It is against the law in Illinois to text while behind the wheel. All drivers cannot use a cellphone while driving, but individuals at least 19 years of age can use a hands-free device.
It is natural to be upset following a car crash, especially if you know for a fact the other driver was negligently using a cellphone while driving. However, you need to follow the right steps after the accident to have the greatest chance of success recovering damages.
See a doctor
Regardless of how severe the collision was, you should see a doctor immediately following an accident. Many medical conditions do not show symptoms until weeks or months later, so you want to receive a diagnosis right away. Contact an ambulance after a crash if you do not think you can drive yourself to the nearest medical facility.
Talk to witnesses
As you wait for the police to arrive, you should see if there are any witnesses in the vicinity. They may be able to lend credence to the fact the other driver used a cellphone while behind the wheel. If you cannot interview witnesses in-depth at the scene, then you should at least write down their contact information. You should also see if they can speak to the police, so the police report reflects the fact the other driver texted at the time of the accident.
Hire an attorney
Most of the time, the driver will not admit he or she texted. Liability may be more difficult to prove if there were additional factors that led to the crash. For example, the other driver may have texted, but the brakes could have also failed at the time of the collision. A manufacturer’s error may mean the distributor of the malfunctioning part also shares some of the liability. An attorney will help immensely during this time to sort everything out.