Driver negligence can take many forms. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, reckless driving, and driving while drowsy are all serious forms of negligent driving. Distracted driving is also a form of negligent driving. Examples of distracted driving include cell phone or electronic device use, adjusting vehicle controls, interacting with other passengers, taking your eyes off the road, and eating or drinking while driving.
Of these distractions, texting while driving is one of the most serious. This is because someone who texts while driving takes their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel. The driver invariably takes his or her attention off driving as well. These three forms of distraction–mental, visual, and manual–and the frequency with which people do it make texting and driving a serious public safety issue.
If you were involved in a texting and driving accident, please contact the Fitch Law Firm LLC for assistance with your case.
Texting and Distracted Driving Accidents
More than 400,000 distracted driver accidents occur in the United States every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These accidents can involve heavy commercial trucks, private passenger cars, SUVs, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians. They can also lead to substantial property damage.
In 2019, the NHTSA found that almost 13% of all drivers involved in distracted driving crashes were using their cell phones at the time of their accidents. Despite many public health campaigns and the death count of distracted driving accidents, distracted driving is still a common occurrence, and too many people continue to text while driving.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at a speed of about 55 mph, a car can travel the length of an entire football field in the time it takes to read or send a text. This can prove fatal, especially on busy roadways and high-density urban areas.
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Common Injuries Suffered in Texting While Driving Accidents
Depending on how a texting while driving accident occurs, some of the injuries commonly seen in vehicle accidents involving distraction include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Neck damage and whiplash
- Torn or stretched nerves
- Broken bones
- Lacerations and cuts
- Lost body parts and amputations
- Internal bleeding
- Muscle sprains and strains
Some injuries only manifest days or weeks after an accident occurs, and some can take months or longer to recover. In the worst accidents, drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or others using the road can lose their lives to texting while driving accident.
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Economic Damages From Texting While Driving Accidents
Treatments for these injuries can be expensive and painful—especially invasive treatments such as surgeries, nerve grafts, and muscle transplants often used in nerve and muscle damage cases. It can take a long time to recover from them, leaving the injured victim to bear piling costs such as:
- Lost income or a reduced capacity to earn
- Property and/or vehicle damage
- Medical care, therapy, and rehabilitation bills
- Testing and medicine costs
- Travel costs to and from doctor’s appointments
- Incidental costs, such as caretaker expenses
Treatment costs during this time can quickly add up, placing a great deal of financial stress on you and your family.
If you’ve lost a loved one in a texting while driving accident, you can work with the Fitch Law Firm LLC to recover compensation for wrongful death damages, including:
- Accident-related medical bills for your late loved one
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of household income and financial support
Non- Economic Damages From Texting While Driving Accidents
In addition to the above damages, you may also be able to recover compensation for non-economic damages that don’t have a clear monetary value, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish and PTSD
- Scarring and disfigurement
If you are seeking wrongful death damages for your lost loved one, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of parental or spousal support
- Emotional anguish
A Springfield texting while driving accident lawyer with our firm can help you identify which damages you may be entitled to file a claim for, as well as the monetary value of the damages you suffered.
Texting, Driving, and the Law in Ohio
Texting while driving is illegal. Ohio Revised Code (ORC) § 4511.204 classifies texting while driving and the use of any handheld electronic device while operating certain motor vehicles on public roads as a minor misdemeanor. If someone who was texting and driving causes substantial damage to property or roadside fixtures, causes a traffic fatality, or is found guilty of repeatedly breaking the law or operating a vehicle without proper licensing and documentation, the courts may levy additional penalties against them.
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Who Can Recover Compensation in a Springfield Texting While Driving Accident?
It’s common for a texting while driving accident to involve two or more cars colliding, which can injure drivers and any passengers in the vehicles. In fact, the 2019 NHTSA report showed that 23% of all distraction-affected accident fatalities were passengers.
Passengers in the car with the driver who was texting may be eligible to file a claim against the offending driver. In addition, the driver and passengers in any other cars involved in the accident may also be able to seek compensation.
A driver who uses their cell phone while operating a vehicle can also cause an accident with pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists, all of whom are more at risk of severe injuries in an accident with a vehicle. If you were a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcyclist hit by a driver who was texting, you may be able to file a claim or lawsuit. That same 2019 report from the NHTSA shows that 15% of all distraction-affected accident fatalities were pedestrians and 2% were bicyclists.
Liability for Texting While Driving in Springfield
Anyone can be guilty of texting while driving. This includes truck drivers, car drivers, and motorcycle riders. However, there may be other parties who bear some of the fault for a texting while driving accident. For example, a trucking company may be at fault for poor driver screening practices or inadequate driver training if an unqualified, underqualified, or inexperienced driver causes a truck accident while texting and driving. In such cases, you may be able to seek compensation from the trucking company.
In general, however, liability for distracted driving cases rests on the at-fault party whose distraction caused an accident. Ohio is an at-fault state, and you have the right to seek compensable damages from the at-fault party’s insurance company. You must prove the driver was negligent while driving—either by texting and driving or otherwise using a handheld device that distracted them while on the road—and that this negligence was the cause of the losses and injuries that you suffered.
Proving this usually involves:
- Interviewing accident eyewitnesses
- Obtaining a cell phone or electronic device usage information
- Obtaining the police report of the accident
- Obtaining photo or video evidence from the accident
We Can Evaluate Your Damages and Determine What Your Springfield Case Is Worth
Once you have collected all relevant and available evidence, you must determine whether you have grounds for a claim. If you do, you must also estimate the value of your losses and damages. This includes estimates of economic costs—usually via aggregating all lost income, medical expenses, and other outlays directly related to your accident—as well as any compensable non-economic costs, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and the loss of care or consortium of a loved one.
Our Springfield texting while driving accident lawyer can collect this evidence, determine if you have grounds for a legal claim, and calculate your economic and non-economic damages to help you understand what your case is really worth.
The Fitch Law Firm LLC Can Help Your Springfield Texting While Driving Case
At the Fitch Law Firm LLC, we know how painful it can be to suffer injuries or lose a loved one after a texting while driving case. We can help you determine your best course of action for recovering the compensation you deserve from the party or parties that caused your accident and injuries. We will take care of:
- Investigating how texting while driving caused your accident
- Identifying the negligent parties
- Calculating your damages
- Filing insurance claims and handling all communications with the insurance company and others
- Negotiating a settlement that meets your needs
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party and their insurance company to recover the compensation you deserve
You shouldn’t let the cost of a lawyer prevent you and your family from seeking justice. That’s why we offer our dedicated legal services at no cost upfront. If we don’t recover compensation for you, you don’t owe us any fees.
We Provide Client-Focused Representation
We understand that no two accident cases are quite alike. This is why our legal team never applies a cookie-cutter approach to a case. We afford each of our clients the personalized attention they deserve. Our Springfield texting while driving accident attorneys can tailor a legal strategy to suit your individual situation.
We can also keep you updated on your case’s progress and make ourselves available to answer any questions you may have.
We Are a Call Away: Get Help Today for a Springfield Texting While Driving Accident
We understand the trauma vehicle accidents can cause—especially preventable accidents caused by the recklessness and negligence of other road users. Our Springfield texting while driving accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and put together a claim for damages if your texting while driving case warrants one.
Please contact the Fitch Law Firm LLC to learn more about Ohio’s accident laws, personal injury litigation, and the important next steps you should consider before moving forward with a claim.
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