Most Common Distractions While Driving

June 1, 2024 | David Abels
Most Common Distractions While Driving

Some of the most common distractions while driving are cell phones, conversations, and scenes outside the vehicle. There is no shortage of distractions, as one’s own thoughts can even be a distraction from safe driving.

When someone’s distraction leads to an accident, victims should demand fair compensation. A car accident lawyer will seek the compensation you deserve from the distracted driver’s insurer or the driver.

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What Qualifies as a Distraction?

The definition of distracted driving is broad, as one authority defines it as “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” It can include:

  • Engaging in conversation on the phone or with someone inside the vehicle
  • Engaging with pets inside the vehicle
  • Turning one’s attention to other motorists (which can include road rage)
  • Becoming lost in thought
  • Texting
  • Searching one’s phone for media (such as music)
  • Reaching for items inside the vehicle
  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Using social media
  • Taking photographs or video

Any act that reduces one’s ability to drive safely can qualify as a distraction. Despite efforts to crack down on distracted driving, motorists continue to engage in these high-risk behaviors.

Cell Phone Distractions Are Common Collision Causes

Texting While Driving

The rise of cell phones has undoubtedly increased the danger of distracted driving. Young drivers are particularly likely to engage in distracted driving, and their reliance on mobile devices helps explain this.

Your attorney may pull cell phone records, review social media records, and take other steps to prove a link between cell phone usage and your collision. Such steps may be necessary if the at-fault party denies responsibility or even accuses you of causing the accident.

Distracted Drivers Are Often Financially Responsible for Victims’ Damages

Though there can be exceptions, distracted drivers are often the parties responsible for accidents. There is a clear link between distracting behaviors and heightened accident risk, so it is no coincidence that distracted motorists usually cause collisions.

Your attorney will identify the failures of a distracted driver that led to your accident, which may include:

  • Taking one or both hands off the wheel
  • Taking their eyes off the road
  • Failing to think about driving safely (and anticipate changing road conditions)
  • Failing to react quickly to changing road conditions (like vehicles stopping ahead)

The fact that the motorist caused the accident should make them financially responsible for your damages. However, proving the driver’s distraction can be crucial to your case’s success.

What Should I Do After a Collision with a Distracted Driver?

You should take action to protect your health after a collision with a distracted driver and prioritize securing fair compensation for accident-related damages.

Protecting Your Health and Prioritizing Recovery

Protecting your health can also help any insurance claim or lawsuit you pursue later. Many accident victims benefit from the following:

  • Getting a detailed medical exam: Receiving treatment from emergency responders is not always enough to ensure your health. You may visit a trusted doctor or other providers for a more comprehensive exam. It may include taking X-rays or other images of your accident-related injuries.
  • Keeping records of injuries and symptoms: Your doctor should provide extensive notes about your injuries and symptoms. However, you are uniquely positioned to detail your experience. You may take photographs of visible injuries, take notes about pain and other symptoms, and track your recovery.
  • Resting: It is important not to exert yourself after a distracted driving accident. If you are too active or don’t follow your doctor’s advice, you may worsen injuries or cause new health issues. Importantly, you may be vulnerable to liable parties’ attempts not to pay you fairly.

If you are uncertain whether you have received the necessary medical care, your attorney can review your medical records and advise you. If necessary, your attorney will help you obtain any additional care.

Prioritizing Your Financial Recovery by Hiring an Attorney

Distracted driving accidents can cost victims tens of thousands of dollars or substantially more if injuries happen. You deserve a financial recovery, and you can work towards this goal by:

  • Hiring a proven car accident lawyer: An car accident lawyer will fight for a settlement or judgment covering your accident-related damages. In the process, they will protect and advise you. Once you hire a lawyer, you no longer have to worry about your claim or related lawsuit.
  • Letting your lawyer deal with insurers: Your attorney will represent you with insurers, and you should let them do so. One or more insurance companies may try to withhold fair compensation from you. Your lawyer will ensure no insurers can violate your rights, talk you into an unfair settlement, or take other harmful actions.
  • Reaching out to your attorney with questions or concerns: A lawyer is a resource to take advantage of. Reach out with questions or concerns. It is particularly true if you are considering taking action that can be consequential to your case (like giving a statement to an insurance company)

Every accident victim’s circumstances are unique. Your attorney will help you determine how to seek compensation for your damages, which may include an insurance claim or lawsuit.

Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Attorney

Before hiring a lawyer, you may not realize the many benefits of having an attorney. These benefits will soon become clear as you:

  • Will have more time for recovery: Those who fail to hire a lawyer may recover more slowly or present a weak case. It is because their time is divided between their health needs and their case. With a lawyer helping, you can focus all necessary attention on your health.
  • Won’t be bothered by insurers: Insurance companies can be an inconvenience—or worse—when you are recovering after an accident. If a lawyer represents you, you won’t have to worry about unwanted contact or bad-faith insurance tactics.
  • Will hear regularly from your attorney: Your attorney will provide peace of mind by contacting you regularly. They will respect your right to recovery and privacy and ensure you know where your case stands. This should also assure you that your case is moving forward quickly.
  • Will only have to make major case-related decisions: Your attorney will handle your case’s day-to-day responsibilities. You will only have to worry about big-picture decisions, like whether to accept an insurance company’s settlement offer.

