Distracted driving is a serious problem that poses a danger to all drivers on the road. Unfortunately, accidents caused by distracted drivers can result in serious injuries or even death for the victims. In the aftermath of such an incident, it’s only natural for the victims and their families to wonder when they can take legal action.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017, distracted driving claimed the lives of more than 3,000 people. That not just 3,000 people who died much earlier than they should have, its thousands of families and loved ones who have been left to mourn and to suffer.
Distracted Driving: The Facts
What is distracted driving? Distracted driving occurs whenever the driver takes their eyes from the road. Common examples include:
- talking on the phone
- adjusting the radio
- talking to others in the vehicle
What is means is that drivers cannot see or react to changes in the road ahead. If a car is going 55 mph, it can travel the entire length of a football field in a matter of seconds, all with a driver who is unable to stop an accident from happening because they aren’t looking at the road.
A distracted driving accident can literally change a victim’s life and the life of their loved ones, causing extreme physical pain, emotional trauma, and costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care.
What Is Being Done To Stop Distracted Driving?
In addition to spreading awareness about the issue and teaching new drivers about the dangers of distracted driving, some states are taking action and using new methods to catch distracted drivers, including the use of technology. For example, some states are using devices that detect the use of cell phones while driving and automatically send a warning message to the driver. There are also apps that can be downloaded onto a driver’s phone, which will automatically disable the phone’s texting and calling capabilities while the car is in motion.
Another way states are trying to stop distracted driving is by implementing stricter laws and harsher penalties for those caught driving while distracted. For example, many states have banned the use of hand-held cell phones while driving, and some have even made it illegal to use hands-free devices while driving.
In addition, some states have implemented a graduated licensing system for new drivers, which limits their ability to use electronic devices while driving. This includes restrictions on the number of passengers new drivers can have in their car, as well as a ban on the use of electronic devices, including cell phones while driving.
Ohio Police Take To The Sky To Stop Distracted Drivers
Police officers in Ohio are tracking driver’s speed and the distance between cars from the air, then radioing down to officers waiting on the ground with a description of the vehicle so that a traffic stop can be initiated. Video from the sky can later be used as evidence.
Maine Increases Fines For Drivers Using Cell Phones
According to the laws in Portland, Maine, drivers who are caught using a cell phone while driving can be fined between $50 and $250.
Despite increased action by state officials and police officers, distracted driving will continue to wreak havoc on the lives of the innocent. This is why the law allows the victims of these accidents to take legal action, providing them with a chance to recover the compensation they will need to get back on their feet.
Auto Accident Lawsuits Provide Victims With A Way To Fight For Compensation
It doesn’t matter if an accident involves a car, bus, truck, or motorcycle. The fact is that when negligence causes an accident, then the person or responsible party risks being named in a civil lawsuit.
A civil lawsuit is completely separate from any criminal charges that could be filed because of the accident. The purpose of civil lawsuits is to provide the plaintiff with the opportunity to fight for the compensation that will help them to pay for losses such as:
- medical expenses
- earnings that have been lost
- physical pain
- emotional turmoil
Typically it is the victim who files these lawsuits; however, if the victim is incapacitated, a minor, or if they died, their loved ones can file on their behalf. Family members who are generally able to file on a victim’s behalf include the parents, spouse, or children.
How Distracted Driving Lawsuits Proceed
The first step for a victim of distracted driving is to determine who is liable for the accident. In most cases, the liable party is the driver who was distracted at the time of the accident. However, there may be other parties who are also liable, such as the driver’s employer, if they were using a company vehicle or the manufacturer of a defective product that caused the distraction.
Once the liable party has been identified, the victim can file a personal injury lawsuit against them. In these cases, the victim will need to prove that the liable party was negligent in their actions and that this negligence caused the victim’s injuries. This can be done through the use of evidence such as witness statements, accident reports, and expert testimony.
It’s important to note that there are statutes of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. These laws limit the amount of time that a victim has to file a lawsuit after an accident. It’s important to act quickly in order to ensure that the case can be properly heard in court.
In addition to a personal injury lawsuit, the victim may also be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit if the accident resulted in the death of a loved one. These lawsuits are similar to personal injury lawsuits, but they are brought by the surviving family members of the deceased victim.
Why Contact An Experienced Auto Accident Attorney?
The legal process is complex and stressful, and the last thing that anyone suffering because of an auto accident needs to deal with. Consulting with an experienced attorney who can preserve evidence, handle the legal paperwork, speak with the insurance companies, and prepare their client for court greatly increases a plaintiff’s chances of recovering the maximum amount possible.
At Schuster Law, our attorneys have helped thousands of car accident victims over the past three decades. In each case, we use our passion for the law and our knowledge to fight for the maximum recovery possible for each client. Each case is treated as though it were our own.
Learn more about our past successes and your legal options by contacting our law office for a free consultation.