Chicago Texting and Driving Accident Attorney
Chicago residents are always on the move, which means always staying connected, whether for business or personal reasons. Unfortunately, staying connected often means distractions, and driving in Chicago requires patience and focus, especially downtown. Texting and driving take the driver’s eyes and mind off the road, often resulting in tragedy.
If you are the victim of a Chicago texting and driving accident, you have the right to file an insurance claim and recover compensation for your losses. You must contact the Chicago car accident lawyers from Abels & Annes, P.C., to review your options.
We regularly handle car accident claims and obtain successful results for our clients.
Some settlements we have achieved in car crash claims include:
- $905,000 for a passenger who required spinal surgery
- $220,000 policy limits settlement for a fatal drunk driving crash
- $735,000 for serious back injuries from a driver who failed to yield
- $250,000 policy limits settlement in an uninsured motorist claim
- $200,000 for shoulder injuries in a collision
- $600,000 for catastrophic car accident injuries
- $460,000 for a herniated disc in a stop sign accident
We offer free consultations and can advise whether you have a possible case, so please never delay in reaching out to our office for help.
Texting and driving laws
In 2010, Illinois banned texting and driving, with an additional bill going into effect in 2019 that further addresses the issue. The 2019 bill increases penalties for drivers who cause injuries to other Illinois residents while texting. Under the law, drivers who get caught texting and cause an accident can face a suspension or license revocation for one year in addition to a minimum $1,000 fine.
Texting and driving accidents without injuries result in points on driving records and a $75 fine since it is a moving violation. Unfortunately, proving a driver was texting during an accident is challenging unless they self-report or law enforcement saw them commit the action. However, a Chicago texting and driving accident lawyer can prove texting was a contributing factor in your accident through an investigation.
Proving texting and driving
After an accident, you can’t count on the driver who harmed you to self-report that they were texting.
The signs that texting might have caused your accident include:
- It is a rear-end collision
- There is no evidence they used their brakes
- You saw the driver texting before the crash
- There is a cell phone near the driver
Drivers in Chicago are less inclined to self-report distractions because they know texting and driving is illegal and has costly penalties. While these are circumstantial incidents that can show texting and driving, there is one surefire way to prove cell phone use.
When a Chicago texting and driving attorney begins investigating the cause of your accident, we might request cell phone records. Preliminary records can show when the driver sent text messages and made calls. We can also depose witnesses who saw the driver texting before the collision. Combining all efforts proves the other driver was illegally using their cell phone, which led to your accident.
Abels & Annes, P.C. begins all of our resources to the table in every case.
Technology and distracted driving
The five-second rule is synonymous with food and is heard a lot growing up, but it applies to texting, too. Reading or sending a text message generally takes at least five seconds, meaning a driver is not paying attention to the road during that time. In those five seconds, the car might travel the length of a football field, and anyone in its path is in danger.
Cell phones also offer driving modes and apps you can use to prevent distractions. Hands-free options are available, but those can also cause distractions for drivers. While these options keep a driver’s hands on the wheel, their mind is not focused, and drivers can make mistakes and cause accidents.
Apps that help driver safety
Since texting and driving is a significant issue, many cell phone companies and developers have taken the initiative to make apps and programs that prevent dangerous driving habits. There are many out there, but here are a few examples.
AT&T driver mode
This app blocks phone usage when a driver reaches 15 mph and is easy to set up when you are on the AT&T network. Without phone usage, drivers, especially teens, can focus on the road ahead.
This app has many different features, like tracking when a loved one arrives at their destination or tracking safe driving habits. Most importantly, it blocks phone usage while driving, which is essential to preventing texting and driving accidents.
The app takes a fun approach to a solemn topic and promotes safe driving habits by ensuring drivers compete with each other for safer driving practices. The app monitors all driving patterns and gives drivers a score at the end of each trip, compared to other family members, to see who is driving the best. The safer you drive, the better your score and the bigger the bragging rights.
Like TrueMotion Family, Mojo allows you to compete with others for safe driving bragging rights. Instead of those within your family, you can compete with friends. The Mojo app tracks the calls, texts, and swipes that drivers make on their phones while driving. Every minute you drive without a distraction is a point, and the point system allows you to get gift cards.
While these apps can circumvent texting and driving, they can also provide valuable information about negligent driving habits. If the driver who hits you has one of these apps on their phone, your Chicago texting and driving attorney can request records from these apps and use them to prove negligence and further build your case.
Injuries from texting and driving
When accidents result from a person not paying attention to the road, they might happen at higher speeds, leading to more severe injuries like brain and spinal cord trauma.
