According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than eight people are killed and 1,161 injured in distracted driving accidents nationwide on a daily basis. Distracted drivers are people who drive while also doing some other activity that removes their attention from the road and the possible need for emergency maneuvers. Some examples of distracted driving include talking on the phone while driving, texting while driving, eating food, arguing with a passenger, fiddling with the radio, or applying makeup. If you were injured by a distracted driver, Maryville car accident lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe and the staff at the Hartsoe Law Firm may be able to help you recover compensation.Holding a Distracted Driver Liable for Your Injuries
In most cases, distracted driving is likely to be perceived by a jury as negligence. To establish negligence, we will need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the at-fault driver owed you a duty of care, the driver breached that duty, the breach caused the crash, and you sustained damages. In most cases, failing to pay attention to the task of driving is a breach of the duty to use reasonable care.
If a driver is focused on texting, for example, their eyes will not be on the road, and they are unlikely to be able to respond appropriately if the driver in front of them stops suddenly because of a hazard or because a traffic light has turned red. Studies show that texting drivers look away from the road for around 4.6 seconds for each text. At 55 mph, this is about the same as driving down the length of a football field without looking.
What if you may not know whether a driver was distracted? We can use a number of techniques to determine whether a driver was distracted. One of them is to look at phone records, which can establish whether the driver was using a phone at the time of the accident. Another method is to depose passengers in the car about what the driver was doing at the time of the accident. If you were in the car with the distracted driver when you were injured, or you observed the driver just before the accident doing something other than watching the road, your own testimony about the driver's distraction may be valuable.
If you can establish negligence, you likely can recover compensatory damages from a distracted driver. These are damages that are intended to make you whole after an injury, including reimbursement for lost wages, medical bills, property damage, lost earning capacity, loss of consortium, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Punitive damages can also be sought if the evidence of the reckless driving is clear enough.Consult an Experienced Maryville Lawyer After a Car Accident
Call Hartsoe to fight for damages on your behalf if you suffered injuries due to a distracted driver. Motor vehicle collision lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe understands what victims may go through because of a driver’s inattention, and he works hard to pursue the greatest compensation possible for them. Call the Hartsoe Law Firm at (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form to set up a free consultation with a Maryville car accident attorney. We represent injured people throughout East Tennessee, including in Knox, Blount, Monroe, Loudon, Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, Campbell, Hamblen, Greene, Anderson, Cumberland, and Fentress Counties.