Every year, distracted drivers injure thousands of people. If another motorist injured you or a loved one due to not paying attention, you should not be financially liable for your damages.
Instead, you can seek compensation for the harm and losses you suffered. You do not have to handle this complex legal fight alone. When you work with an experienced car accident attorney, your lawyer will help you pursue the money you deserve.
Distracted Driving Overview
Although distracted driving has no official definition, this term usually refers to an activity that takes a motorist’s attention away from driving. These activities include texting, driving, and talking to others while operating the car.
Anything that diverts the driver’s attention from safe driving causes distracted driving. Even if this distraction takes only a few seconds, the results can still be disastrous, leading to debilitating injuries and other horrifying consequences.
Distracted Driving Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), distracted driving kills approximately nine people daily. In just one year, distracted driving causes over 3,000 deaths and around 420,000 injuries.
Sadly, these tragic statistics do not end there. In addition:
- Around 8.1 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities happened because of distracted driving.
- Approximately one in five individuals who passed away from distracted driving were not in a car. Rather, they rode a bike, walked, or did something else outside the motor vehicle.
- Distracted driving causes more than 58 percent of teen motor vehicle accidents.
Different Types of Distracted Driving
Regarding driving distractions, safety experts classify these dangers into several different types. These categories include:
These distractions result when the driver moves their hands away from the wheel. This action can be because the motorist is eating, self-grooming, or using their electronics while driving.
Visual distractions result when the driver focuses their eyes off the road. These distractions can happen because the driver is looking at their cell phone, checking the directions, or trying to find something in the motor vehicle.
An auditory distraction results when a sound causes the driver’s attention to shift away from driving. For instance, this can happen when the motorist converses with others in the car, listens to music, or hears their cell phone going off.
When a driver’s mind wanders while driving, taking their attention away from the road, this distraction is a cognitive distraction. This scenario usually happens when the driver is preoccupied with strong emotions or becomes too sleepy to drive.
Devastating Injuries Arising From Distracted Driving
Because distracted driving can cause some horrifying accidents, the resulting injuries can be catastrophic.
However, while this trauma will depend on the circumstances of the crash, some of the more common injuries resulting from distracted driving include:
- Traumatic brain trauma
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Crushing injuries
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Facial trauma
- Neck and back injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
Those who survive a tragic accident will likely endure significant financial hardship because of their injuries and required medical treatments. That is why, following an accident, contact an experienced distracted driving accident attorney immediately. These lawyers can help you determine your next steps, pursue the money you need, and ensure you receive the medical treatment you require.
Monetary Damages You Can Pursue Following a Distracted Driving Accident
After a distracted driving accident, the law may entitle you to certain damages. These damages include:
These damages refer to payment for the verifiable and actual losses that result from an accident, including compensation for:
- Medical expenses related to visits with health care professionals, hospital stays, medications, surgeries, emergency services, and other treatments
- Therapy, including physical and occupational therapy
- Future medical care
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
- Personal property damages
- Replacement services, including childcare services
- Other costs resulting from the accident
Non-economic damages refer to the intangible ways a victim suffers from an accident.
These damages can include compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of companionship
- Other losses that do not have a specific monetary value
If you want to verify which of these damages apply to your case, speak with a knowledgeable distracted driving attorney. These lawyers can look into what happened, determine your legal options, and help you pursue maximum financial damages.
The Amount of Money You Can Collect After a Distracted Driving Accident
While an attorney can help you determine which financial damages you can pursue after a distracted driving accident, they cannot tell you the exact amount you will receive.
There are too many factors that can affect this value, including:
- The severity of the trauma sustained
- The extent of your pain and suffering
- The ability to work after the accident
- The amount of lost wages endured
- The ability to live a normal life
Yet, even though your lawyer cannot guarantee compensation, once retained, these lawyers can prepare the strongest legal case on your behalf and fight for the money you need.
