Distracted driving is on the rise, putting everyone at risk. If a distracted driver leaves you injured, you face physical, financial, and emotional losses that could affect your life in the long term. If you have suffered injuries in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you should contact an experienced Wilmington car accident attorney right away.
Learn about your legal options after an accident caused by distracted driving by contacting Horton & Mendez today.
Distracted Driving Laws in North Carolina
There is no law that expressly prohibits distracted driving in general in North Carolina. That said, it is illegal to text and drive in North Carolina. Further, all smartphone usage is illegal for drivers who have not yet turned 18.
Distracted drivers often engage in conduct that is against various traffic laws. For example, a distracted driver is much more likely to run a red light or swerve into another lane.
Some ways in which distracted drivers may violate the law include:
- Following too closely
- Driving the wrong way on a one-way road
- Illegal turns
- Ignoring stop signs
Types of Distractions Behind the Wheel
Texting – and other smartphone activities – is the most alarming distraction of all, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Distractions are classified according to the following types:
- Cognitive, or a distraction that engages your thoughts
- Manual, or a distraction that engages your hands
- Visual or a distraction that engages your sight
Texting merges all three categories into one considerable distraction.
While smartphone usage is one of the deadliest distractions, it certainly isn’t the only one. Some examples of common driver distractions include:
- Eating behind the wheel
- Changing the radio, climate control system, or GPS while driving
- Keeping the stereo up high enough to interfere with your ability to hear warning signs, such as screeching tires, sirens, another driver’s horn, or anything else
- Engaging in personal grooming on the road
- Interacting with your passengers as you drive
- Allowing your pet to roam free in your vehicle
How Is Distracted Driving Proven?
A car accident attorney’s methods of gathering and compiling evidence can back up your claim against a distracted driver. The kinds of evidence involved can include all the following:
- Physical evidence from the scene of the accident
- The police report generated at the scene
- Eyewitness testimony
- Your account of what transpired at the time of the accident
- Videos, photos, and dashcam footage
- The testimony of professionals with relevant expertise
- Accident recreation models that compile the available evidence into a strong visual aid
What Damages are Available in a Distracted Driving Accident?
If you have been hurt in a distracted driving accident in Wilmington, you can likely recover compensation for these related losses.
The medical bills you face after being injured by a distracted driver can be both expensive and ongoing. The more serious the injuries you suffer, the more likely they are to lead to severe complications or secondary health issues.
Before accepting a settlement claim, you should understand the nature of your injuries, the care you’re likely to require in the future, and the degree to which your injuries interfere with or interrupt the plans you’ve made for your life.
A serious injury can lead to a significant amount of time off the job and substantial lost income. You can also suffer economic losses in the future if your injuries prevent you from pursuing your chosen career. In cases that involve future losses, you may need the help of financial experts to determine how much you would have earned had it not been for your accident. Estimates will often take into consideration regular raises, inflation, and promotions.
Physical and emotional pain and suffering
An accident caused by a distracted driver can cause lingering trauma. Your pain and suffering can be hard to prove alone, but your attorney can prepare supporting material about how a crash’s aftermath has impacted you emotionally and physically.
Damage to your property
After a crash, your car is likely to be damaged or outright totaled. In addition to these costs, an accident may result in damage to expensive items in or on your vehicle, such as a laptop or sports equipment.
Legal Help for Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents
At Horton & Mendez, we are committed to advocating for your rights and getting you the compensation you deserve under North Carolina law. Some of the specific things that we can do as your attorneys include:
- Carefully compiling all the available evidence into a solid claim
- Communicating with the insurance company for you
- Attempting to negotiate a fair settlement offer with the insurance company
- Preparing to take the matter to trial if the insurance company won’t make a fair offer
Consult with an Experienced Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
If you have suffered injuries because of the negligence of a distracted driver, you should speak to an attorney in Wilmington as soon as you can. The car accident lawyers at Horton & Mendez are dedicated to helping distracted driving accident victims and their families get the compensation they are entitled to. To schedule a free case evaluation with an attorney, call our office today at 910-405-7751 or contact us online.