In a recent survey, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 660,000 drivers are engaged in cell phone use at all times of day while driving. Distracted driving is such a prevalent concern that government agencies and insurance companies continually sound warnings about this rising national trend. If you are hurt in an accident that involves a distracted driver, it is essential that you know your rights.
A texting while driving accident lawyer advises you on the strengths of your claim and helps you navigate the legal process. Don’t delay getting help after an accident, because timing is essential in gathering evidence and building your case.
Texting while driving laws are enacted at state and local levels of government. This means that traffic laws are enforced differently within specific jurisdictions. An experienced car accident attorney in your area knows how the laws work and how they protect accident victims.
One of the challenging aspects of texting while driving cases is proving a driver was texting when the accident occurred. An attorney knows how to gather this type of evidence and present it in defense of your case. Additionally, there may be a need to determine negligence or recklessness in an accident claim to recover damages.
In personal injury lawsuits, determining negligence is crucial in deciding compensation amounts. Distracted driver negligence falls under these categories.
If you file a civil claim seeking damages for injuries in an auto accident, a defendant may file a claim of contributory negligence. The other driver may assert that your actions make you at least partially to blame for the accident. If the claim is valid, this may affect your ability to recover damages or significantly reduce your recovery amount. Your lawyer assesses the veracity of the counterclaim and offers advice on how to move forward.
While most states view contributory negligence as a reason to deny compensation in an accident claim, comparative negligence considers the responsibility of both parties’ claims to determine damages. Many states have adopted this approach because it provides a more reasonable solution to fault determinations in accident injury claims. Comparative negligence is determined in two ways:
If distracted driving rests solely with the defendant who was texting while driving, the liability can result in large sums of compensatory damages.
When driving, people who use mobile phones are five times more likely to have an accident than undistracted drivers. Injuries incurred in a distracted driving incident are often devastating. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may need to file a personal injury claim. An attorney can help you recover compensation for medical costs, property damage, pain and suffering and financial losses. These are the basic stages of a personal injury case.
Finding the right attorney to handle your personal injury claim is important to the outcome. A personal injury attorney helps develop your case in these ways:
Your attorney does exploratory research to determine if you have a viable case. If the facts warrant moving forward, a fee agreement is reached between you and your attorney, typically based on a percentage of the settlement.
An attorney assists you with filing a personal injury complaint in civil court. The complaint provides comprehensive details about your case and what you allege is the defendant’s responsibility regarding the accident and how you were harmed as a result. Personal injury lawsuits seek damages in larger amounts than small claims court cases.
This is the process when evidence and witness accounts are presented, and lawyers appear in court to give an update on how a case is proceeding. Discovery can take many months as your case moves forward, and court appearances continue in an effort to determine what evidence and testimony are allowed at trial. The defendant’s attorney may request that the case be dismissed. Your attorney is there to handle these types of motions.
If your case reaches trial, a judge or jury hears the case and decides on the facts presented. The trial determines whether the defendant is at fault, and, if so, what they owe in damages to the plaintiff. Trials take place over several days. It is the right of the losing party to appeal the case. Defendants must pay if they lose on final appeal. The appeals process may take months or years to reach a final decision in the case.
Most personal injury cases settle before going to trial. This can happen any time after your case is filed and a suitable agreement is reached. Your attorney always discusses settlement offers with you and provides advice about the reasonableness of the offers.
On average, it takes five seconds to read text messages, and, in that five seconds, a distracted driver can change your life. Your car accident lawyer makes sure your rights are protected, and you receive fair compensation to move forward after an accident.
At Fielding Law, we are a small law firm that provides you with unique, personalized representation with the resources and experience you receive from a large law firm. Our personal injury attorneys are dedicated to your case and maintain an open line of communication throughout the process.
We work diligently to get you the settlement you deserve. If you’ve been injured in a texting while driving accident, you need a law firm with the knowledge to build a strong case. The primary focus of our practice is auto accident and personal injury cases. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.