According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA), distracted driving claimed somewhere near 2,841 lives in 2018, making this the leading cause of traffic-related deaths in the U.S. Unfortunately for crash survivors, the laws governing distracted driving have seen multiple changes in the last decade, which has further complicated the compensation process. These changes, coupled with the fact that insurance companies routinely try to save costs by limiting liability, can leave crash survivors at a disadvantage, especially those without experienced legal representation.
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident involving a distracted driver, contact a personal injury lawyer right away before accepting any settlement offers. Here at Pursiano Barry Bruce Demetriades Simon LLP, we strive to provide our clients with tailored solutions, using our years of experience dealing with insurance companies.
Contact us today to schedule a case consultation.
Contrary to popular belief, distracted driving may involve more than just texting and driving, especially in a state such as Nevada, where there is no shortage of roadside distractions. NRS §484B.165 covers distracting driving laws. Texting, accessing the Internet, or using a hand-held cell phone while driving has been banned throughout the State of Nevada since 2012. Per Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles, there are three main types of distracted driving.
Manual distractions occur when drivers use their hands for something other than driving. Common examples include:
As their name suggests, visual distractions involve drivers looking at something other than the road. Common examples include:
Cognitive distractions can be more challenging to categorize and prove. They occur when drivers are mentally distracted, even when their eyes are on the road and their hands are on the wheel. Common examples include:
While some of these acts are not strictly illegal, they may help clients prove negligence. In Nevada, fault for an accident isn’t always based on whether a law is breached. Instead, it is based on negligence. Any driver who commits an act of distracted driving that causes a crash can be held liable based on their negligence.
Distracted driving claims in Nevada are similar to regular car accident claims. Crash survivors can negotiate for a settlement from the negligent party’s insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit. In any case, the plaintiff has to prove the driver’s negligence caused the accident and connect this negligence to the victim’s damages. Unfortunately, proving distraction isn’t always easy and is certainly not as easy as establishing other forms of negligence, such as driving while intoxicated or driving while under the influence of drugs.
A distracted driving accident lawyer can help clients collect the evidence necessary to build a solid case. We can help determine all negligent parties and compensable damages that are available. Having helped so many car crash survivors over the years, we know exactly what to look for and will use our wealth of experience to rebuttal common defenses and maximize your compensation.
The most common compensable damages include the following.
Even if you don’t think your injuries are severe, you should still consult an experienced distracted driver accident attorney to have your case evaluated as soon as possible, as some injuries can go nearly unnoticed for days or even weeks. We can also help determine whether more parties can be held liable, including other drivers, vehicle owners, or car rental companies.
As with any other type of accident, check yourself for injuries first and then assist others if you’re able to. Avoid moving anyone injured to prevent causing them additional injuries or pain. Call the authorities, as police reports are crucial pieces of evidence. If possible, take pictures of the crash scene and keep a copy of all records related to the incident. Most importantly, call an experienced personal injury attorney before talking to any insurance agents.
Your attorney can deal with the insurance company on your behalf, so you don’t accidentally say the wrong thing or agree to accept an unfair settlement offer. Contact us for a consultation — we’ll go over your case and explain your legal rights for damages.