so you can hold them accountable. Call 800-770-7008 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation with a car accident attorney in Minneapolis.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.