According to official statistics, almost 7,500 crashes were caused by distracted drivers in Michigan during 2017 alone. While there are many different types of distracted driving, cellphone usage and texting are some of the most common examples. If you have been involved in a crash in Grand Rapids and you were texting at the time, you may be wondering whether you can still pursue a personal injury claim.
Even if you feel as though you are to blame for the crash, it’s always worth getting help from a qualified personal injury attorney. You may have serious injuries, and you may be dealing with various medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses. The good news is that an experienced personal injury attorney can use a range of strategies to help you gain compensation.
In situations such as these, Michigan adheres to a system known as “comparative negligence.” Under this system, you may still pursue a personal injury claim if you are partly at fault for the car accident. Unlike many other states, Michigan limits the amount of compensation that an at-fault driver can receive. If the court determines that you are at least 50% responsible for the accident, you will not receive any compensation whatsoever.
That 50% threshold represents a significant challenge for personal injury attorneys. However, it’s important to note that you can still receive compensation if your attorney can prove that you were only 45% or even 49% responsible for the crash. If your attorney can do this, then you would still receive about 60% of the compensation that you’d otherwise be entitled to.
The Burden of Proof
If you have been accused of texting while driving in the moments leading up to the crash, the burden of proof falls upon the prosecution – and it’s a significant burden. First of all, they need to prove that you were indeed texting while driving. Unless there are witnesses who somehow saw you texting through the car window in the seconds before the crash, this is challenging to prove. The authorities may look at your phone and look at when various text messages were sent and received.
The next challenge is to prove that your texting actually contributed to the crash. If there were no other factors involved in the collision, the judge may assume that your texting was largely responsible for the accident. But what if there were other factors involved? Perhaps another driver ran a red light or sped through an intersection. These factors may outweigh the fact that you were texting and driving.
Getting Legal Help
If you are accused of causing a crash after texting and driving, you can still receive compensation for your injuries. Reach out to the Neumann Law Group today.
Neumann Law Group
250 Monroe Ave NW, #400
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 717-5666
Fax: (231) 221-0051