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If you were in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries, property damage, and pain and suffering. You need an experienced lawyer working on your behalf to recover these damages. The attorneys at Lovins Trosclair, PLLC, have the experience to file your claim and steer your case to the best outcome. There is never a fee unless we win. Call us today to discuss the details of your case: 512-535-1649.
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving is operating a vehicle while engaged in an activity that takes your attention away from the road. Examples of distracted driving include texting, eating or drinking, shaving, applying makeup, and adjusting a radio or GPS unit. If the other driver was engaging in any of these behaviors at the time of the accident, it might indicate negligence and liability for the wreck.
Texting and other cell phone usage are the biggest causes of distracted driving accidents. It might seem harmless to look down for a few seconds to send or read a text. But at 55 mph you travel the length of a football field in 4.6 seconds, notes the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. The speed limit on the I-35 often exceeds a 55-mph speed limit.
Filing a Liability Claim Against a Distracted Driver
Texas imposes a duty of care obligation on all licensed drivers. This means while you’re behind the wheel, you’re obligated to look out for the safety of other drivers.
A driver who is texting or otherwise engaged in a distracting activity is in breach of their duty of care. This is known as negligence. If you were in an accident and you believe the other driver was distracted, you can file a claim asserting negligence.
We will need to prove several things in court. One, that the other driver was negligent by engaging in a distracting activity, such as texting. We also have to show that the driver’s negligence caused the accident.
Then we have to connect the accident to your damages. Texas law stipulates that a negligent driver is liable for any injuries or property damage they cause to others. The injured party or parties are entitled to monetary compensation to cover vehicle replacement, medical bills, pain and suffering, and so forth.
The process is highly complex and nuanced. Work with an attorney who knows the ins and outs of Texas personal injury law.
How do I prove the other driver was distracted?
Perhaps the most difficult part of a distracted driving case is proving the other driver was distracted. That said, an attorney at Lovins Trosclair, PLLC can draw on several pieces of evidence to build your case.
Cell Phone Records
Today’s cell phone records are highly advanced. They can indicate exact times and locations a person was using their phone, and pinpoint whether they were talking or texting.
Cell phone companies keep their records confidential. But we work to convince the court to order a company to release records pertaining to the driver in question. These records can provide powerful proof of distracted driving. If they show text messages sent or received around the time of the crash, it may give your case a big boost.
If the accident occurred in a busy location, chances are, there were witnesses. Statements from these witnesses can offer powerful proof of distracted driving. For instance, a pedestrian on the street corner might testify he saw the other driver using a phone while barreling through a red light.
Witness statements can be powerful even if the witness didn’t see the accident. A witness might arrive on the scene later and overhear an incriminating remark by the other driver, such as, “I picked up my phone to check my GPS.” A simple statement such as this can turn the case in your favor.
We will work to secure witness testimony that builds your case by identifying eyewitnesses listed on the police report or whose information you collected at the scene.
Photographs and Videos
In today’s world, cameras are ubiquitous. There’s always someone nearby with their phone out, recording or photographing something. Perhaps someone captured footage of your accident. Or perhaps video surveillance from a local business captured the accident. We will identify any sources of video that might exist and take the appropriate action to secure this evidence.
Moreover, you should take as many post-accident pictures as you can with your own phone. Make sure to capture vehicle damage, injuries, skid marks, stop signs or red lights, and the position of the vehicles.
Recoverable Damages in Distracted Driving Accident Claims
If you can prove the other driver was negligent due to distracted driving, the law states you can recover all damages deemed reasonable. These damages include:
Property Damage: The other driver is responsible for paying the cost to fix your vehicle. In the case of a total loss, the other driver must pay fair market value so you can buy a replacement. You may be entitled to compensation for other damaged property too, such as a smart phone, computer, jewelry, and more.
Medical Bills: The distracted driver must pay for your medical bills. These might include doctor visits, emergency room costs, even physical therapy, and chiropractic care. You are entitled to compensation for current and future medical expenses.
Lost Wages: You are entitled to compensation for any wages you lost or paid time off and sick leave you took while recovering. You may also recover compensation for lost future earning capacity if the accident caused permanent disability.
Pain and Suffering: You can receive compensation from the other driver for your physical pain, mental anguish, and loss of marital intimacy.
Why hire a lawyer after a distracted driving accident?
Distracted driving cases are never cut-and-dry. The other driver and their insurance company will do their best to avoid liability. Work with a lawyer at our firm to study the details of your case, identify the damages you might be entitled to, and then build your case.
At Lovins Trosclair, PLLC, we will pursue your case aggressively to get you the compensation to which you’re entitled. If necessary, we will bring the responsible party and the insurance company to court. You don’t pay a fee until you win your case. Call us today for a no-risk consultation: 512-535-1649.