Technology has made our lives much easier in recent years. Everyday we use cell phones, GPS’s and computers to navigate our lives. While these devices are convenient, they pose a significant problem when it comes to driving. According to the Center For Disease Control or CDC, over 1,161 drivers and car passengers are injured daily in crashes involving distracted drivers. The following is an outline of how personal injury law can help those hurt in car accidents due to the negligence of a distracted driver. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in such an accident, contact a personal injury attorney for advice.
What Is Distracted Driving?
There are three types of distracted driving that increase the risk of accidents:
- Cognitive Distraction
This type of distraction occurs when you let your mind wander and are not paying attention to the task of driving while you are behind the wheel.
- Visual Distraction
Visual distraction occurs when you take your eyes from the highway or road even for a moment.
- Manual Distraction
This is simply taking your hands from the steering wheel while you are operating your car.
Common Distracted Driving Injuries
While there are many different types of injuries you can sustain due to a distracted driver, the most common are:
- Broken Bones Or Fractures
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Head Injuries
- Brain Injuries
- Severed Limbs
- Facial Lacerations Or Disfigurment
What Do I Do After A Distracted Driving Accident?
If you have been injured due to a distracted driver, it is important to take steps to protect your interests. The following are the basic steps to take right after an accident:
- Call 911
- Take Pictures Of The Accident Scene
- Document Your Injuries In Pictures
- Obtain The Contact Information For All Eyewitnesses To The Crash
- Request A Copy Of The Police Reports
- Keep All Documentation Of Your Medical Expenses
- Ask For The Other Driver’s Contact Information And Insurance Card
Do I Need To Call A Lawyer?
While some distracted driving accidents are minor and easy to resolve, those that are serious may require more effort. If you have been hurt in an accident, you should contact a lawyer if:
- Your Injuries Were Extensive
- You Will Require Ongoing Medical Care
- You Need Home Health Care
- The Insurance Company Of The Distracted Driver Refuses To Pay Or Offer A Fair Settlement
- You Are Permanently Disabled After The Accident
What Kind Of Damages Can I Obtain?
It is impossible to tell exactly what kind of damages you may be able to recover if you file a personal injury lawsuit. However, most accident victims who can prove the other party was negligent and caused their injuries may be awarded money for:
- Doctor Bills
- Hospital Fees
- Ambulance Bills
- Surgery Costs
- Therapy Fees
- Cost Of Alternate Transportation
- Lost Income
- Future Lost Wages
- Pain And Suffering
- Mental Anguish
Can I Obtain Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages may be awarded in some accident cases, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. In most cases, punitive damages are only awarded to those who were the victim of gross negligence. Punitive damages are meant to be severe and harsh, so the defendant is discouraged from repeating his mistakes and hurting someone else in the future. Whether or not you will obtain punitive damages depends on the laws in your state.
If you have been hurt at the hands of a distracted driver, contact a personal injury attorney today. After speaking with you, your attorney will let you know if you should move ahead with a lawsuit. While obtaining a monetary settlement will not reduce your injuries, it can help provide important financial resources needed for your future health care and income needs.