The use of a mobile phone while driving is the cause of one in four accidents, according to 2014 National Safety Council data. Nearly five percent of the crashes involve drivers texting behind the wheel. Talking on the phone while driving has contributed to 21 percent of the car crashes.
Distracted Driving: A Major Cause of Serious Accidents
Distracted drivers killed more than 3,320 individuals and injured 421,000 people in 2013. According to National Safety Council data, cell phone usage (even when a hands-free device is being utilized) is one of the biggest factors contributing to distracted driving.
Such problems have led to the introduction of stricter laws about distracted driving and the use of a smartphone in the car. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, A ban on texting behind the wheel exists in 44 states. In four states, text messaging by inexperienced drivers is prohibited.
A number of states have gone even further in their attempts to prevent distracted driving. The use of a hands-free device is prohibited in 12 states.
Texting while Driving: Liability
Any driver that texts while on the road is legally responsible for any damage or injury resulting from such activities.
Engaging in distracting activities like texting is considered a direct violation of road safety regulations. The particular breach of duty is negligence. Driver negligence that results in a traffic accident signifies that the responsible party will have to pay compensation for all damages that are a direct result of the accident.
Types of Damages
Have you been injured in a traffic accident involving a texting driver? If so, you need to familiarize yourself with the types of damage where you will be entitled to compensation. Discussing the specifics of the case with an experienced personal injury attorney is the first and the most important step you’ll need to take.
There are four major types of reasonable damage recognized by court. These include:
- Property damage: compensation will be provided for automobile damage or personal property that was damaged/destroyed in the accident.
- Medical bills: compensation for costs incurred while undergoing treatment in a medical facility.
- Out-of-pocket expenses: compensation for expenditure related to vehicle rentals, OTC medications, nursing care, etc.
- Pain and suffering: compensation for emotional distress and intangible losses.
A Guide to Personal Injury Claims
Has your car been hit by a distracted driver who was texting behind the wheel? Your personal injury lawyer can provide a free evaluation and tell you whether you have a personal injury case.
The next step of the process involves proving that the accident was caused by a distracted driver. Effective evidence could include police reports, photos and videos from the site of the accident, witness accounts, the driver’s cell phone records, and your medical records.
Your personal injury attorney will use this information to build a case, and you’ll also get assistance to file the insurance claim. Some people wonder whether they really need to work with an auto accident attorney. In some situations, individuals could handle the claim on their own but there could be complications. Hiring an attorney is the best approach if you have suffered serious injuries, if the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to accept liability, and if you want to secure the highest settlement.
This article was written by James Ellis Gumbiner and Associates, a Chicago law firm specializing in automobile accident and personal injury cases. 180 N. Michigan Ave, Ste 2100, Chicago, IL 60601, (312) 236-9751.