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Texting and driving: When someone’s negligence affects you

Sarah was busy. Between her duties as a mom to young kids, and volunteering at her church, she tended to burn the cancel at both ends. Add to that her new job, and its requirement that she be available 24/7, and Sarah was courting exhaustion. As she headed to pick up the kids from school, Sarah’s phone had the distinctive ping that meant work had just set her another text.

Reaching down for her phone, she swerved over the center line. As she struggled to type in the password, she took her eyes off the road for a moment. Before she knew what was happening, Sarah had sideswiped a car and sent it careening into the median.

Sarah walked away with some sore muscles and small lacerations, but the driver of the other car was not so lucky. He suffered multiple fractures and a concussion. It would be weeks before he could return to work.

Texting and driving is illegal, and as a driver, you expect other motorists to obey the law. After all, the safety of you and your family is at stake. If you have suffered injuries in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, what can you expect?

A no-fault state

Since we live in a no-fault state, your insurance company will initially cover your medical bills and lost wages. When, however, you are an innocent party in an accident, do you have a right to further compensation? The answer is yes. In these circumstances, you will need to retain an attorney and file a lawsuit against the other driver.

What’s covered and who decides?

In this lawsuit, you will ask the court to find the driver liable for a variety of financial issues, including loss of future income, future medical expenses, pain and suffering and mental anguish. Many of these cases are resolved thorough settlement, meaning you and the other driver reach an agreement regarding the extent of economic losses.

Some of these cases do go to trial. In that event, you will testify about what happened the day of the accident and how it has affected you financially and emotionally. Witnesses will also be called and exhibits will be shown to the jury, who will then determine who was at fault in the accident. The jury will then ascertain any damages that will be awarded.

 

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