Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys in Chicago
With the evolution of technology and the nature of today’s society, distracted driving occurs every day on the roads. In any form, distracted driving is extremely dangerous to the driver themselves as well as everyone else on the roads. It only takes a few seconds of distraction to cause an accident and injure others and their property.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2017, distracted driving claimed 3,166 lives. They define distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention from the task of safe driving. While many people think that they can multitask while on the road, this is a seriously mistaken notion, as evidenced by the facts and statistics.
At Agruss Law Firm, LLC, we have helped thousands of clients to seek justice and compensation for personal injuries, and you won’t owe us a penny for our services unless we win your case. If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving accident, contact our office today for a free consultation.
Types of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving comes in many forms. It is unsafe to do anything else, no matter how confident that you are in your abilities when you have the critical task of driving a heavy piece of machinery surrounded by tens or hundreds of others. There are three main types of distractions that encompass the tasks that constitute distracted driving:
- Cognitive distraction - This type of distraction is when a driver’s mind is not focused on driving, but some other tasks, such as talking to other passengers in the car, singing or dancing along to the radio, daydreaming, and more.
- Manual distraction – Manual distractions are anything that would take one or both hands off of the wheel. This includes eating, drinking, applying makeup, grooming, adjusting the GPS, trying to find something in your car or belongings, and more.
- Visual distraction – This type of distraction is partaking in any activity that diverts your visual attention from the road. This is what most people think of when they think of distracted driving. Visual distractions include texting on your phone, browsing the internet on your phone, playing games on your phone, any visual entertainment, applying makeup, looking at billboards, and more.
Risks of Distracted Driving Accidents
These types of accidents are certainly considered negligent driving. When a driver fails to be responsible for themselves and the lives of hundreds of others around you at a time by prioritizing some other task, they are behaving negligently. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the average text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for the length of a football field at 55 miles per hour. This is an enormous stretch in which any amount of possibilities could happen. These negligent drivers could hit a pedestrian, hit a stationary object, or hit another car. As a result, victims could suffer from serious bodily injury, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury, paralysis, and even death. The NHTSA claims that as many as 90% of motor vehicle accidents involve some form of distraction, and the fatality rate is fairly high as it claims thousands of lives each year. Teens are more likely to engage in distracted driving.
The American Automobile Association reported that a driver is eight times more likely to be involved in a crash when reaching for an object and three times more likely to crash while eating or drinking. Also, Quartz and Zendrive have reported that distracted driving costs society $40 billion a year.
Aftermath of Distracted Driving Accidents
While it is a shocking, angering, and frightening experience, there are a few things that you should do immediately following a distracted driving accident. First of all, you should assess your condition by checking if you have any injuries. If you do, you should immediately call 911 for medical help so that you can be treated as soon as possible. If you realize that you are okay enough to freely move around, you should still call 911 to call police officers to the scene of the accident. They will take note of the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident. You should contact your insurance company once you are treated or back at your home to report the accident. Then, we recommend that you contact one of our experienced attorneys to help you navigate this difficult situation and work with your insurance company to ensure that you see a fair outcome.
Illinois law has recently put laws into effect to ban certain behaviors while driving. The only times that drivers can use a cell phone that is not hands-free is if they are reporting an emergency situation, parked on the shoulder of a road, or while stopped due traffic and the vehicle is in neutral or park. Otherwise, in Illinois, it is against the law to do the following:
- Text, e-mail, or use the internet while driving
- Use a hand-held electronic communication device while driving
- Use a hand-held or hands-free cell phone while driving if you are 18 years old or younger
- Use a hand-held or hands-free cell phone in school zones or highway work zones.
If these are violated, we will help you and begin an investigation into if distracted driving was a factor causing the accident. An investigation could tell you the other driver’s cell phone records, texting records, or witness statements to prove that cell phone usage occurred at the time of the accident.
Damages That Can Be Recovered
Motor vehicle accidents are can be very serious in terms of the damages. Repairs to your vehicle can be tens of thousands of dollars, or it could be completely totaled. You may also have sustained some serious injuries requiring hospitalization or surgery. With our help, we will make sure your claim is successful and that you are fairly compensated for the damages and experience that you have had to endure. Some common damages that can be recovered after a distracted driving accident include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death (in a wrongful death claim)
If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving accident, contact our office today for a free consultation.
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