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Have you been injured by a distracted driver? The Bucks County Distracted Driver Attorneys at Kats, Jamison & Associates are here to help. Since the invention of cell phones, global positioning systems and other portable devices, the number of automobile accidents caused by distracted driving has seen an increase in scale. If you are texting while driving, checking Instagram, or talking on the phone – you may be at higher risk for being involved in an automobile accident. 

If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a car accident due to a carelessness or distracted driver, the lawyers at Kats, Jamison & Associates could help you with filing a personal injury cause.

Types of Distracted Driving

You can be distracted behind the wheel of a car in many different ways. According to the NHSTA (The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) distractions are classified in three main categories:

Cognitivedistractions occur when drivers allow their mind to wander off instead of focusing on the road and things around them. 

Manualdistractions occur when drivers take their hands off the steering wheels.

Visual – distractions occur when drivers take their eyes off the road for a variety of different reasons.

There are some cases, which are particularly dangerous, where a driver is distracted with a combination of any of the three categories listed above. For example, a person who is scrolling through their FaceBook news feed is visually distracted, as well as manually distracted as one hand is holding the phone instead of the steering wheel. They may also be commenting on a post which adds the third category, cognitive distractions. 

Depending on the type(s) of distraction or combination of distractions could create very dangerous circumstances. Here are a list of distractions that commonly occur and should be avoided as much as possible if you want to be a responsible driver:

  • Adjusting the radio
  • Applying makeup
  • Eating
  • Grooming
  • Listening to extremely loud music
  • Looking out at something other than the road in front of you
  • Reading
  • Talking on the phone
  • Using a GPS device

Statute of Limitations in Distracted Driving Cases In Pennsylvania

In most circumstances, the laws of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, an injured car accident victim has two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. There are some extremely limited exceptions, but for the majority of cases, unless a victim files within two years, he or she will lose the right to seek monetary compensation for injuries and damages sustained. 

The timing of your case is very important, so contact an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Distracted Driver Statistics and Laws

Distracted drivers are more and more becoming significant public health concern. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. With the rapid expansion of mobile devices, it is expected that distracted driving accidents are likely to increase as time goes on. To face this issue, many states including Pennsylvania have passed specific legislation limiting or even banning the use of mobile devices while driving.

If you believe that a distracted driver caused your car accident or personal injury, have an experienced and knowledgable Northeast Philadelphia personal injury lawyer review your case to determine whether you have a valid injury claim.

Distracted Driver Laws for Commercial Vehicle Drivers

Federal law has banned commercial vehicle drivers from texting or using mobile devices while driving. These offenders may face significant files in order to deter drives from taking their hands off the wheel. Multiple violations of distracted driving can not only result in large fines, but also could prompt the removal of a drivers license privilege all together.

Commercial vehicles typically include large trucks, vans, and tractor-trailers. Due to their size and weight, these vehicles often have more kinetic energy during impact which could cause serious accidents and devastating injuries to occur. This is especially the case when a driver is distracted at the wheel. When commercial drivers violate the law and cause accidents, their employers and or insurance companies will often be liable for any damages that are to occur.

Children Causing Distracted Driver Accidents

In addition to cell phones and other mobile devices, distractions in the car can occur due to children misbehaving within the vehicle. There are a few ways children can unintentionally cause an automobile accident.

  • Misbehaving – if a child starts misbehaving or throwing a tantrum, it could be easy for a driver to get distracted and lose control of their vehicle.
  • Roughhousing if there are a number of children fighting in the backseat of the car, the driver may have to physically turn around to intervene, therefor losing focus on the road and potentially creating the situation for a car accident.
  • Conversations with children  in cases where a driver is trying to calm down a child, or help them find a lost item, the parents attention is taken away from the road, which could significantly increasing the risk of an automobile accident.

Proving Distracted Driving Caes in Bucks County & Montgomery County

Bucks County and Montgomery County laws prohibit texting while driving as well as other distracting devices. If a driver acts carelessly while operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway, then that driver may face liability for the subsequent injuries and damages.

In distracted driver cases, the injured party always has the responsibility of proving negligence on the other driver or party. To prove negligence in a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver, the injured accident victim must prove the following:

  • Cause The plaintiff must show that the distracted driver created the situation necessary for the accident to occur. 
  • Damages  Calculation of damages both economic and non-economic.
  • DutyBeing a privileged driver holds the responsibility and duty to drive in a reasonable and careful way. In distracted driving cases, drivers are held to the same standard of care of a reasonable person who operates a motor vehicle under the same or similar circumstances.
  • Violation of the duty of care Potentially it is possible to prove that a driver must have breached the applicable duty of care. For example if they answered a phone call while driving and caused and accident. 

Potential Damages in Distracted Driving Car Accidents

There are many types of damages associated in distracted driving car accident cases. These may include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages typically include the victims medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages are usually more subjective and call for an experienced attorney to calculate. Some examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Disability
  • Emotional distress
  • Inconvenience of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent damages
  • Psychological sufering or (PTSD)

Negotiating with Insurance Companies After a Distracted Driving Car Accident

Most often than not, insurance companies are not representing your interest when they try and settle a personal injury case. When a distracted driver is at-fault, the drivers insurance company’s primary goal is to save as much money as possible, leaving you with as least money as they can. Insurance tend to avoid paying out personal injury settlements as long as they can. If an insurance company has offered you a settlement for your case, it is highly recommended that you first speak with an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney before accepting the offer.

Contact a Bucks County Personal Injury Attorney Today for a Free Consultation

Distracted drivers can cause serious accidents and serious injuries for their victims. It is important that victims seek the maximum compensation outlined by law to make things right for themselves, their families and their futures. The most reliable way to ensure that you receive fair compensation, is to retain the services of an experienced and knowledgeable Bucks County personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Marina Kats firm Kats, Jamison & Associates have been helping victims of personal injury cases for more than 30 years. For a free, non-commitment consultation, please give our office a call and schedule an appointment.

To receive a free consultation, please call our offices to schedule an appointment for your personal injury case

Address: 1 Bustleton Pike, Feasterville-Trevose, PA 19053
Phone: (215) 396-9001