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Lake Charles Distracted Driving Attorneys
Every day in the U.S., approximately eight lives are lost in distracted driving collisions according to the Centers for Disease Control. Distracted driving has become one of the country’s deadliest driving behaviors, claiming thousands of lives and forever changing thousands more. Being involved in a crash with a distracted driver is a traumatic and frightening experience. You may be unsure how to pay for car repairs and medical bills, and even more unsure about how to hold a distracted driver accountable for the crash.
It’s not always easy to prove that a distracted driver was responsible for causing an accident. Distracted driving comes with penalties under Louisiana law, and drivers may not be willing to admit they were using their phone or not paying attention. That’s where the legal team at Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC comes in.
We are committed to helping victims of distracted driving accidents build a solid case establishing why the other driver was at fault, with a focus on why the victim deserves maximum compensation. If you’ve been involved in a distracted driving accident, contact Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC for valuable legal advice about your situation. We offer a risk-free consultation so Lake Charles accident victims can get the answers they need. Call us at 337-800-8800 to schedule yours today.
Facts About Distracted Driving
Although most cases of distracted driving involve the use of cell phones, distracted driving is defined as any type of behavior that diverts a driver’s eyes or attention away from the road and the safe operation of a vehicle. Phone calls, text messages, eating, drinking, using a GPS unit, playing with the stereo, and even grooming oneself, are all common examples of distracted driving behaviors.
It is alarming to note these behaviors contributed to 2,841 fatalities in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. What is even more alarming is that according to local news outlets, Louisiana is the 7th deadliest state for distracted driving crashes. At least 13 percent of all fatal car accidents in the state can be attributed to distracted driving, which is more than double the national average.
While anyone can fall victim to a momentary distraction, the majority of drivers that are involved in distracted driving accidents tend to be young people and teens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 25 percent of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes are between the ages of 20 and 29. A recent 2019 survey also found that 39 percent of high school students who had driven in the past 30 days admitted to texting or emailing while behind the wheel at least once during those 30 days.
The facts are clear. Distracted driving is a serious problem on Louisiana roads. This behavior is extremely dangerous and, in many cases, leads to serious injuries and even death.
Louisiana’s Distracted Driving Laws
The facts paint a stark picture of the dangers that distracted drivers pose on Louisiana roadways. To combat this deadly behavior the state has enacted several laws that are meant to restrict the use of certain devices while a driver is behind the wheel.
Drivers are prohibited from writing, sending, and reading text-based communication while operating a vehicle. This means that drivers cannot read or access instant messages, email, or text messages, nor are they allowed to access, read, or post to social media platforms. Drivers are also not allowed to make calls while in a posted school zone, or during posted school hours.
Violating Louisiana’s distracted driving laws for the first time can result in fines up to $500. For subsequent violations, the fines become even more severe, up to $1,000, and a driver may face a 60-day driver’s license suspension. When a violation results in a crash, the fines can automatically be doubled.
Injuries from Distracted Driving Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that it takes the average driver five seconds to look down and read a text message. If a driver is traveling at 55 mph, in those five seconds they will have traveled the entire length of a football field without paying any attention to the road or their surroundings. It would be impossible for them to notice that they were drifting out of their lane into oncoming traffic, or that traffic patterns had shifted and the cars ahead of them were not stopped on the highway, or that a pedestrian was walking along the shoulder of the road they were now veering onto.
Distracted driving accidents can cause serious injuries because the distracted driver is unaware that they need to slow down, apply the brakes, or that a light has changed. Instead, they barrel full speed ahead and collide with the unsuspecting victim caught in their path. The victim may then be faced with the repercussions of a traumatic injury, a lifetime of pain, and changes to their quality of life that they never could have imagined. Victims hit by distracted drivers may commonly suffer from the following serious injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Fractured bones
- Chest and rib injuries
- Soft tissue and organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Knee and leg injuries
- Wrongful Death
These types of injuries can carry life-long physical complications, but they can cause long-term financial struggles as well. There are immediate bills for hospitalizations, surgery, medication, and doctor’s visits, but there can be continuing expenses as well, such as physical therapy, rehabilitation costs, durable medical equipment supplies, and follow-up surgeries or after-care. A check from an insurance company may cover some of a victim’s most immediate needs, but will there be enough to cover all the related treatment that may be needed down the road?
Contacting an experienced Louisiana attorney following a distracted driving accident is the best way to get detailed information on what your claim may be worth. Before you sign away your rights to an insurance company, ask the legal team at Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC to review your case. At Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC, we can help you determine what you are entitled to following a crash and the best legal option for pursuing that compensation.
Compensation for Distracted Driving Accidents in Louisiana
Several factors go into determining liability for an accident, which then impacts the amount of compensation victims may be entitled to collect. For starters, Louisiana is considered an at-fault state. In this at-fault system, the person responsible for causing an accident is also the party responsible for paying for the accident.
A victim injured in a crash in Louisiana has three options for pursuing compensation from the at-fault driver. First, they may file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Next, they can file a claim with their own insurance company. Finally, they may take the at-fault driver to court with a personal injury lawsuit.
Louisiana is a “pure comparative fault” state. In a pure comparative fault state, the amount of money you are able to recover after a car accident is tied directly to how much fault you bear for causing the accident. If you are involved in a crash with another driver and the accident is deemed to be 10 percent your fault, you may recover the total amount of damages minus 10 percent.
In addition, the driver who was 90 percent at fault for causing the accident is also entitled to the full amount of damages, minus 90 percent. Even someone mostly responsible for causing a crash can receive compensation, but, they, or their insurance company, are also financially responsible for paying the other driver’s share of the compensation. The pure comparative fault rule not only binds the court system, but it binds insurance adjusters as well.
Why You Need an Experienced Distracted Driving Attorney
Many victims mistakenly believe that a distracted driving case is open and shut. The driver was distracted, therefore, there should be a full and fair settlement in their favor. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. This is where things can get complicated for a victim. Distracted drivers can face serious consequences from driving while operating an electronic device in many situations. Fear of these penalties may mean that they try to cover-up the fact that they were driving while distracted. They could throw their phone in their purse or give it to a passenger and claim they never touched it. Now it is your word against theirs. Without clear evidence to suggest otherwise, you may not get the maximum amount of compensation you are due after an accident.
Hiring an experienced distracted driving attorney gives you a better chance at a positive outcome for your case and increases your odds of getting the full and fair compensation you deserve. An attorney has the power to examine the facts surrounding your case and investigate the circumstances of your particular accident. This may even include using the legal system to retrieve cell phone and data records that can corroborate the claim that the other driver was driving while distracted.
Evidence can significantly strengthen your claim with an insurance company and more reliably establish fault and liability for an accident. This can mean that you, the victim, have a better opportunity of recovering the maximum amount of compensation available after a collision with a distracted driver.
Contact an Experienced Louisiana Attorney for More Information Today
Does a distracted driver deserve to shrink away from their responsibility for causing an accident? At Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC we don’t think so. We believe that distracted drivers need to be held accountable for their negligent actions. Victims deserve justice, and part of that justice is being fairly compensated after an accident.
If you have been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, or suspect that your accident was caused by a distraction, contact the legal team at Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC. Our mission is to support Lake Charles distracted driving victims and earn them the compensation they deserve. Call us today at 337-800-8800 to talk to an experienced lawyer about your case and set up a free initial consultation.