Distracted or inattentive driving occurs when a driver fails to pay sufficient attention to the road. Distracted drivers are far more likely to cause a serious accident involving another vehicle or pedestrian.
If you recently sustained injuries in an accident that a distracted driver caused, you may be eligible for monetary compensation and damages via a personal injury claim or lawsuit. In addition to seeking ongoing medical care for all of your accident-related injuries, speak with a local distracted driving attorney as quickly as possible about your legal matter.
Your lawyer can meet with you immediately to discuss your accident circumstances and develop a plan of action for recovering the compensation you need. In some situations, your lawyer can reach a favorable settlement with the at-fault driver's insurance company. For other cases, you may need to litigate your case in court.
By having the right legal counsel on board in your case as quickly as possible, you will safeguard your right to recover the compensation you deserve. Your lawyer can also answer all of your questions and guide you to make intelligent decisions that benefit you and your personal injury case.
Seek help from a car accident attorney who regularly handles distracted driving cases and knows the common complexities of proving the liability of a distracted driver.
Common Forms of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving has become a dangerous epidemic across the United States. Sometimes, it can be impossible to avoid all distractions, as a child might need immediate help in the back seat, or you might need to call someone on your Bluetooth for a sudden issue. Even if a distraction seems unavoidable, it can still lead to liability for any resulting accidents.
On the other hand, many distractions are avoidable, yet drivers decide to engage in other activities while driving.
Some common distractions include:
- Texting (even voice-to-text)
- Talking on the phone (even with Bluetooth)
- Checking smartwatches
- Personal grooming or even looking in the mirror
- Eating or drinking, especially hot liquids or messy food
- Becoming engrossed in a podcast or audiobook
- Having rowdy or loud passengers, which is common for teen drivers
- Daydreaming or having emotional struggles
- Reaching for something across the car while in motion
- Using a phone or in-car entertainment system to change the music
- Watching a map and directions on GPS
All of these activities may divert a driver's attention away from the road to varying degrees. However, if a driver turns their head to the side or looks down, even for one or two seconds, they may not see or stop for a nearby vehicle or pedestrian and negligently cause an accident.
Visual distractions are not the only types that lead to crashes. Cognitive distractions that cause drivers to lose concentration or manual distractions that remove their hands from the wheel can also cause collisions.
If you recently suffered injuries in a distracted driving car accident, you must immediately seek the legal representation you need. An experienced car accident attorney in your area can review police reports, speak with witnesses, review camera footage, and otherwise investigate the circumstances of your accident.
Your attorney can then file a personal injury claim with the distracted driver's insurance company and pursue the monetary recovery you deserve for your accident-related injuries and losses.
Common Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents that Result from Distracted Driving
When drivers fail to watch the road attentively, they may negligently bring about several different types of traffic accidents.
Those accidents may include:
- Broadside or T-bone collisions, where a distracted driver negligently runs a red light, yield sign, or stop sign at a traffic intersection, causing their vehicle to strike the side of a vehicle that is traveling on the intersecting road
- Head-on collisions, where a distracted driver negligently crosses a double line, concrete barrier, or median strip, causing their vehicle to hit the front of an oncoming vehicle that is traveling in an opposing lane
- Sideswipe accidents, where a distracted driver negligently causes their vehicle to drift into another travel lane, sometimes pushing the other vehicle (like the vehicle on the receiving end) completely off the road
- Rear-end accidents, where a distracted driver negligently causes the front of their vehicle to hit the back of the vehicle in front of them, often bringing about soft tissue whiplash injuries for the vehicle occupants
If you suffered injuries in one of these distracted driving accidents, consult legal counsel immediately about your options.
Your attorney can file a personal injury claim with the distracted driver's insurer and negotiate the favorable settlement compensation you need for your injuries. If that does not work, your attorney can pursue various litigation options for your case.
While you focus on getting better and treating your injuries, your attorney can gather the necessary documentation to prove the legal elements of your claim, including medical records that describe the nature and extent of your injuries, along with related medical bills.
To increase your chances of full recovery, you should attend all medical appointments and continue your treatment until the medical provider formally discharges you from care. Taking this action also increases your chances of obtaining favorable settlement compensation for your accident-related injuries and losses.
