Victims of Distracted Drivers
Over the years, technology for mobile devices has skyrocketed. More and more people use their phones every day not just to call their friends and family, but to also search the internet, listen to music, browse apps, shop, or to use a plethora of other features. Although the development has benefitted us in many ways, it’s also created a distracted driver problem.
Texting, calling or using a phone isn’t the only way a driver can be distracted. Often distracted drivers will “multi-task” by eating, changing the radio station, fumbling through their bag, or doing any other activity that would distract them from driving. Many believe that “multi-tasking” while driving is harmless. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 1,000 crashes in the United States a day that can be contributed to distracted driving. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims that distracted drivers are just as likely to cause a automobile crash as an inebriated driver. Victims who have been involved in a crash with a distracted driver have the right to seek monetary compensation from the responsible party for their damages.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one to a distracted driving, then we urge you to get in contact with the skilled attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C..
Distracted Driving Accident Attorney in West Des Moines, Iowa
Distracted driving is one of the leading factors of motor vehicle accident injury and death throughout the United States. Distracted drivers who text and drive are not only breaking Iowa’s distracted driving laws but are also putting their fellow drivers at risk. If you or someone you love has suffered serious injury or even wrongful death due to a distracted driving accident, the attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. can help you get justice by working tirelessly to secure a monetary award that will cover all your losses.
Our distracted driving accident attorney, Gregory Landry, is reputable in the personal injury field with over 37 years of experience. He can work one-on-one with you and guide you through this legal process with personalized focus and genuine care for your case. Additionally, Gregory Landry will not hesitate to zealously advocate for his clients in court to obtain fair compensation for all their damages. To set up your first consultation with Gregory Landry, contact McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. at (515) 279-9700 today.
McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including West Des Moines, Ankeny, Altoona, Johnston, Polk City, Pleasant Hill, Bondurant, Alleman, Windsor Heights, Adel, Dallas Center, Perry, Waukee, Redfield, Minburn, and De Soto.
- Research Involving Distracted Drivers
- How Do I Prove the Driver Was Distracted?
- Tips to Avoid Distracted Drivers
- Additional Resources
Research Involving Distracted Drivers
It’s likely you’ve heard a friend or family member in the past claim they are good at “multi-tasking” and driving. According to research, this is simply not possible. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration conducted an in-depth study monitoring the brain activity of distracted drivers versus attentive drivers. The data suggested that talking on the phone, even if it’s hands-free, takes up 39 percent of energy normally devoted to driving.
Cell phones aren’t the only distractor that take up brain activity while driving. Other distractions such as changing the radio station, eating food, talking to passengers, or fumbling through a bag can also affect your attentiveness. These distractions and others are dangerous as they can slow the driver’s perception and delay their decision making.
NHTSA defines distractions into three categories. These three main types include:
- Mental Distractions – Any activity that causes your mind to wander from the task at hand and requires mental concentration is a mental distraction. Some examples of these include talking on the phone or checking on passengers in the backseat.
- Visual Distractions – When an activity causes the driver to take their eyes off the road it’s called a visual distraction. Examples of visual distractions include changing the radio, fumbling through a bag to grab something, texting, and looking at your phone.
- Manual Distractions – If the driver takes one or both hands off the wheel to complete another activity, that’s known as a manual distraction. Manual distractions that often happen on the road include eating or changing a CD, song or radio station.
How Do I Prove the Driver Was Distracted?
Motorists must abide by and respect Iowa’s traffic laws to protect both other drivers and pedestrians. Drivers who knowingly and recklessly are inattentive at the wheel are putting the public at risk. If the driver is distracted because they are texting and driving, then they are also breaking state laws. These facts are enough to determine that a driver is liable if they cause injury or death to another person while driving distracted. So, if you’ve been struck by a distracted driver, how do you prove it?
Personal injury cases involving negligence use the lowest standard of proof known as preponderance of evidence. Under the preponderance standard, the burden of proof is met when the party with the burden convinces the court that there is a greater than 50 percent chance that the claim is true. This means to receive a monetary award the plaintiff’s evidence must have more weight than the defendant. The best way to ensure you have a strong case for your personal injury claim is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney.
An experienced personal injury attorney can collect evidence that proves the responsible party who hit your vehicle or person was distracted including, but not limited to:
- Surveillance videos of the accident
- Witness testimony
- Proof of the driver’s admission of guilt
- Photographs from the accident
- Previous texting and driving citations from the defendant
- Police reports detailing how the defendant was distracted
- Cell phone records that prove the defendant was texting or on the phone
If the court rules in your favor, then the judge will award you a monetary award based on your damages. The court will assess the facts of the case and determine the appropriate value for the damages granted to you. Some damages you may recover include, but are not limited to:
- Medical costs
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Tips to Avoid Distracted Drivers
Unfortunately, something as simple and inane as driving can be dangerous if a distracted driver is around. It’s important you’re not only vigilant of the road, but also of other drivers. Not recognizing that a driver is distracted and could be a potential risk may lead to a serious car accident resulting in injury or even wrongful death. Understanding the signs of a distracted driver will help you avoid any potential crashes.
Some common signs of a distracted driver include, but are not limited to:
- Vehicles that are blasting music
- Swerving vehicles
- Automobiles that are moving at inconsistent speeds
- Drivers who are holding objects such as cigarettes, food, or a cell phone
- Drivers that appear to be in deep conversation and aren’t looking at the road
Distracted Driving – Visit the official website for the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) and learn more about distracted driving. Find more information about the different types of distracted drivers, the legal consequences, and upcoming plans by NHTSA to reduce distracted driving.
11 Facts About Texting and Driving – Visit the official website for DoSomething.org, a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire others to make long-lasting positive impact on the world. The article lists eleven facts, data, and statistics about texting and driving.
Injury Attorney for Distracted Driving Accidents in West Des Moines, Iowa
If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of a distracted driver, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your losses. Learn your legal options by consulting the experienced and knowledgably car accident attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. Our personal injury lawyer, Gregory Landry, has over 37 years of practice under his belt he can utilize for your case.
Set up your first consultation by calling McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. at (515) 279-9700 today. During the consultation, attorney Gregory Landry will review the facts of your case and develop a legal plan with you. We are based in West Des Moines, but McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Des Moines area including Polk County and Dallas County, Iowa.