Driver negligence can take many forms. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, reckless driving, and driving while drowsy are all serious forms of negligent driving. Distracted driving is also a form of negligent driving. Examples of distracted driving include cell phone or electronic device use, adjusting vehicle controls, interacting with other passengers, taking your eyes off the road, and eating or drinking while driving.
Of these types of distraction, texting while driving is one of the most serious. This is because someone who texts while driving takes their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel. The driver invariably takes his or her attention off driving as well. These three forms of distraction–mental, visual, and manual–and the frequency with which people do it make texting and driving a serious public safety issue.
If you were involved in a texting and driving accident, please contact the Fitch Law Firm LLC at (614) 545-3930 for assistance with your case.
Texting and Distracted Driving Accidents
A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that almost 3% of all drivers at any given time were using handheld electronic devices. Despite many public health campaigns and the death count of distracted driving accidents, distracted driving is still a common occurrence, and too many people continue to text while driving.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at a speed of about 55 mph, a car can travel the length of an entire football field in a few seconds. This can prove fatal, especially on busy roadways and high-density urban areas. There are roughly 400,000 distracted driver accidents in the United States every year. These accidents can involve heavy commercial trucks, private passenger cars and SUVs, motorcycles, and pedestrians. They can also lead to substantial property damage.
Depending on how a texting while driving accident occurs, some of the injuries commonly seen in vehicle accidents involving distraction include:
- Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs
- Spinal cord injuries, or SCIs
- Neck damage and whiplash
- Torn or stretched nerves
- Broken bones
- Lacerations and cuts
- Lost body parts and amputations
- Internal bleeding
- Muscle sprains and strains
Treatments for these injuries can be expensive and painful—especially invasive treatments such as surgeries, nerve grafts, and muscle transplants that are often used in nerve and muscle damage cases. It can take a long time to recover from them, leaving the injured victim to bear piling costs such as:
- Lost income or a reduced capacity to earn
- Property and/or vehicle damage
- Medical care, therapy, and rehabilitation bills
- Testing and medicine costs
- Travel costs to and from doctor’s appointments
- Incidental costs such as caretaker expenses
A Springfield texting while driving accident lawyer can help you identify which damages you may be entitled to file a claim for as well as the monetary value of the damages you suffered. Some injuries only manifest days or weeks after an accident occurs, and some can take months or longer to recover. Treatment costs during this time can quickly add up, placing a great deal of financial stress on the victim and his or her family.
For a free legal consultation with a texting while driving accidents lawyer serving Springfield, call 614-545-3930
Texting, Driving, and the Law
Texting while driving is illegal. Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §4511.204 classifies texting while driving and the use of any handheld electronic device while operating certain motor vehicles on public roads a minor misdemeanor. If someone who was texting and driving causes substantial damage to property or roadside fixtures, causes a traffic fatality, or is found guilty of repeatedly breaking the law or operating a vehicle without proper licensing and documentation, the courts may levy additional penalties against them.
For a free case review with a member of the Fitch Law Firm LLC, please call (614) 545-3930.
Springfield Texting While Driving Accident Lawyer Near Me 614-545-3930
Liability for Texting While Driving
Anyone can be guilty of texting while driving. This includes truck drivers, car drivers, and motorcycle riders. However, there may be other parties who bear some of the fault for a texting while driving accident. For example, a trucking company may be at fault for poor driver screening or inadequate driver training if an unqualified, an underqualified, or an inexperienced driver causes a truck accident while texting and driving. In such cases, you may be able to seek compensation from the trucking company.
In general, however, liability for distracted driving cases rests on the at-fault party whose distraction caused an accident. Ohio is an at-fault state, and you have the right to seek compensable damages from the at-fault party’s insurance company. You must prove that the driver was negligent while driving—either by texting and driving or otherwise—and that this negligence was the cause of the losses and injuries that you suffer.
Proving this usually involves:
- Interviewing accident eyewitnesses
- Obtaining a cell phone or electronic device usage information
- Obtaining the police report of the accident
- Obtaining photo or video evidence from the accident
Once you have collected all relevant and available evidence, you must determine whether or not you have grounds for a claim. If you do, you must also estimate the value of your losses and damages. This includes estimates of economic costs—usually via aggregating all lost income, medical expenses, and other outlays directly related to your accident—as well as any compensable non-economic costs, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and the loss of care or consortium of a loved one.
We Are a Call Away
We understand the trauma that vehicle accidents can cause—especially preventable accidents caused by the recklessness and negligence of other road users. A Springfield texting while driving accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and put together a claim for damages if your texting while driving case warrants one.
Please contact the Fitch Law Firm LLC at (614) 545-3930 to learn more about Ohio accident laws, personal injury litigation, and the important next steps you should consider before moving forward with a claim.