Do i have a case?

Call now for your

Free Consultation:

Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer

Accidents are the most dreadful and unwanted thing that often happens to road users. Even though people are familiar with the general rules and safety measures, their negligence causes road accidents. The most unfortunate aspect is that we do not learn from our mistakes on the road. The primary cause of accidents and crashes is human error, which includes distracted driving. Even minor distractions behind the wheel can have serious consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), distracted driving causes 1,000 injuries and nine fatalities daily. Every driver has a duty under the law to pay attention to the road to keep themselves and those around them safe.

If a distracted driver caused an accident that injured you or a loved one, you qualify to receive compensation for your pain and suffering. You don’t have to bear all accident-related expenses and suffer alone. For guidance, consider hiring a distracted driving accident lawyer to submit a claim and attain a fair reimbursement. Our proficient legal team at Phillips Law Offices is available for a free consultation. We can evaluate your case, file a lawsuit, and negotiate a settlement.

Table of Contents

Distracted driving as defined by the law

According to the United States Department of Transportation, any activity that diverts attention from driving is distracted driving. It includes all those things that divert your attention away from the task of driving safely. For instance, distractions are talking on the phone or sending texts, conversing with passengers, eating and drinking, and fiddling with the stereo, entertainment, or navigation system. Generally, distraction can be manual, visual, or cognitive. A manual distraction is when you take your hands off the steering wheel, whereas a visual distraction is when you take your eyes off the road. Contrarily, turning off your brain while driving is a cognitive action.

Whether inside or outside the vehicle, distractions are everywhere. Talking on a cell phone while driving is the main distraction nowadays. Conversing on the phone keeps your brain engaged and affects your driving potential. It impairs your judgment and reaction time, leading to a casualty. Hence, making phone calls while operating a vehicle is not wise. If it is urgent, you should pull over to the side of the road and attend to your call. Besides phone calls, other distractions on roads include the following:

  • In-car audio/radio
  • Mirror adjustments while driving 
  • Roadside animals 
  • Using a GPS 
  • Carrying a pet
  • Eating or drinking 
  • Applying makeup
  • Talking with passengers
  • Billboards and banners

These hazards can put you, your passengers, and other drivers in danger. During detours and other external distractions, you should remain focused while driving. Slow down if you come across disruptions to avoid being distracted by anything.

Significant tips to avoid distracted driving

While other road users are beyond your control, you can play your role cautiously. You should ensure you are doing everything possible to avoid distracted driving. To stay careful and focused while operating a vehicle, heed the following advice:

  • Put your phone on silent before getting into the car, and avoid holding it in your hand.
  • If using GPS, install the navigation device on the dashboard and view the map without averting your eyes from the road.
  • Turn off other notifications to avoid seeing pop-up messages on the map while driving. 
  •  Not just texting is a distraction, but you should avoid using apps or social media while driving. Pull over where it is safe to do so if you need to send a text or look at something.
  • Keep your phone out of reach, like in the back seat, if you can’t resist seeing it when it buzzes.
  • Never eat or drink and drive.
  • If you know someone is likely to be driving, don’t text or call them at that time.
  • If you use your phone to listen to music or podcasts while driving, queue your choices in advance to avoid touching your phone while operating the vehicle.
  • Don’t let your passengers distract you.
  • If you drop something on the car floor, you can leave it until you reach your destination or stop your vehicle and get it.
  • No matter what is happening outside, don’t use your phone to record videos while you drive. Get a dashcam that can automatically record if you think that maintaining track of traffic is mandatory.

Exploring legal options following a distracted driving accident

Though many things can cause distractions, texting while driving is one of the major concerns. The ratio of car accidents caused by cell phones is alarmingly high. Smartphones make our lives easy, but they can pose safety risks if we text messages or send emails while driving. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reports that 22 states forbid using a handheld cell phone while driving. However, all states except two have laws against texting and driving. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), while there is no national ban on texting or phone use while driving, states are actively and diligently attempting to address distracted driving through laws and penalties.

Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations governed in your state by consulting a well-experienced personal injury lawyer. If a distracted driver causes an auto accident, you have legal recourse to seek reimbursement for your emotional trauma and economic damage. There are two primary legal options available in distracted driving accident cases:

Submit an insurance claim

If the other driver is guilty of distraction, their insurance company could be accountable for your sustained losses. Keep track of all accident-related paperwork, such as medical records, police reports, and repair invoices. You will undergo official formalities when you file an insurance claim for distracted driving.

File a lawsuit

Distracted driving is negligence that caused the accident and injuries. The injured party can seek monetary damages for their losses by filing a personal injury claim against the distracted driver. You should hire a qualified attorney to lead your case because the process involves a few justifications. It requires evidence proving the following points in the civil court:

  • Firstly, you should establish that the driver had a duty of care to you. It is simple to do so because anyone driving a motor vehicle on a public street is liable to drive cautiously and adhere to the laws.
  • Secondly, the distracted driver (defendant) breached duty because he did not pay adequate attention to the road ahead. A person is responsible when he fails to meet the legal standard of care.
  • Thirdly, you sustained injuries due to the careless behavior of the defendant. If the driver’s carelessness didn’t cause or contribute to the crash, you can’t pursue compensation from that person.
  • Finally, your injuries must meet the criteria for quantifiable harm. The point to prove is that you experienced measurable losses because of negligence. But if distraction didn’t cause physical damage, you cannot bring a lawsuit for reimbursement.

