It is ironic that even as cars become safer and more reliable, car accidents are still common because drivers seem to be driving in increasingly negligent and even reckless ways. A major reason for this trend is distraction – especially from cellphones. In 2018 alone, at least 2,841 people were killed in distracted-driving crashes on U.S. roads and highways, accounting for nearly 8 percent of total road deaths.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a distracted driver, you are not alone. And you don’t have to navigate the aftermath of the accident alone. The reassuring news is that you have options for compensation and accountability from the at-fault driver. Working with an experienced car accident lawyer Memphis, TN residents trust will allow you to fully understand these options. Once you’ve made an informed choice as to how you want to proceed, the capable, compassionate, and dedicated Memphis, Tennessee automobile accident law firm of Patterson Bray will advocate on your behalf at every step along the way.
Specific Bans and General Negligence
Every state in the country specifically bans certain distracted driving behaviors. Nearly all states have adopted a ban on texting while driving, and 21 states have banned the use of handheld cellphones behind the wheel. Drivers caught violating these bans can be fined. Unfortunately, the threat of fines has done little to significantly curb these dangerous behaviors.
When a distracted driver causes an injurious accident, the victim doesn’t need to rely on these cellphone-related bans to pursue legal action. Instead, he or she can file a personal injury lawsuit alleging negligence or recklessness on the part of the distracted driver. Our Memphis, Tennessee automobile accident law firm can help you to negotiate with insurance providers in addition to helping you file legal action against those at-fault for your accident, should you choose to file legal action at this time.
Each licensed driver owes a duty of care to others on the road. Driving in a manner known to be unsafe violates that duty of care. In the case of distracted driving, this is true even if the behavior the driver was engaged in hasn’t been specifically outlawed. In a state without a texting ban, for instance, a texting driver who causes a car accident can still be sued for negligence leading to personal injury.
Proving Distraction in a Lawsuit
Let’s say that you pass a driver and see him looking down at his cellphone. Just after you pull in front of him, you are rear-ended by that same driver. You know that the accident was caused by distraction. When police arrive at the scene, he claims that his cellphone was in the glove compartment the whole time. Is it just your word against his?
Thankfully, there are ways to gather evidence to prove distraction, especially if it was related to use of an electronic device. During the discovery period of the lawsuit, your attorney can likely subpoena phone records from the at-fault driver, including phone calls, text messages and their corresponding time/date stamps. If the records show the driver was sending and receiving texts just before the accident, that would be very compelling evidence.
Depending on where the accident happened, you may also be able to gather eyewitness accounts or even video footage of the driver on his phone. Traffic and security cameras sometimes catch images that prove to be useful in reconstructing an accident.
Do You Have a Case? Discuss Your Options with an Attorney for Free.
If you are unsure of the strength of your case, the best way to get clarification is to speak with our Memphis, Tennessee automobile accident law firm. We offer free initial consultations to prospective personal injury clients, and if you have strong grounds for legal action, you’ll pay no legal fees unless we help you recover compensation. To have a conversation about your legal options, call our office to schedule your initial consultation today.