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Gregory Perenich
11 January 2022

Did a Distracted Driver Injure You?

Distracted Driving

Here’s How to Get Help Now

Individuals who have become desensitized to the dangers associated with distracted driving fill our roads. Today, those behind the wheel tend to believe that they are in control of their vehicles at all times. They may even think that they can respond to text messages, check social media accounts, or even eat meals as they drive.

Unfortunately, when motorists take part in these activities, it diverts their attention away from the primary task of driving. As a result, distracted driving often leads to tragic crashes and devastating injuries.

This blog will help you understand distracted driving and its consequences and go over everything you need to know about distracted driving. We will explore the dangers associated with distracted driving. Then, we will discuss the legal options for if a distracted driving accident harmed you and how an experienced distracted driving accident attorney can fight for your financial recovery.

What Exactly Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving happens when something takes a motorist’s attention away from driving. It could occur due to texting, talking on the phone, eating and drinking, or checking the navigation system.

The most alarming thing is that even if these activities take only mere seconds, the consequences can still be disastrous.

For instance, reading a text usually takes a person’s eyes off the road for five seconds. Yet, if a distracted driver travels at 55 miles per hour, that is like driving the length of an entire football field with their eyes closed.

Types of Distracted Driving

In general, anything that diverts a motorist’s attention away from driving can be considered a distraction when it comes to distracted driving.

However, in general, there are four main types of distractions:

  • A visual distraction: These distractions include anything that makes a driver look away from the roads, such as checking a cell phone, looking for something in the car, or checking the directions.
  • A physical distraction: These distractions often involve a driver’s hands doing something other than driving, including eating or personal grooming.
  • An auditory distraction: These distractions often involve noises and sounds inside the vehicle that distract the driver, including loud music or a cell phone going off.
  • A cognitive distraction: This occurs when the driver of a truck or a car thinks about something other than driving and stops paying attention.

Distracted Driving Statistics – The Numbers You Need to Know

In the United States, around eight people are killed in a crash every single day due to distracted driving. This means that over 3,000 people lose their lives every year because of this dangerous driving habit. However, the troubling statistics do not end here.

In addition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Over 400,000 individuals are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver every year.
  • Around one in five people who passed away in a distracted driver crash are not in a motor vehicle. Instead, they walked, rode their bikes, or did something outside the car.
  • Around 25 percent of the distracted drivers involved in fatal accidents were young adults aged 20 to 29.
  • About 9 percent of all teens who died in motor vehicle accidents were killed in a distracted driving crash.

Common Injuries Resulting From Distracted Driving Accidents

Distracted driving results in catastrophic accidents, debilitating injuries, and even death.

Although these injuries often differ in type and severity depending on the circumstances of the accident, the more common injuries that result from these types of accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Broken bones
  • Internal injuries and bleeding
  • Facial injuries, including eye trauma
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Amputations
  • Crushing injuries
  • Emotional trauma
  • Wrongful death

The Types of Damages You Can Pursue Following a Distracted Driving Accident

If you were in a distracted driving accident and suffered significant harm, you may recover certain types of compensation. Generally, this compensation includes both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages: These damages refer to the actual, measurable losses that result from an accident.

They may include:

  • Past and present medical bills related to doctor visits, hospital stay, prescription medications, surgeries, emergency services, and other healthcare-related services
  • Ongoing, future medical expenses
  • Lost wages and lost earning capacity
  • Personal property damages, including replacement and repair costs
  • Rehabilitative therapy (physical and occupational therapy)
  • At-home nursing care
  • Replacement domestic services such as cleaning services and child care services
  • Other out-of-pocket costs

Non-economic Damages: These damages compensate victims for the intangible ways they suffered from an accident.

These damages can include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life and quality of life
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of consortium
  • Inconvenience
  • Reputation loss

However, to determine which of these damages may apply specifically to your case, it is recommended you reach out to an experienced distracted driving accident attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers can review your claim, determine which of these damages you can pursue, and help you fight for the maximum compensation you need.

The Steps You Should Take Following a Distracted Driving Accident

Following a distracted driving accident, the situation may often feel chaotic, stressful, and overwhelming. It is likely that as a victim of this horrifying accident, the last thing you want to worry about is taking action. However, it is essential to realize that the steps you take after a distracted driving accident can not only keep you safe but protect your legal rights as well. That is why after a distracted driving collision, you should consider doing the following:

#1. Call the Authorities Immediately

After a distracted driving collision, you should contact 911 right away. It is the fastest way to notify emergency medical personnel that you or another victim at the scene needs immediate medical attention. It is also the quickest way to alert the local authorities of the accident and get it on record. After the police arrive, they can perform a preliminary investigation into the accident and jot down their findings in their report. If you decide to pursue legal action after the accident, this report can serve as valuable evidence.