After establishing these elements, you can pursue your losses, including economic and noneconomic damages. Depending on the specifics of your case, the compensation value of a distracted driving accident will vary. If the distracted driver does not have insurance, you could also file a claim with your insurance provider. However, this rarely happens because insurance is a requirement for all drivers. What kind of coverage you have may also affect your ability to claim damages from your own insurance company.

Damages Recoverable for Distracted Driving

Filing a claim to hold distracted drivers accountable for their actions is a wise decision. It is not only a way to avoid paying for something that was not your fault, but it can also help prevent future accidents due to negligence. You might seek compensation for your losses if you were involved in a distracted driving car accident. You could be rewarded financially for the following losses.

Medical care

The personal injury award covers medical expenses incurred in the past and any anticipated future costs. Your lawyer may work with professionals like doctors, accountants, and actuaries to determine your total medical treatment costs. It will include expenses related to prescription medications, assistive devices, doctor and hospital visits, rehabilitative therapies, and physical recovery.

Lost earnings

You can also claim lost income due to a distracted driving accident. It includes reduced wages if you had to join a different job than before the accident, time off work because of your injury, and lost earning potential. Your loss of earning potential is the difference between what you would have made throughout your lifetime and what you will make following the accident.

Property damage

If you file a lawsuit after a distracted driving incident, the price of replacing or repairing your car is your property loss. Your legal right to any lost property equals its fair market value.

Emotional adversity

Damages for emotional distress reimburse the victim for the harm that does not physically exist. It could include anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, or other mental illnesses that develop after a traumatic auto accident.

Punitive damages

Liability for a distracted driving accident is almost the same as for any road accident. Punitive damages are financial awards added to an injury claim to punish the defendant for reckless behavior. The goal is to make the distracted driver feel guilty and prevent the occurrence of such cases in the state.

As mentioned above, the compensation includes your pain and suffering caused by the distracted driving accident in monetary terms. But it depends on the extent and aftermath of the incident. Hire a skilled car accident lawyer to calculate your damages and submit your claim. They will evaluate your case, explain the legal process, and work to get you a fair settlement.

Significance of hiring a distracted driving accident lawyer

Even though being involved in a car accident can be a jarring experience for anyone, know that you have resources and support for relief. Contact a distracted driving accident attorney soon if you suspect the driver who caused your accident was inattentive. They can check cell phone logs which display the date and timing of a sent text message. Moreover, your attorney will help gather the evidence needed to support your claim, such as:

  • Statements of eyewitnesses 
  • Admitted guilt by the driver 
  • Video footage of the accident 
  • Report from the police

With legal assistance, you can prove that the driver was negligent and responsible for the collision. If you have contact information for witnesses at the scene, ask your lawyer to contact them. As your legal representative, the professional can make inquiries you wouldn’t think to make and seek clues you are unaware of. A witness may have observed the other driver eating or drinking while drinking. Without eyewitness testimony, such distraction factors are nearly impossible to prove. So, to submit your claim within statutory deadlines and attain the best outcome, hire a lawyer soon.

At Phillips Law Offices, we can assist you in obtaining the maximum compensation for your distracted driving accident case. We will carefully listen to your story and investigate to determine an appropriate value for your claim. Our services are valuable, from reviewing all paperwork to negotiating with insurance companies. We can begin working on your case right away, saving you time. Call us at (312) 598-0917 or book an appointment online today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are involved in a car accident caused by distracted driving, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention for any injuries. Contact the police and provide them with a detailed account of the accident, and gather as much evidence as possible, including photos and witness statements. It’s also important to contact a distracted driving accident lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process.

A distracted driving accident lawyer can help you by investigating the accident, gathering evidence, and building a strong case on your behalf. They can also negotiate with insurance companies and other parties involved to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.

The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit after a car accident caused by distracted driving varies by state. In most states, the statute of limitations is two to three years, but it’s important to consult with a distracted driving accident lawyer to understand the specific laws in your state.

Passengers can be held liable for distracting the driver if their behavior is found to be reckless or negligent. However, in most cases, the driver is ultimately responsible for their own actions while driving.

If the distracted driver was using a company vehicle, the company may be held liable for the accident if it can be shown that they were negligent in their duty to ensure safe driving practices among their employees.

If the distracted driver was a minor, their parents or legal guardians may be held liable for the accident if it can be shown that they were negligent in supervising the minor’s driving or allowing them to use a mobile device while driving.

It’s important to consult with a distracted driving accident lawyer before accepting any settlement offer from an insurance company. Often, insurance companies will try to settle for less than what you are entitled to. A lawyer can help you evaluate the offer and negotiate for a fair settlement.

Distracted driving accident lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis, which means that they only get paid if you win your case. Their fees are usually a percentage of the compensation you receive, so you won’t have to pay anything upfront. It’s important to discuss fees with your lawyer before hiring them to ensure that you understand their fee structure.

Request a Free Consultation

No, thank you. I do not want.
100% secure your website.
Request a Free Consultation

No, thank you. I do not want.
100% secure your website.

Request a Free Consultation

Skip to content