Traffic-related fatalities are on the rise in the United States, according to a recent article by CNN Money. Citing a recent report by the National Safety Council, CNN found that traffic deaths during the first six months of 2015 were up 14 percent from the same time period in 2014: 18,600 traffic deaths occurred between January 2015 and June 2015, compared to 16,400 deaths between January 2014 and June 2014. If this trend continues, the report concludes, 2015 will be the deadliest year for motorists since 2007.
The National Safety Council suggests three main reasons are to blame for the increase in traffic-related deaths:
- Gas is cheaper than it was a year ago, encouraging more people to drive.
- There are more jobs than last year, meaning more people need to commute to work.
- Increasing numbers of people use their phones to call, text, and/or check social media updates while driving, leading to distracted driving car accidents.
The last reason cited by the National Safety Council—distracted driving is particularly troubling because many states have enacted partial or complete bans prohibiting drivers from using their cell phones while driving. But using a cell phone to make calls, check email, or send texts is only one example of distracted driving. Distraction.gov reports that a driver can also be distracted by:
- Adjusting the radio or stereo system of his or her car.
- Focusing on a navigation system or map.
- Eating and/or drinking while driving.
- Attending to children in the car.
- Talking with other passengers.
Distraction.gov also reports that, at any given moment during daylight hours in the United States, over 650,000 drivers are using their cell phones in some capacity while on the road. In 2013, over 3,000 fatal traffic accidents and nearly 425,000 traffic-related injuries were attributed to distracted driving, a number that likely underestimates the true number of distracted driving injuries and deaths because of the difficulty in some cases in determining whether a driver was distracted.
What to Do if You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident in Indiana
In the moments immediately after a car crash, your focus should be on your safety and physical well-being. If you or any of your passengers are in danger, carefully, but promptly move to a safe location away from fire, glass, spilled fuel, and traffic. Summon medical assistance right away, even if you are unsure of the extent of your injuries. Doing these things first will not only help minimize the extent of your injuries, but will also assist in protecting your legal rights if it becomes necessary to file a car accident lawsuit.
Once medical assistance has been summoned and you and your passengers are safe, you should attempt to complete the following tasks. The more of these things you are able to do, the easier it will be for your car accident lawyer to evaluate your case and legal rights. The evidence you collect as part of these tasks will also be helpful in preparing and presenting your accident lawsuit:
- Obtain the name, contact information, insurance information, and a description of the vehicle belonging to any other drivers involved in the crash.
- Note the name, badge number, and agency of the law enforcement officer who investigates your crash so that a copy of the report can be obtained later.
- Take pictures (if you have a smartphone or camera handy) of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, and of any injuries you or your passengers sustained. Try to take these pictures as soon as possible after the accident before the accident scene is cleaned up.
- Do not admit fault, or even discuss the issue of fault, with the other drivers. Statements such as “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you” or even “I thought I had a green light” could be used to suggest you were at fault in causing the accident or contributed to the accident. You should note any similar statements that the other drivers make, though.
- Take down the names of any eyewitnesses or bystanders who saw the accident happen, provided aid to you or the other drivers, or spoke with the other drivers after the accident. They may end up having information vital to your case.
- As soon as practical after the accident, take the time to write out a statement that details every aspect of the accident that you can remember, including the time of day, road conditions, where the accident occurred, what you saw immediately before and after the accident, etc.
Your car accident lawyer will also take swift steps to request and preserve evidence that might be helpful in your case, such as your medical records and bills, readouts from the vehicles’ on-board computers, and cell phone records.
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How an Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer Can Help with a Car Accident Case
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver or a driver who was engaged in any negligent behavior, you are likely suffering from significant physical and mental pain and are facing thousands of dollars in bills and other losses. An experienced Indianapolis car crash attorney can provide you much-needed legal counsel and assistance during this difficult time.
At the Sevenish Law Firm, we have assisted numerous car accident injury clients in successfully navigating the challenges you are now facing. Our firm’s three decades of experience can help you effectively handle insurance adjusters involved in your case, investigate the cause of your car crash, identify any individuals or entities who may have contributed to the crash and your injuries, and assist you in seeking financial compensation for your injuries and losses through an Indiana car accident injury claim.
When you need experienced, assertive, and compassionate legal representation and advice from attorneys who understand your circumstances and who are committed to helping you recover the compensation you need to put your life back together, look no further than the Sevenish Law Firm Call our office today or contact us online and discuss your car accident case with our knowledgeable and dedicated legal team.