Crash stats from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimate fatalities involving at least one distracted driver hit 3,142 in 2019, representing a 9.9% increase from 2,858 in 2018. Beyond the fatalities, injuries sustained after a distracted driving accident will not only cost you money in medical bills but also reduce your quality of life.
If you have been involved in a distracted driving car crash, you need to act quickly and secure legal help from a personal injury lawyer in Pacific West Law. We know the proper steps to take in uncovering sources of liability to successfully negotiate with insurers and get the right compensation for your claim. Continue reading for more details.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that can divert a driver’s focus from the road, such as looking at the scenery, texting, talking on the phone, and more. Most distracted driving cases lead to rear-end crashes and accidents resulting from running red lights or a driver merging into another lane.
The state law NRS §484B.165 forbids drivers from using a handheld communication device to text, engage in voice communication, or even read data without a hands-free device. Drivers who fail to abide by this law are liable due to negligence while driving in a personal injury case.
Why Distracted Driving Is a Dangerous Offense
Drivers should always have their full attention on the road to safely operate a motor vehicle. However, today’s fast-paced environment leads drivers to multitask, and even the slightest distractions can endanger the lives of other drivers and pedestrians. Several potential distractions could take off a driver’s attention on the road, including:
- Cognitive distractions: This encompasses all elements that could interrupt mental focus and concentration while driving.
- Visual distractions: Anything that could take your eyes off the road is a visual distraction.
- Manual distraction: Any element that could tempt a driver from taking their hands from the steering wheel.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that a car crash risk doubles whenever a driver has visual distractions for more than two seconds. In case the distraction affects the driver’s hands and mind, the risk could even be more severe.
How Do You Prove that a Driver Was Distracted?
As a victim of a distracted driving car accident, you have to prove that the driver was at fault or was negligent during the car crash, which led to your injuries. However, proving that a driver was distracted isn’t similar to proving other forms of negligence like driving under the influence of drugs or driving while intoxicated. You will have to gather as much evidence as possible after a distracted driving accident such as:
- Witness testimonies
- Pictures showing the angles of impact of the vehicle
- Police reports
- Any available video footage of the car crash
- Testimony from the responsible party
- Any cell phone data reports such as sending texts and browsing the internet at the time of the accident
Most distracted car accident victims find it hard to obtain some of these types of evidence on their own. As a result, you should work with a seasoned personal injury lawyer to help you maneuver through the evidence-gathering procedure. Our attorneys know the right channels to use while requesting specific evidence types such as cell phone logs, sending spoliation letters, hiring an accident reconstruction expert, and more.
Determining Liability Based on Negligence
Even after gathering substantial evidence showing that a driver was at fault for the car accident, insurers can still offer a low payout or even deny your claim. Note that insurance companies usually have a savvy legal team to represent them in case of such incidents, making it difficult to take them on by yourself. As a result, you will want to consider hiring your own legal representation to protect your interests and rights.
Determining liability in a distracted driving accident is fact-specific, and you only get compensation if you hold the other party accountable for your damages and injuries. Negligence is the most common basis for determining liability. You can hold a driver responsible for their negligent driving behavior with distractions that caused harm to motorists or pedestrians.
Nevada’s tort-based car insurance law holds a distracted driver legally responsible for any injuries or damages they cause in a motor vehicle accident. You could get financial compensation if a driver wasn’t paying enough attention while driving, leading to a collision with your vehicle, bicycle, or even hitting you as a pedestrian.
What Compensation Can You Get After a Distracted Driving Accident?
Under state law, if you are a distracted driving accident victim, you have a legal right to recover money equal to your losses’ value. You can get compensation for your loss in wages, vehicle repairs, lost quality of life, emergency room fees, physical therapy, diminishing earning power, and past and future medical costs caused by the injuries sustained in the accident.
Why Should You Seek Legal Assistance?
After a car accident, you may decide to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and wait for the insurer to offer you a settlement. However, insurance companies will always try to offer less than what you deserve for your damages and possible injuries. Still, the responsible driver or the car accident company will also try to shift the blame for the crash on your shoulders.
An experienced legal team knows how to navigate through the entire claims process. Also, a lawyer has the know-how to deal with insurers and the at-fault party despite all the frustration they try to put in your case. You can concentrate on other issues, knowing that an attorney will work towards protecting your best interests.
Find the Right Attorney for Your Case at Pacific West Injury Law
If you or a loved one is a victim of distracted driving in Las Vegas, you need legal representation to get the best out of your case. At Pacific West Law, we have dealt with similar cases before, so you can trust our attorneys to protect your legal rights and get the best compensation for your damages. Contact us anytime to schedule a free case review.