#2. Gather Evidence From the Accident Scene

If you can do so safely, you should try to collect as much evidence from the accident scene as you can.

This evidence should include both videos and pictures of the crash, including:

  • The vehicles involved and their placement on the road
  • Your visible injuries
  • The road conditions
  • Any skid marks on the street
  • The weather conditions at the time of the accident
  • Traffic lights near the area, and
  • Any other evidence that can help show what happened

#3. Exchange Details with the Others Involved in the Accident

Try to exchange information with all the other motorists involved in the crash, including names, insurance information, contact details, and driver’s license numbers.

However, as you talk to these other individuals, make sure you watch what you say. You want to avoid apologizing for what happened, taking any blame, or making definitive statements about the incident. The other side can use these comments against you, impacting your case and the amount of money you may receive.

#4. Check for Witnesses at the Scene

If there were people present at the accident scene who saw what happened, try to get their information as well, including names and phone numbers. These individuals can often provide you and your attorney with valuable details regarding the accident and help back up your claim. If these witnesses are hesitant to provide you with their personal information, do not try to force them. Instead, leave the information gathering to your attorney.

#5. Get to a Doctor as Soon as Possible

Although not every injury may appear to be significant following a distracted driving accident, you should still get to a doctor as soon as possible following the crash. This is because symptoms of serious injuries, such as brain trauma, can take some time to manifest. The longer you wait to get these injuries checked out, the more debilitating and deadly they can become. That is why it is a good idea to seek medical treatment.

In addition, receiving prompt medical attention can also help your legal claim. Following an accident, insurance companies may look for reasons to deny your case or pay you less than you are entitled to receive. By not getting immediate medical treatment after your distracted driving accident, insurance companies will argue that your injuries are not that severe or that they are a result of a subsequent event.

However, visiting a doctor shortly after your accident can help you negate these arguments by providing you with a medical report that details your injuries and the accident that caused these injuries. Ultimately, this will provide evidence that helps establish a direct link between the harm you sustained and the distracted driving collision.

#6. Take Care in Talking to Insurance Companies After a Distracted Driving Accident

Before you take calls from the insurance company following a distracted driving accident, you should first consider how these conversations can affect a personal injury claim that may arise from your crash.

Insurance companies are businesses, and like other businesses, they need to make a profit. By paying you less, they will make more money. As a result, insurance adjusters may try to get you on the phone while you are most vulnerable in hopes of getting you to say something that can hurt your case.

For these reasons, before you make any statements to the insurance company, it can help if you first reach out to a skilled distracted driving accident attorney. These lawyers can not only help prepare you for what you can expect from insurance companies, but they can also take over these conversations on your behalf, ensuring you do not say anything that can hurt your claim.

How Can an Experienced Distracted Driving Accident Attorney Help You Following a Distracted Driving Collision?

No amount of money can ever fully erase the losses, damages, and pain a distracted driving accident may have caused you. However, obtaining just compensation for your injuries can help you start rebuilding your life after a tragic event. Better yet, with an experienced distracted driving accident lawyer on your side, you will not have to go after damages alone. Instead, an attorney can take on the legal battle on your behalf and provide you with the legal help you need.

In fact, once retained, when necessary, an attorney can:

  • Go over your distracted driving accident in detail, evaluate your legal claim, and figure out which legal options you should pursue.
  • Answer all the questions you have regarding the accident and the legal proceedings involved with your claim.
  • Investigate your distracted driving accident and secure the evidence needed to prove what happened and who was at fault.
  • Obtain experts, including accident reconstructionists and doctors, to substantiate your claim.
  • Ensure that legal motions are adequately prepared and filed with the correct court before time expires.
  • Take on all the negotiations with the insurance company and the other side and fight for a just settlement offer.
  • Go to trial if the other side is unwilling to negotiate fairly and work relentlessly to get you the successful case outcome you need.

For these reasons, do not wait any longer to secure legal help after a distracted driving accident hurts you or a family member. Instead, reach out to an experienced distracted driving accident lawyer today for a free consultation, and let these skilled lawyers show you how they can help you fight for the justice and financial recovery that you deserve.