Time is not on your side when filing this legal suit, as the statute of limitations limits the time victims have to file a lawsuit after a distracted driving accident. For these reasons, contacting an experienced distracted driving attorney without delay helps ensure you do not miss important legal deadlines.
Taking Action After a Distracted Driving Accident
While seeking medical help should be your top priority after a distracted driving accident, there are other things you can do to help your legal case and protect your legal rights. After a distracted driving crash, consider taking the following actions:
Call the Police Immediately
If you cannot do this yourself, have someone around you call 911 after the crash. This step notifies the proper authorities to ensure you get the medical care you need quickly.
In addition, after the police arrive, they can perform their investigation into the collision and create a police report. If you pursue a claim, your attorney can use this report to go after the financial damages you need.
Get Checked out by a Doctor
Even though not every distracted driving accident will result in visible traumatic injuries, you should still get to a medical professional immediately after the collision. These doctors can verify that you do not have any serious hidden injuries, such as spinal cord trauma, and get you the medical treatment you need.
These doctors will document your injuries in a medical report, which your attorney can use to show a link between the distracted driving incident and your injuries. This documentation provides evidence to help you pursue the financial damages you deserve.
Try to Take Pictures and Videos of the Crash Scene
If possible, gather evidence from the accident. This evidence can include photos and videos of the motor vehicles involved, the damage to these cars, and their position on the road.
It should also include pictures of:
- Visible injuries
- Road defects
- Traffic signs and signals around the area
- Weather conditions
- Road conditions
- Traffic conditions
- Any other details
Check With the Other Driver
If the other driver is receptive, try to exchange information with them. Including their name, driver’s license number, insurance information, contact details, and motor vehicle information. However, if the driver is combative, remain in the car or another safe area and wait for the police. These officers can gather these details for you, and your attorney can obtain them from the police report.
Check for Witnesses
Try to see if there were others present who witnessed the crash. These individuals can provide your lawyer with other specifics regarding the collision, which can help your case and offer testimony to validate your claim.
Yet, as you speak to these people and others after the accident, watch what you say. Avoid making conclusive statements after the distracted driving accident, apologizing for the incident, or making any other comments that the incident was your fault. The other party can use these statements against you, negatively affecting your claim.
Watch out for the Insurance Companies
Although you may believe that the insurance company wants to help you after an accident, especially one that was not your fault, this is unrealistic. Insurance companies want to profit, and paying you less for your claim makes them more money in the long run.
These companies commonly try to get you on the phone shortly after your accident in hopes that you say something that will damage your case. They will also try to find anything they can to use against you so that they can justify paying you less than you are entitled to.
For these reasons, before you take on these conversations, speak with an experienced distracted driving accident attorney who can handle these conversations with the insurance company on your behalf and ensure these companies do not get away with deceitful practices that hurt your case.
Work With an Experienced Distracted Driving Accident Attorney and Fight for the Damages You Need
Unfortunately, fighting for the financial damages you need after a distracted driving accident is difficult. Not only will the insurance companies try everything they can to deny you money, but your focus will rightly be on personal recovery and not rehashing the devastating incident.
Thankfully, with a trusted distracted driving accident lawyer on your side, you will not have to tackle this legal claim alone.
Instead, these lawyers can:
- Review the facts of your accident, determine your legal options, and figure out what legal steps you should take next.
- Perform their own investigation into the distracted driving accident and gather the relevant evidence needed to support your case.
- Hire experts to help corroborate your claim, including accident specialists, financial specialists, and medical care professionals.
- Provide you with the legal support you require during this challenging time.
- Answer your questions and thoroughly discuss your concerns, ensuring you get the clarification you want.
- Tackle the settlement negotiations and fight for a just amount.
- Fight for the maximum damages you deserve by taking your case to trial if the other side is unwilling to provide you with the settlement offer you need.
If a distracted driver injures you or a family member, now is the time to fight back. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney and learn how a legal professional can pursue the justice and monetary damages you deserve.