Hiring a lawyer can relieve a massive burden, provide much-needed peace of mind, and lead to the financial recovery you deserve.

An Attorney Will Lead Your Case from Start to Finish

Your health should be your priority, and your lawyer will be focused on securing the money you are entitled to. A car accident attorney will earn their fee by:

Detailing the Distracted Driver’s Negligence

Whether you are pursuing compensation through insurance or a lawsuit, proving the liable parties’ negligence will be key. Your lawyer may do this by:

  • Obtaining witness accounts of how the motorist caused the accident
  • Obtaining any cell records or other proof of the driver’s distraction
  • Citing the driver’s own admission of their distraction
  • Securing video footage of the accident
  • Obtaining a copy of the police report related to your accident

Your attorney will actively seek all evidence to benefit your claim or lawsuit.

Documenting Damages from Your Accident

Your attorney must convince insurance companies or other parties to cover the cost of your accident and may do so using the following:

  • Medical bills for your accident-related injuries
  • Records detailing your injuries and symptoms
  • Proof of your inability to work (and past pay statements proving how much income you have lost)
  • A mental health professional’s diagnosis of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other pain and suffering
  • Invoices for the repair or replacement of your vehicle (and other personal property)

This documentation will be valuable if insurers or other parties challenge the nature or cost of your damages.

Negotiating a Settlement (After Determining Your Case Value)

Your lawyer will present proof of your damages and negotiate a settlement with the liable parties. This often means going back and forth with insurance company representatives.

Settlement negotiations are:

  • Often complicated
  • High stakes, especially if you have severe injuries
  • The most common way to resolve cases like yours
  • Familiar to personal injury lawyers

Your car accident lawyer’s background in negotiating financial agreements will be valuable in your case. They will organize all case materials to support their case, and they may ultimately convince liable parties to pay you fairly.

Evaluating Offers with You

Your attorney will review all settlement offers with you. They will:

  • Inform you as soon as an offer comes in
  • Explain whether they believe the offer is fair
  • Listen to your opinion about the offer
  • Explain the next steps if you choose not to accept the offer

Attorneys provide transparent advice so clients can make informed decisions about settlement offers.

Victims of distracted drivers often have the option of suing. You may have the same option.

If it makes sense, a lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf. They can even take your case to court and work to convince a jury to pay you fairly. These options are two of the benefits of hiring a car accident attorney.

Damages Your Lawyer Will Include in Your Case

Compensatory Damages

The term “damages” refers to the harm accident victims suffer. In your case, damages may directly result from a distracted driver’s negligence. Your lawyer will work to have the driver’s insurer (or the driver) pay for the following:

Your Pain and Suffering

The category of damages called pain and suffering can include:

  • Pain from injuries you suffer during the accident, including chronic pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a relatively common problem among auto accident victims
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Lost quality of life
  • Sleep problems

If any of your injuries cause scarring or disfigurement, your attorney will account for the difficulty this presents.

Your Vehicle Damage

If your vehicle was damaged during the accident, your lawyer will seek fair compensation for:

  • Repairing the vehicle
  • Replacing the vehicle if it was totaled
  • Obtaining temporary transport, whether it’s a rental car, ridesharing, or other transportation
  • Replacing any other property damaged during the distracted driving accident

Every damage counts and your lawyer will accurately calculate all accident-related property damage.

Distracted drivers often leave their victims ailing and unable to work, which can cause:

  • Lost income
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Inability to secure performance bonuses, promotions, and overtime compensation

If any of your injuries are disabling, your lawyer will consider the long-term professional cost of your accident. You can be entitled to income replacement through retirement age.

Your Medical Bills

Your attorney will monitor your treatment and recovery. They will secure records from your doctor and demand compensation for all accident-related medical services.

Car accident lawyers sometimes have clients whose injuries have not healed by the time they negotiate a settlement. Attorneys can effectively account for future medical costs to ensure the client faces no financial burden for future care.

Each person harmed by a distracted driver has a unique story to tell. Your attorney will survey the full scope of your accident-related damages. They will present settlement demands reflecting those damages.

How Much Will It Cost Me to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?

You will not have to pay an out-of-pocket cost to hire a car accident attorney. Instead, you will only have to agree to a contingency fee.

A contingency fee means the law firm pays the cost of completing your case and only receives a fee if it succeeds for you. This arrangement prevents you from paying any out-of-pocket costs or having to worry about the cost of hiring an attorney.

There Is No Time to Wait Before Hiring Your Attorney

Your legal team will have a deadline for filing your case if you require litigation, so don’t wait to find your personal injury lawyer. Once you hire your firm, they will immediately begin fighting for the compensation you deserve. They can begin gathering and preserving evidence to build the strongest case possible.

Consultations are free, so you have no reason to wait. Seek the legal support and peace of mind you need today.

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David Abels

Partner

David Abels has carved a niche for himself in the personal injury law sector, dedicating a substantial part of his career since 1997 to representing victims of various accidents. With a law practice that spans over two decades, his expertise has been consistently recognized within the legal community.

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