Distracted driving accidents are on the rise. Cell phone use has pushed these crashes to crisis-level proportions in recent years. People assume they can concentrate on driving tasks while engaging in text conversations, but the statistics prove otherwise. There are an astounding 1.6 million car accidents that involve driving distractions each year. Of these accidents, 390,00 injuries occur due to texting incidents.
However, distractions while driving were serious issues before smartphones appeared on the scene. Many things draw people’s attention away from their responsibilities behind the wheel. The outcomes are frequently devastating for victims. When injured in a car accident, it is essential to have legal representation before proceeding with a claim. These cases can be complex when trying to establish fault in an accident. Jason Stone Injury Lawyers is the team you need to protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is engaging in an activity while driving that diverts your attention from the physical and mental tasks necessary to operate a vehicle safely. These are the four main types of distractions:
- Visual: Taking eyes off the road to observe something happening inside or around the vehicle.
- Manual: Using hands for tasks not related to driving.
- Auditory: Listening to or hearing something that interferes with attention to driving.
- Cognitive: Thinking about things that cause attention to stray from driving.
Many accidents involve one or more of these diversions occurring simultaneously. In the case of texting, it requires visual, manual and cognitive functions. Distracted drivers are dangerous, and you need an attorney by your side if you are hurt due to someone’s negligent actions.
Why Is It Serious?
Distracted drivers put other motorists at a greater risk of death or permanent injury. When a driver fails to pay attention, the chance that an impact will occur rises significantly. A driver may have little to no reaction time, so a collision at higher speeds is likely. The force of a high-speed impact could leave you with debilitating injuries. These are some injuries that happen because of careless drivers:
- Broken bones
- Severe cuts and contusions
- Internal injuries
- Brain and head trauma
- Crushing injuries
- Nerve damage
Chronic pain is a serious medical concern after an accident. It can take years to recover or require ongoing treatment throughout your lifetime. It is imperative to get fair compensation for your injuries, so you can take the steps to reclaim your life. Jason Stone’s team is here to help guide you through the legal journey.
What Is Important To Understand About Distracted Driving Claims?
All distracted driving incidents revolve around this central issue: loss of focus on driving. Here are the primary reasons distractions occur in car accidents:
- Vehicle-related issues: sound systems, navigation systems, controls or displays
- Items carried into the vehicle: smartphones, food, grooming tools, pets
- External distractions: signage, scenery, people, vehicles
- Attention issues: conversations with passengers or via phone, lost in thought processes, daydreams, emotional concerns
While people are responsible for their actions while operating a motor vehicle, proving how another party’s activities directly correspond to your injuries in an accident can be problematic. In personal injury lawsuits, there are four main criteria a defendant needs to prove before a formal filing: duty, breach, causation and damages. Without these components, there is no case. It is imperative to have an attorney prove the merits of your claim, so your rights are protected after a distracted driving accident.
What Vehicle Accidents Are Caused by Distracted Drivers?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 20% of accidents result from distracted driving. An accident can change your entire life in a moment. Distracted driving causes serious bodily injury in these events.
Car accidents are a significant cause of injury in distracted driving incidents. While it is difficult to know how many people are texting in cars, an extraordinary 23.6 % of people report that they do text while driving. Additionally, a whopping 52.5 % of drivers eat while operating a vehicle. Massachusetts’ Safe Driving Law bans receiving, sending and reading texts using a handheld device while operating a motor vehicle. Your attorney knows how to use the laws pertaining to distracted driving to apply to your case.
Distractions in truck accidents lead to devastating consequences. The weight, speed and size of trucks make the injuries sustained in these accidents horrific and, in many instances, permanently debilitating. Due to the nature of their work, truckers are distracted in many ways.
Truckers have had more onboard equipment to monitor inside their cabs in recent years. They are also communicating and receiving information and messages using smartphones. The problem of texting while driving is such a serious concern that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued regulations that prohibit cell phone use while driving commercial motor vehicles.
Where motorcycle accidents are concerned, most riders are distracted by external happenings that cause them to crash into other vehicles. Bikers are often struck by distracted drivers, which makes them highly vulnerable to severe injuries. Jason Stone Injury Lawyers is the team you need when a car, truck or motorcycle accident leads to personal injury.
What Damages Can You Recover?
Under Massachusetts law, an accident victim who qualifies to file a personal injury lawsuit can seek damages when another party’s negligent actions cause them harm. You can recover for various damages, and your attorney calculates losses that fall under two main groups: economic (monetary) damages and non-economic (non-monetary) damages.
These are the main types of economic losses incurred from accidents:
- Medical costs (past and future)
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Lost earning capacity
- Rehabilitation services
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Numerous factors go into the determination of a damage amount. Your injuries may worsen over time, requiring extensive medical treatment. You may have a disabling condition that prevents you from returning to your former life. It’s essential to know you have the compensation to care for yourself and your loved ones and get the help you need to continue healing. Your attorney knows how to push for a fair outcome aggressively.
These are the main types of non-economic losses due to serious accidents:
- Pain and suffering (physical and emotional injury)
- Disfigurement (burns, scars, bodily appearance changes, nerve issues, lost limbs)
- Loss of life enjoyment
In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury suit is three years. It is best to get started with an attorney immediately after car accidents, truck accidents, or motorcycle accidents. It can take time to resolve distracted driving cases, and it is important to gather all the facts related to your case while the information is obtainable. Filing a lawsuit years after the fact makes it a much more complicated process regarding witness testimony and collecting evidence.
How Does Fault Work in Massachusetts Car Accidents?
Massachusetts is a no-fault car insurance state. Your car insurance covers your medical costs and other designated losses no matter who is responsible for a crash. However, there are exceptions where you can pursue a damage recovery against the at-fault driver:
- You incur at least $2,000 in medical expenses due to your injuries
- You suffer permanent or severe injuries, disfigurements, or a significant loss of vision or hearing
Under these circumstances, you can file a third-party insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the driver. Additionally, you can seek compensation for various damages, including non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, which you cannot recover in a no-fault claim.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer After a Distracted Driving Accident?
Since Massachusetts is a no-fault car insurance state, victims of distracted drivers might think they don’t need an attorney. Unfortunately, negotiating with an insurance company is not as straightforward as you think. Insurers protect their interests, which usually means paying the lowest settlement amount possible.
A lawyer organizes and prepares all the facts and information about your claim. This is presented to an adjuster or other insurance representative handling your claim, so it is clear why you are seeking a particular damage amount. Almost 96% of personal injury claims settle outside of a courtroom, so having an attorney to fight for compensation is a crucial step. Moreover, Massachusetts is a modified comparative fault state. If you need to file a personal injury lawsuit, this rule affects the amount you recover if you have a percentage of fault for your injuries. A lawyer knows how to work with issues involving personal liability.
Hire a Law Firm That Works With You and For You
Jason Stone Injury Lawyers makes a commitment to clients to provide professional customer service. With our firm, you are not just another case. We understand how devastating car accidents are and how they can change lives. Our mission is to protect your rights throughout the recovery process and provide experienced legal representation if your case goes to court.
We stand behind our commitment with the Stone Cold Guarantee®. We want to ensure you have a positive experience which is why the first element of the guarantee is “We get paid only after you get paid.” We offer a free and immediate case consultation. There’s No Obligation, Just Information®.