Distracted Driving Accidents
Some accidents are unavoidable. A mechanical failure causes a car to crash, or an animal unexpectedly enters the road, causing a driver to swerve. Most accidents, however, are avoidable, and one of the most avoidable causes for an accident is distracted driving. If you or a loved one was in an accident that was caused by another driver’s distraction, you should look into getting the compensation you are owed.
You Don’t Need to be Driving to be Impacted
2,841 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in America in 2018 alone. This number includes drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists. Just because you weren’t the one behind the wheel doesn’t mean you didn’t get injured or experience a loss as a result of the distracted driver’s actions. You don’t even need to have been at the scene to be impacted. Some of the positions victims can be in and still be eligible for compensation include:
- Driver in another vehicle
- Passenger in another vehicle
- Passenger in the distracted driver’s vehicle
- Injured pedestrian
- Injured biker
- Family member of person who was catastrophically injured or killed by the accident
It’s important to remember that your life can be impacted in a wide variety of ways by another person’s actions. When such things happen, you can fight back.
The West Virginia Laws on Distracted Driving
When a driver causes an accident while they are driving while distracted, they are violating the traffic laws of West Virginia. While their criminal proceedings will be separate from their civil proceedings, their insurance policy cannot deny coverage for distracted driving accidents and a distracted driving conviction can be used as an indicator of fault.
Stated in §17C-14-15, West Virginia drivers are not allowed to text, make phone calls, or use electronic devices while driving, with the exception of devices with hands-free features, drivers reporting dangerous conditions, and law enforcement officers. Those caught driving while distracted can face up to a $300 fine and three points added to their license. When this isn’t enough to discourage people from driving while distracted, personal injury cases ensue.
Proving the Other Driver was Distracted
Proving the other driver was distracted is important in determining fault, and it can be easy or hard depending on the way in which they were distracted. If they were making a phone call or were in the middle of a text correspondence, it can be easy enough to make your case simply using phone records. If they were distracted by trying to reach for an object in their car, it might be harder to prove. This is where the value of witness testimony and accident reconstruction specialists is shown.
Damages Available in Distracted Driving Cases
The damages available in distracted driving cases are the same as in any other car accident case. These are physical, emotional, and property damages, which can be in the form of injuries, trauma, and require vehicle repairs, respectively. An experienced attorney can make sure all damages are properly evaluated and compensated.
Hire a Team That is Focused on You
When you have been impacted by a distracted driver, you will want to make sure the team representing you is focused on you and your recovery. This is the commitment the attorneys of Skinner Law Firm make when they take on a new case. We have seen first-hand the effect of a dedicated and talented team on a personal injury case, and have the results to prove it.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We serve clients in and around Charles Town and across West Virginia.