Distracted Driving Car Accident Lawyer
At Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C., we’ve seen the terrible price of distracted driving. Our car accident lawyers are here to help you if you have been injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver.
Distracted driving costs lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), distracted driving took nearly 3,500 lives and injured approximately 391,000 people in the United States in a single recent year. It’s a big problem, and it’s only growing bigger with the increase in popularity of mobile technology.
Our Virginia Beach personal injury law firm represents victims of distracted driving throughout the Tidewater area, including Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, Chesapeake, and beyond. We’ve represented car crash victims for over 30 years. We know how to build a successful distracted driver accident claim.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you seek the compensation you deserve. The consultation is free and comes with no strings attached.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving, one of the most common causes of car accidents, is the operation of a vehicle while focused on something other than the road. NHTSA describes three main types of distraction:
- Visual distraction is when a driver’s eyes are on something other than the most important thing: the road.
- Manual distraction happens when drivers remove their hands from the steering wheel to deal with something else.
- Cognitive distraction is when drivers lose or divers their mental concentration.
Common Driving Distractions
- Cellphones are a leading cause of distracted driving. Many drivers think that they can handle a vehicle while using a cellphone at the same time. They are wrong. Cellphone use while driving puts the driver, their passengers, and everyone else on the road at risk. Even hands-free cell phones can cause driver distraction that leads to crashes.
- Cellphone use while driving is a huge problem in the United States, especially among younger drivers. According to a Centers for Disease Control survey, “42% of high school students who drove in the past 30 days reported sending a text or email while driving.” That’s almost half of young drivers admitting that they are distracted while driving.
- Cell phones can provide key services (like GPS), but too often they become distractions. Cell phone use while driving is becoming more and more common.
- In-car entertainment and controls are another common distraction for drivers. As cars have become more advanced, so too have the entertainment and climate-control options. Many advanced controls are more confusing than older versions. Even if a driver knows how to operate these controls, in-car functions may not behave as the driver anticipates. If the controls cause problems, the driver may remove their attention from the road and focus it where it does not belong.
- Passengers, especially children, are a common cause of distracted driving. Passengers may divert the driver’s attention, whether intentionally or not. Children may also be a distraction for parents who are rushed for time. It’s never safe to handle or manage children when you’re operating an automobile. Using apps and games can help minimize the distractions children cause when traveling.
- Eating and drinking also distract many drivers. Fast food is offered as an easy way to get food on the go, but eating and drinking in the car can divert a driver’s attention from driving. Drivers and passengers can drop food or spill drinks. This can cause a driver to divert their attention just when they need it most. These and many other causes of distracted driving can injure victims and their families in the blink of an eye.
Compensation After a Distracted Driving Accident
If you are dealing with the aftermath of an accident caused by someone else’s distracted driving, you know the consequences can quickly pile up. The following list represents some of the things that you can seek compensation for if you have been injured by a distracted driver:
- Medical Bills – A distracted driver can instantly change the course of your life and the lives of your family members. Broken bones, disfiguration, and even death can easily result from a distracted driving crash. An accident claim can include compensation for immediate treatment as well as treatment required in the future.
- Lost Income – Injuries caused by a distracted driver may put you out of work. An accident claim may cover lost wages for both the short-term and long-term future. The claim may also include compensation for diminished earning potential if the injuries cause lasting disabilities that interfere with your ability to work.
- Property Damage – Your vehicle, motorcycle, your bicycle, or many other possessions can be damaged or destroyed in an accident with a distracted driver. A claim may include reimbursement and replacement or repair costs for your damaged property.
- Pain and Suffering – When a distracted driver harms you and others, there may be lasting consequences. Physical and mental stress can cause long-term psychological problems. A claim may include damages for the anguish and psychological effects caused by an accident.
- Punitive Damages – In rare cases, punitive damages may be available when the distracted driver’s behavior is particularly egregious. These damages are intended to punish the offender and send a message to others.
How Our Lawyers Can Help Victims of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving claims require thorough investigation. Our lawyers have years of experience proving driver negligence, including distracted driving. During our investigation, we’ll look at factors such as:
- Driver Statements and Admissions – Drivers may admit they were distracted. It’s also common for them to conceal the fact they were distracted. During our investigation, we’ll look for inconsistencies in their statements. We’ll look at the whole record and question all the parties involved.
- Cell Phone Records – Cell phones are a common source of driver distraction. Cell phone records can show key details, including whether a phone was in use before an accident, GPS data, and many other pieces of important information. It can be challenging to prove a driver was using a phone at the time of the accident. It’s very unlikely an at-fault driver will hand records over willingly. If needed, our lawyers can work with the court system to subpoena the records.
- Surveillance Video – Traffic cameras, dash cams, and other surveillance cameras may capture evidence of distracted driving. We can work with local authorities, businesses, and others who may have filmed the crash. Video evidence of distracted driving can be important. We’ll work to gather all the relevant evidence for your claim.
- Witness Statements – Witnesses may see a distracted driver or notice erratic driving before a crash. We’ll talk with witnesses and gather their testimony.
- Police Reports – Driver statements, witness statements, and many other forms of evidence will be included in a police report after a crash. We’ll work with local authorities to ensure that this important evidence is included in your claim.
Contact Us for Help After a Crash with a Distracted Driver
Distracted driving puts everyone’s safety at risk. Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C., has represented distracted driving accident victims in Virginia Beach and throughout the Tidewater area. Our car accident lawyers are equipped to investigate all types of distracted driving accident claims. We’ll work to pursue the compensation you deserve and need.
If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, we’ll advocate for you. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.