Car accident injuries require medical attention, especially if you can’t see them, as internal injuries can lead to organ failure, infection, and death. You might also suffer a permanent disability that changes your entire life and prevents you from working and participating in self-care, like bathing or brushing your teeth.
Some severe car accident injuries are:
- Facial injuries
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Neurological injuries
- Back and neck injury
- Soft tissue damage
- Brain injury
As an injury victim, you have the right to file a recovery claim and get compensation for all losses from your injuries. Insurance companies do not want to pay extensive injury claims that involve severe injuries and will fight aggressively against paying what these claims are worth.
How long do you have to file an insurance claim?
Remember two deadlines: insurance deadlines and statute of limitations. The insurance deadline to report an accident and begin a claim will vary by insurer, but you typically have a couple of weeks. Illinois only gives you two years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, two years is not enough, and the longer you wait to contact a Chicago texting and driving lawyer, the lower your chances of finding reliable witnesses and evidence.
What are the legal recovery options?
You should first and foremost file an insurance claim with the other party’s insurance company. They are responsible and should pay for the negligent actions of their insured driver. If the negligent driver’s insurance company refuses to offer a fair payment, you move to the next step, filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Whether you resolve your case through an insurance claim or lawsuit, you need the right legal team on your side. Abels & Annes, P.C. has skilled negotiators and litigators ready to do whatever it takes for success for you.
Compensation for texting and driving accidents
Suffering an injury from a texting driver often results in job loss and overwhelming medical bills. Money does not return you to your state before the accident, but it holds irresponsible drivers liable for the harm they caused you.
You deserve to financially recover compensation for your injuries, such as:
- Doctor visits, medical procedures, medical transport fees, hospital stays
- Lost wages and future estimated losses
- Mental anguish
- Prescription medication, rehabilitation service
- Long-term medical needs
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
The compensation available to you will depend on the severity of your injuries and the nature of your current and future losses.
Fatal texting and driving accidents
If a texting driver causes a fatal accident, grieving family members can recover losses and seek justice for their loved one by filing a wrongful death claim. Family members can seek compensation for loss of consortium, funeral and burial expenses, and loss of household contributions. Our team at Abels & Annes, P.C. handles wrongful death claims as well as personal injury claims.
What does a lawyer do to investigate your accident?
Once you retain a Chicago texting and driving lawyer from Abels & Annes, P.C., we will immediately begin to investigate the accident by gathering police and medical reports. We will find credible witnesses and take their testimony on the record, calculate your losses, and look for evidence overlooked at the scene.
Gathering evidence is necessary to prove your claim.
You must prove:
- That someone else should be liable for your injuries
- The losses you incurred or will incur in the future due to the accident
Liable parties typically include the texting driver, but there can also be others. If the driver caused your accident while they were on the job, you might hold their employer vicariously liable for your injuries, as well. This can increase the insurance coverage available, which is critical if you have high-cost injuries.
Your lawyer needs to persuade the insurance company to give you substantial money to cover your losses and injuries from an accident. Insurance companies regularly offer much less than you deserve, and you need our lawyers to advise you whether an offer is adequate or you should hold out for more.
If your claim reaches litigation and makes it to trial, you need your lawyer to persuade the jury that you deserve the compensation you request. You need a skilled negotiator and litigator on your side for proper leverage against the insurance companies.
How a Chicago texting and driving attorney can help
If you suffer an injury from a Chicago texting accident, you have rights. Your texting and driving attorney in Chicago will help you file an insurance claim and potentially a lawsuit to recover from the incident. If a loved one dies, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver.
Most often, accident issues resolve through an insurance claim and some negotiations. Standing firm during negotiations against pushy and aggressive insurance adjusters is essential. Our Chicago lawyers can help you file an insurance claim and guide you through the process.
Do not accept a settlement without addressing the pros and cons of accepting an offer. The first offer is not the final offer, and you must hold out for an offer that covers all of your expenses. Your Chicago texting and driving attorney will file a lawsuit if negotiations do not go well. Once we file a lawsuit, the trial is far in the future, and many pre-trial actions result in a favorable settlement.
Abels & Annes, P.C. is here to help.
The benefits of hiring a Chicago texting and driving accident lawyer are substantial, and you need the right legal representation. The process is much smoother when there is a lawyer in the mix, and we will provide support through this tragedy.
Our law firm aims to recover compensation for Chicago accident victims while providing sound advice and support throughout the claim process. Having a lawyer you can trust in your corner is vital, which is what Abels & Annes, P.C. is here for. Please speak to our Chicago texting and driving accident attorneys today at (312) 924-7575 or contact us online for your free claim evaluation.