Distracted Driving Lawyer
What Is a Distracted Driving Lawyer?
Have you sustained an injury in a motor vehicle accident? Do you suspect the responsible party was not paying attention to the road? Call today or complete the online contact form below to speak with a distracted driving accident lawyer in your area.
At any given minute, there are millions of cars on roadways around the country. Because passenger and commercial vehicles weigh thousands of pounds, their drivers must focus on the driving task. If a motorist fails to do so, a serious accident may be imminent.
An auto accident injury lawyer represents individuals who have sustained injuries or property damage because of a distracted driver. These professionals may negotiate with insurance providers, help you build a case or represent your legal interests at trial.
The Types of Distracted Driving
Public officials, reporters and others have done a decent job advising motorists about the dangers of using a smartphone when driving. While it may be a common problem, smartphone usage is only one type of distracted driving.
When a person climbs behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, he or she may be prone to four types of distracted driving:
- Manual distractions
- Visual distractions
- Auditory distractions
- Mental distractions
Driving most vehicles requires using hands, fingers and feet. Manual distractions occur when a driver diverts these body parts away from the driving task. For example, a manually distracted driver may take his or her hands off the steering wheel to adjust the radio. This may leave the motorist incapable of controlling his or her car, potentially causing a serious accident.
Maintaining visual focus is essential for avoiding automobile collisions. If a person diverts his or her eyes away from the road, he or she may cause an accident. For example, a visually distracted driver may read a message on his or her smartphone. This, of course, causes the driver to shift attention from his or her surroundings to the contents of the message. Visual distraction does not have to involve technology, though. Simply watching the scenery instead of traffic may increase accident risk.
When driving, a motorist should listen for mechanical problems, emergency vehicles and other potential driving hazards. While there is usually nothing inherently wrong with listening to music, auditory distractions can result in a serious injury. For example, a driver may have his or her radio volume overly loud. High-decibel music may cause the driver to lose focus.
It can be impossible to disengage the mind before beginning to drive. Still, if a person’s mental attention is somewhere besides the driving task, he or she may inadvertently cause an accident. For example, a driver may be thinking about a bad meeting he or she had at work. This mental distraction may reduce reaction time or otherwise contribute to collision risk.
The Process for Filing a Claim
Distracted driving is illegal in most places. Accordingly, if a distracted driver causes a collision that injures you or someone you love, you can expect him or her to face criminal or administrative consequences. These potentially include fines, driver’s license suspension or even jail time.
You may also be able to pursue financial compensation from the distracted driver who caused your injuries and property damage. Personal injury law is usually a state matter. Therefore, your ability to recover financial damages likely depends on the law where the accident occurred.
Often, though, personal injury matters proceed pursuant to a negligence theory. A negligence claim usually requires proving four elements:
All motorists have an obligation to drive reasonably. While there is no precise definition of reasonable driving, motorists should follow the law. They also should avoid behaviors that may endanger others.
Because distracted driving is against the law in most places, proving this element may not be difficult. Furthermore, because reasonable driving requires concentration and diligence, a distracted driver is probably not living up to his or her part of the bargain.
The breach part of a negligence claim simply means that a driver did not do what he or she should have done. In the case of distracted driving, the breach is the distracted driving. That is, when the driver became distracted and caused a collision, he or she breached the duty of care owed to you and other drivers on the road.
To prove the causation element, you must demonstrate that the distracted driver was both the actual cause and the legal cause of your injury. If a distracted motorist collided with your vehicle, he or she was likely the actual cause of the accident.
Providing legal cause, though, may be a different matter. To do so, you must show you sustained an injury that would not have happened except for the actions of the distracted driver.
Finally, you must show you have some kind of legally recognizable harm. If you sustained a serious injury in an accident with a distracted driver, you clearly do.
In some places, plaintiffs can recover financial damages even if they were partly to blame for the accident. In others, being somewhat or mostly responsible renders financial recovery impossible. Therefore, before filing a personal injury suit, you must know the negligence standard in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred.
Work With an Experienced Local Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
Personal injury cases can be difficult. Still, if someone’s distracted driving left you with a life-altering injury, you may have mounting medical bills you cannot pay. You also may be unable to work.
An experienced distracted driving lawyer can help you understand your legal options. He or she can also negotiate an acceptable settlement with the insurance company. If the insurer offers a low-ball sum or denies the claim altogether, the attorney can also file a lawsuit.
Before going to court, your attorney may investigate the accident, gather evidence and find expert witnesses. Then, he or she represents your legal interests in court.
Remember, the insurance company is likely to have an attorney on its side. The distracted driver may also have his or her own legal representative. You probably do not want to go it alone.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!