When most people think of distracted driving, they usually think about using cell phones. Unfortunately, texting and talking on the phone are not the only means of distraction that lead to serious car accidents. The serious injuries that can result from distracted driving may come from more diverse sources than you thought.
If you have been in an accident that involved distracted driving, read on to learn more about this.
What Is Distracted Driving?
When somebody drives distracted, this means an individual operated a vehicle without full attention and focus on the road. Somebody who drives while distracted is negligent, as every person behind the wheel has a duty to abide by traffic laws and pay close attention to the road.
Many people think they have a clear view of the distractions people face behind the wheel. Despite this, more than 3,100 people died in accidents from distracted drivers in 2017 alone. Many more were injured. If you have been in an accident with somebody who was distracted, you may have legal recourse against him or her.
In What Ways Do People Drive While Distracted?
Distracted driving comes from many sources. Here are the most common:
- Adjustment of car features: Drivers often don’t take time to adjust mirrors, seats, temperature settings, and other features before putting a vehicle in motion.
- Food and drink: Drivers more focused on food pose a risk, especially when food and drinks spill.
- Personal hygiene: Some drivers put on makeup, brush their hair, floss, pick their teeth, or apply lotion while on the road.
- Navigation: Drivers might try to zoom in on the map to see where they need to go and see the written directions. Both navigation on the car’s console and on a phone creates distractions.
- Cigarettes and vapes: When a driver searches for a cigarette, lights it, and ashes it, they can cause an accident. If the driver burns themselves with ashes, the risk is even greater for swerving and unforeseen lane changes.
- Pets: Drivers who let pets sit on their laps or roam around the car are probably not safe.
- Children: Parents and others with child passengers can create hazardous conditions when they turn around to discipline children, hand them items, or ensure they are in seat belts.
If any of these situations apply to you, a personal injury attorney can help you pursue compensation.
How Can You Prove Distracted Driving?
Video footage is one of the best methods to prove somebody was driving while distracted, but gathering such evidence is difficult. If you have a dashcam or notice cameras near the scene of the accident, you may be in a better position to make such a claim.
Expert witness testimony is also beneficial in cases like yours. An expert witness can determine the most likely cause of the accident based on evidence found at the scene, like skid marks.
What Should You Do If a Distracted Driver Hits You?
If a distracted driver has hit you, you have the right to sue for your injuries. You can potentially receive compensation for your injuries, lost wages, disability, and even property damage. Speaking with an attorney is the next step in pursuing a case against a distracted driver or their insurance.
You must act quickly if you want to receive compensation after the accident. In Maryland, you have three years after the accident to file a lawsuit. Failure to abide by the statute of limitations means the court will likely throw your case out of court without ever hearing it.
The Jaklitsch Law Group provides quality legal counsel to people in situations just like yours. We help you seek the compensation you deserve. Call us today and set up a consultation with an attorney who cares about your case.