Distracted driving is when a motorist focuses on anything other than driving, even for a few seconds. For example, they might reach the navigation system to accept a route change or grab their phone to reply to a text message. These types of behaviors, though seemingly slight, can have devastating consequences. When a driver’s attention shifts, they could cause an accident resulting in injury or death. In such situations, victims may have legal recourse to recover compensation for damages they sustained. Still, personal injury cases are not always straightforward. Those pursuing claims might face challenges when negotiating with insurance companies or presenting arguments in court. Fortunately, they can have an attorney provide advice and guidance at every stage.
Our Union County team at Bridges, Jillisky, Weller & Gullifer, LLC zealously advocates for those injured in accidents. To learn how we may be able to help with your case, please contact us at (937) 403-9033 today.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Any activity not directly involved in the safe operation of a vehicle is considered distracted driving.
The shift of focus is grouped into the following three categories:
- Visual: The driver’s eyes are on anything other than the road.
- Manual: The driver takes one or both hands off the steering wheel.
- Cognitive: The driver thinks about something unrelated to driving.
Generally, when someone thinks of distracted driving, they conjure images of someone on their cell phone, texting or talking. Although these are forms of distraction, they are not the only ones people may engage in.
Below are other examples of distracted driving:
- Using apps
- Fiddling with entertainment systems
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Watching the scenery
The Consequences of Distracted Driving
When a driver takes their attention off of driving tasks, they are more likely to cause an accident. They might not notice that traffic has slowed or stopped in front of them. Or they might run red lights or lose control of their vehicle.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2020, 3,142 people were killed in distracted driving accidents. Additionally, over 400,000 people were injured.
The victims of distracted driving accidents are:
- Drivers and passengers of other vehicles,
- Bicyclists, and
Pursuing a Claim Against a Distracted Driver
Accidents caused by distracted drivers are devastating. Victims can suffer property damage and serious or catastrophic injuries, such as broken bones, torn ligaments, traumatic brain injuries, or spinal cord injuries. In the most severe incidents, death can result.
The expenses and losses associated with an accident can be steep. Victims may incur costs for property repairs, medical care, or funeral arrangements. Additionally, they might miss work while recovering, causing them to lose out on much-needed income.
In addition to calculable damages, such as those mentioned above, victims might also be affected by pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of companionship.
Because a distracted driver has breached their duty of care, they may be liable for economic and non-economic damages resulting from the accident. The injured party may file a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the driver to seek compensation. Although money can’t erase what happened, it can relieve some of the financial burdens the victim faces, allowing them to get the care they need to attempt to return whole.
How a Lawyer Can Help with a Distracted Driving Case
Taking action against a distracted driver might not be easy. Initially going through the individual’s insurance carrier for a settlement can be a headache, as these companies usually try to pay out as little as possible to avoid negative impacts on their bottom lines. Also, if the case goes to court, the victim must follow certain rules and procedures when presenting their arguments.
An attorney with experience handling car accident cases can deliver the support and guidance victims need through the claims and lawsuit process. They can analyze the facts, preserve evidence, and build arguments to pursue justice for their clients. They can also negotiate with the insurance company and represent their client in court, making the process less cumbersome for the victim.
Talk to Our Team About Your Case
Although many know that distracted driving can be dangerous, some people still engage in such behaviors. Those individuals should be held accountable for any harm they cause others.
At Bridges, Jillisky, Weller & Gullifer, LLC, we leverage our resources and talents to pursue just results for our clients.
Call us at (937) 403-9033 or contact us online to learn more about your legal options for seeking compensation after a distracted driving accident in Union County.