Distracted Driving Car Accidents
Millions of North Carolina residents get behind the wheel every day. When we do, it’s easy to forget that driving is a complex task with multiple demands on our attention. It’s not merely that our eyes need to be on the road and our hands on the wheel – our minds also have to be in the game.
Because so many people drive so often, it’s easy to become comfortable behind the wheel, to overestimate one’s driving abilities, and to get distracted. The explosion of in-car technology in recent years – from smartphones, to GPS navigation units, to in-vehicle computer screens and more – has meant that potential distractions have only increased. And it only takes one distraction and a few seconds for a driver to cause a serious accident.
If you’ve been injured in a distracted driving crash, you may be feeling a complex mix of emotions. Anger at the driver who failed to pay attention. Worry that your injuries will prevent you from working or caring for your family the way you once did. Anxiety about the future.
If these sound familiar, don’t wait. Call the attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik, P.A., today. You will work directly with an experienced legal team who will be dedicated to your case. Our attorneys have received the highest rating from the respected Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and our firm uses a state-of-the-art case management system to ensure attentive representation.
Contact us today to learn more about your options during a free consultation.
What Causes A Distracted Driving Accident?
Distracted driving crashes are on the rise nationwide. Any distraction can cause a crash if it takes the driver’s eyes, hands, or mind off the task of driving. Although texting and cell phone calls continue to make headlines as the sources of distracted driving crashes, other common causes include:
- Eating or drinking. Fast food has made eating or drinking on the go seem easier than ever, but trying to grab a meal while driving can be dangerous, and eating while driving is frequently a distraction.
- In-car technology. Anything from the GPS navigation system to the radio can distract a driver’s eyes, hands, or attention from the road long enough to cause an accident.
- Other passengers. Passengers can help a driver spot oncoming hazards, or they can distract a driver with chatter, horsing around, or other distracting behaviors. Drivers often have the power to set the tone in their vehicles, but some do not use this power until it is too late.
- Distractions outside the vehicle. Wildlife, traffic accidents, construction zones, or even billboards can distract drivers’ attention from the road ahead.
- Distractions inside the driver’s head. Even when the hands and eyes are focused on the task of driving, strong emotions like anger or tough mental tasks like trying to work out a difficult problem can absorb so much of the driver’s attention that he or she doesn’t have enough left for the road. Truck drivers may be preoccupied by deadlines or time logging and may lose control of their trucks.
The type of distraction matters less than how much attention it diverts from the road. For instance, a few moments of worrying about an upcoming deadline are less likely to distract a driver than sending repeated text messages – a task that takes the eyes, hands, and mind off the task of driving.
What to Do If You’re Injured by a Distracted Driver
If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, keep these steps in mind to maximize your chances at recovering your health and protecting your legal rights:
- See a doctor immediately.
During your distracted driving crash, you or someone else may have called 911, bringing emergency medical teams to the scene. Perhaps you were taken to a local hospital for evaluation. If so, be sure to follow all medical instructions, including any instructions to follow up with your own doctor. If not, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can. Your doctor will help determine the extent of your injuries and help you recover.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions.
If you are given instructions for follow-up care, medications, or medical devices, follow these instructions carefully. Keep every follow-up appointment with your own doctor, as well as appointments with specialists or other healthcare providers like physical therapists or occupational therapists. This will help you build a full record of your medical losses and maximize your chances for the fullest possible recovery. If you have to cancel an appointment due to the pain you are suffering, be sure to tell the office that’s the reason you are canceling.
- Gather all the information you can.
Keep copies of bills related to your accident in a safe place. Include not only medical bills, but also items like medications and medical devices, mileage to and from your appointments, and repair costs for your vehicle or other damaged items. If you have had to hire someone to do at-home tasks you cannot do because of your injuries, like cleaning, yardwork, or childcare, keep a copy of these bills as well.
- Don’t accept a settlement or admit fault without talking to your lawyer first.
When you contact your insurance agent or an adjuster after a serious accident, it can seem as though he or she is on your side. Many agents are sympathetic after a crash, especially if you’ve worked with them for several years. However, it is crucial to remember that insurance company agents and adjusters work for the insurer, not for you. Don’t accept a settlement without first talking to your attorney to make sure that it meets your needs. Likewise, don’t say the accident was your fault – even if you suspect it was. It’s not always clear who was responsible for a crash immediately after it happens. Instead, work with your lawyer to investigate the crash and determine its true cause.
Our Dedicated Raleigh Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers Are Here For You
The attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik, P.A., are dedicated to providing excellent, kind, and compassionate service to you and to every client we represent. From our first meeting with you, we listen carefully to your concerns and plan ways to work with you to overcome challenges and reach the goals that matter most to you. At every stage of your case, we stand up for you, fighting aggressively to protect your rights.
You only get one chance to fight for the compensation you deserve after a distracted driving crash. It is vital to present a strong, thoroughly researched case, so that you obtain compensation that will cover both the bills you’re already facing and the expected future costs of the accident. Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik, P.A., can help. Contact us online or call our Raleigh office today for a free, confidential consultation.