Charlotte Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving is a growing concern across the nation. While some types of distractions have been around for a long time, such as adjusting the radio or drinking a coffee, the most dangerous distractions today are those that are held in the palm of the hand. Ordinary cell phones are dangerous enough, but smartphones have taken the risks of distracted driving to a whole new level. On busy interstates like I-77, I-85, and I-485, taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds is similar to driving blind for 100 yards. If you have been hit by a driver who failed to pay attention to the road, the experienced Charlotte distracted driving accident lawyers at Maurer Law can help you as you seek to hold a negligent driver liable for damages like medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses.Holding a Negligent Driver Accountable for a Distracted Driving Accident
According to crash statistics from the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, over 20% of crashes in the state now involve a driver who was distracted. (The NHTSA defines distracted driving as “any non-driving activity a person engages in while operating a motor vehicle.”) In fact, distracted driving now causes significantly more crashes and injuries than alcohol use.
In order to recover compensation from a distracted driver who caused a serious or fatal crash, the plaintiff must be able to make out a case of negligence. This is a four-step process that requires that the elements of duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. The basic concept is that drivers are expected to pay attention to the road and drive safely, and careless drivers can be held accountable if they cause a crash. Succumbing to distractions while driving generally will be viewed as a type of careless behavior, or a “breach of duty.” For example, someone might be busy sending a text message and coast through a traffic light on U.S. 29 or U.S. 74 without noticing it, causing a side-impact collision. A distracted driving accident attorney in Charlotte can help a victim bring a claim when this happens.
If the plaintiff has established liability, it is up to the jury to decide how much money it will take to compensate the plaintiff for their injuries. In assessing this figure, the jury will look at the nature and extent of the victim’s physical and emotional harm resulting from the crash. They will need to consider the likelihood that the injuries will continue to affect the victim’s life in the years to come, the amount of lost time from work that the victim has suffered and may suffer in the future because of the accident, the pain and suffering that the victim has endured, and possibly the loss of consortium between the victim and their spouse, among other factors. Testimony from medical experts, therapists, and people who know the plaintiff may be valuable in this regard. In some cases, punitive damages may be a possibility, although these are reserved for situations involving extreme conduct by a defendant.
Since North Carolina is a pure contributory negligence state, defendants in motor vehicle collision cases often attempt to avoid responsibility by arguing that the plaintiff shared in the fault for a crash. If this argument is successful, the plaintiff receives nothing, even if the bulk of the blame for the accident was on the defendant. Taking an early, aggressive approach to pursuing fair compensation is therefore very important in a car accident case.Hire a Knowledgeable Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in Charlotte
If you or a loved one has been involved in a collision caused by a distracted driver, you need to talk to an attorney about your case now rather than later. Unexpected complications often arise in motor vehicle accident cases, and a delay in seeking counsel may be a very costly mistake. For a free consultation with a car accident attorney, call Maurer Law today at 8704-243-9292 or contact us online. Our Charlotte distracted driving accident attorneys do not get paid unless you get money for your injuries through a verdict or a settlement.