The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has taken repeated steps to promote awareness of the nationwide threat posed by distracted driving. Distracted driving is an inherently dangerous behavior, and it poses a threat to public safety in every community. Many different causes can lead to distracted driving, from simple carelessness to the use of electronic devices. Accidents incurred by distracted drivers can have expensive, painful, and even fatal consequences. This is why it is crucial to contact St Petersburg distracted driving lawyer if you find yourself injured in an accident with a negligent driver.
The latest data collected by the NHTSA suggests that roughly 3,000 deaths in auto accidents can be ascribed to distracted driving every year. Death is not the only adverse consequence that distracted driving can produce; distracted driving accidents can cause serious injuries. If you or someone you love was involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, it’s a good idea to seek experienced legal advice. The St Petersburg car accident lawyers at Winters & Yonker can defend your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for the damages incurred by the accident.
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What are Common Causes of Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is a possibility in virtually any driving situation. Texting while driving is currently the most reported-on form of distracted driving, but it is by no means the only negligent behavior that can lead to accidents. Any of the following behaviors can distract a driver and make them a risk to themselves and others:
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting car controls (e.g. music or climate controls)
- Watching the navigation system instead of the road
- Speaking or texting on a cell phone
- Speaking to passengers
Distracted driving is not a recent phenomenon, and it happens in every community in the nation. Distracted driving is currently on the rise due to the increasing spread of electronic devices, many of which are used in the car. Using a cellphone or similar device in the car is extremely dangerous because it demands physical, mental, and visual attention that should more properly be devoted to driving. The risk of causing or being involved in an accident is significantly elevated for drivers using cellphones when compared to those that do not.
The clear link between cellphone usage and increased accident risk has prompted the state legislature of Florida to move toward banning texting while driving. If you’re involved in an accident that was caused by a distracted driver, you need to seek legal assistance to understand all of your options. Any losses you sustain in the accident can and should be compensated if the driver at fault was distracted.
Important Statistics On Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is a major cause in many car accidents, including:
- 16 percent of car accidents in 2014 were connected to distracted driving.
- 24 percent of car accidents involving drivers aged 20-29 were a result of distracted driving.
- 39 percent of accidents involving cell phone usage are distracted driving accidents.
- Among all fatal distracted driving accidents, 61 percent of the drivers involved were killed. Fatality rates for passengers were 22 percent and for pedestrians, 13 percent.
- Of all car accidents, an estimated 18 percent involve distracted driving. 8 percent of all car accidents involve drivers using phones or other devices.
- 7 percent of drivers aged 15-19 are killed in car accidents. In 13 percent of these accidents, the driver at fault was found to be using a cell phone
- 9 percent of all teenage car accident fatalities in 2014 were connected to distracted driving.
- In all fatal accidents, 10 percent of the accidents involved teenage drivers. 52 percent of teenage driver deaths were a result of distracted driving.
- In a survey conducted in 2013, drivers of all age groups reported being aware of the risks involved in distracted driving, with 98 percent of respondents acknowledging the risks.
- NHTSA crash statistics do show a significant reduction in electronic device usage by drivers in 2015.
How is Negligence Proven in Distracted Driving Cases?
Personal injury cases employ different standards of responsibility and different rules regarding evidence when compared to criminal cases. Both types of cases do, however, require the same sort of legal expertise. The negligence of a distracted driver must be established persuasively to a jury to secure a favorable ruling in your distracted driving case. Consult with the Winters & Yonker team to get all of the experienced legal assistance you need to secure a favorable outcome.
Many distracted driving cases are contested by an experienced defense team; these lawyers will do their utmost to shift the responsibility for the accident away from their client. This is another reason why a Florida injury firm with ample distracted driving experience is a great asset in your case. We can put our expertise at your disposal and maximize your chance of securing the compensation you deserve.
Even if your distracted driver case does not go all the way to court, you still need expert legal advice to protect your interests when dealing with insurance companies and healthcare providers. With an experienced law firm, you minimize the risk of missing out on the compensation you deserve after your accident.
The Winters & Yonker team has successfully represented hundreds of clients in distracted driving cases. We’re intimately familiar with these cases and will do everything in our power to make the process less stressful for you. Get started today by calling our firm and talking to a personal injury lawyer. We welcome inquiries from anyone living in St. Petersburg.
What Kind Of Damages Are Awarded In A Distracted Driving Case?
The compensation paid to a distracted driving accident victim depends on many different factors. The injuries you sustained and their long-term outcomes are particularly important. While insurance companies will often offer you a settlement that initially seems attractive, you need to carefully assess your ongoing financial needs and ensure that you are taken care of.
Many distracted driving accidents are preventable, but individual accidents will continue to occur as long as drivers refuse to acknowledge the risks created by their dangerous behavior. The negligence of a distracted driver can have permanent and sorrowful consequences for you and your family.
Compensation in distracted driving cases typically begins with an assessment of the injuries the victim sustained. Damages can also be sought to cover lost wages and future medical treatment (mental as well as physical) required to recover from the injuries.
Judging the proper amount of compensation in a personal injury case without the aid of an experienced lawyer is not recommended. Without the protection of an attorney, you may be vulnerable to insurance adjusters who attempt to dictate compensation in the favor of their companies rather than you, the victim. Adjusters typically try to settle distracted driving cases as quickly and cheaply as possible. Talk to Winters & Yonker to make sure your interests are professionally defended and you receive full and fair compensation for your loss.
Call Winters & Yonker to Speak with a St Petersburg Distracted Driving LAwyer Today
When a distracted driver causes an accident through his or her negligence, it is entirely appropriate for the victims to pursue legal action. It is important to hold distracted drivers accountable not only for your own sake but also to discourage similar behavior from other drivers in the future. When you’re ready to launch your distracted driving case in St. Petersburg, speak to the legal experts at Winters & Yonker to get started.
Under the state laws that apply in St. Petersburg, distracted driving accident victims can file a personal injury claim within four years of the date of the accident. Whether your accident occurred recently or at any time within that four-year window, contact our St Petersburg personal injury lawyers today to get the effective, experienced legal representation you need to make your claim successful. Remember, your initial consultation with the Winters & Yonker legal team is always completely free of charge.