CAN I SUE AFTER AN ACCIDENT CAUSED BY A DISTRACTED DRIVER?
In the fast-paced, hi-tech society of today, drivers are faced with lots of distractions. From smartphones to booming bass speakers, remaining focused on the road is hard to do. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, around ten Americans die each day in accidents involving a distracted driver. Another thousand receive significant injuries. With the increasing number of vehicles out there, it is even more imperative than ever that people stay alert.
Who is a Distracted Driver?
A distracted motorist is one who while operating their vehicle engages in another activity that diverts their attention from driving. This person may visually take their eyes off the road, they may physically remove their hands from the steering wheel, or they may allow their mind to wander.
What Can You Do if You Get Hurt?
If you are harmed in an accident involving a distracted driver, is there anything you can do? The answer is an unqualified “yes.” The first step is to contact an experienced personal injury law firm for advice. The lawyers will help you establish the negligence of the offending party. You have to prove the other driver failed to operate their vehicle in a safe manner causing you to suffer injuries.
The distraction, whether texting, listening to loud music, reaching for a cigarette, etc. must be a direct cause of the accident and your injuries.
You should act fast because any delay in speaking with an attorney will only benefit the defendant. They will then be better able to claim that your injuries were not caused by the accident but by something that occurred in the interim. Speaking with a qualified legal representative as soon as possible cannot be overstated.
Who Can Be Sued?
The initial defendant is usually the distracted driver. However, you might also be able to sue an employer. For example, if the driver was operating a commercial vehicle or Uber car, then the employing agency might bear some degree of responsibility for what happened to you.
Law firms have been able to collect significant court financial damage awards and pre-trial settlements against employers who knowingly allowed drivers to stay on the road while overly tired. These drivers can become easily distracted or fall asleep.
Trucking companies, in particular, often push drivers to complete deliveries on tight schedules. They may ignore laws requiring drivers to sleep a certain amount of hours each day. This type of action can constitute negligence and result in you winning a distracted driver lawsuit.
Steps in a Lawsuit
Though each case is unique, the pattern from start to finish is usually similar.
1. You begin by consulting with an attorney about the accident. They listen to the facts and help you decide whether filing a claim would be in your best interest.
2. After initiating a claim, your attorney will begin the discovery, or fact-finding, phase. They question you, any witnesses and the defendant to reconstruct the accident events.
3. During discovery, your attorney may be able to convince the defense to settle out of court. Quite often, the evidence is overwhelming, causing the other side to offer a negotiated financial award rather than risk going to court. The defense, in this scenario, would want to avoid perhaps paying even more at trial and spending their time preparing a difficult case.
4. On the other hand, the judge could also dismiss the case if the evidence is insufficient to establish negligence.
5. Assuming the defense refuses to settle and the judge believes that your lawyer has a decent chance to prove negligence, the case will proceed to trial.
Get Justice Now
If you or a loved one have been involved in a traffic accident with a distracted driver, you need to contact the Mukerji Law Firm immediately. As mentioned above, waiting will only help the defense avoid paying what they owe.
You do not want to be like so many accident victims who fail to seek legal representation and then end up having to miss days from work, pay huge medical bills and deal with psychological trauma on their own. Call us today for your free consultation.