Successfully Proving a Distracted Driving Car Accident Claim or Lawsuit
To recover monetary compensation following a distracted driving car accident, the accident victim – rather than the at-fault party – has the sole legal burden of proof in the personal injury case.
Specifically, the accident victim needs to show that the other driver violated their legal duty of care by operating their vehicle in a distracted or careless manner. This is called the liability element of the personal injury claim.
The accident victim can demonstrate the other driver’s negligence by pointing to:
- Police reports that describe how the accident occurred, indicate who caused the accident, and state whether the responding police officer issued the at-fault driver a citation (and if so, what the citation was for)
- Independent witness statements from individuals who observed the accident taking place first-hand
- Camera footage (such as from a responding police officer’s body cam or a camera posted on the outside of a local business) that shows the traffic accident occurring in real time
In addition to demonstrating that another driver breached their legal duty of care, the car accident victim has to show that their accident directly resulted from the other driver's careless or reckless activity. Finally, the accident victim must medically demonstrate that their claimed injuries directly result from the car accident.
To establish medical causation in their case, a treating medical provider can state, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that the accident was at least one cause of their injury or injuries. A healthcare provider might also establish that one or more of the accident victim's injuries will not likely get better any time soon.
A car accident attorney in your area can satisfy these legal elements of proof in your case so that you may recover favorable monetary damages in your case.
Filing a Distracted Driving Accident Insurance Claim
The first step to recovering monetary compensation following a distracted driving accident is for the accident victim's attorney to submit a personal injury claim to the at-fault driver's insurance company.
A formal demand package will include pertinent documents in the case, including police reports, property damage photographs, injury photographs, medical bills, and medical records. If the insurance company for the at-fault driver accepts fault for the car crash, then the parties may engage in settlement negotiations lasting for several weeks or months.
Car accident victims should not automatically accept the first offer they receive from an at-fault driver's insurance company. These initial offers rarely compensate accident victims for the true extent of their injuries.
It will take a strong and aggressive personal injury attorney to fight the insurance company, highlight the strengths of the accident victim's medical records, and obtain a fair settlement offer. Moreover, the accident victim's lawyer can go to litigation if they fail to compensate the accident victim fairly and reasonably for their injuries.
An experienced car accident attorney can aggressively negotiate on your behalf and pursue the fair monetary award you need, either through a favorable personal injury settlement or litigation result in court.
Recovering Financial Damages for Car Crash Injuries
Victims of distracted driving accidents may be in a position to recover fair monetary damages for all of their accident-related injuries and losses. Those damages might include compensation for all medical expenses related to the accident victim's treatment.
In addition, if the car crash victim suffered a permanent injury in their accident, and a medical provider determines that they may need medical treatment in the future, those anticipated medical costs may become part of the accident victim's total monetary award.
Next, if the accident victim missed time from work following their car crash, they can make a viable claim for lost earnings or loss of earning capacity if they had to accept a lower-paying job after their accident.
Car crash victims can also receive compensation for their intangible losses, including their mental anguish, inconvenience, lost quality of life, past and future pain and suffering, lifetime care costs, loss of spousal companionship, loss of use of a body part, and permanent disability or disfigurement.
Your attorney can estimate the total monetary value of your personal injury case based on their prior experiences. Your lawyer can also determine which damages you may recover as part of your personal injury claim or lawsuit. That way, you will have reasonable expectations for the outcome of your case and can plan accordingly.
Talk with a Knowledgeable Car Accident Lawyer Near You Today
In many states, car accident victims only have two years to take legal action in pursuit of favorable monetary damages, starting on the date of their car accident.
If a car crash victim does not file a lawsuit within the applicable two-year statute of limitations, the courts will prevent them from recovering any monetary damages for their injuries. Therefore, if you sustained injuries because of a distracted driving car accident, retain skilled legal counsel in your case as soon as possible. The last thing you want to worry about is losing out on compensation you deserve.
A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can immediately investigate your accident circumstances and develop a plan of action for your case. Your lawyer can then pursue the compensation you deserve for a favorable settlement offer from the at-fault driver's insurance company or a favorable litigation result in the state court system.
Best of all, your lawyer can do all this for you at no cost while you focus on recovering from your injuries.