Distracted Driving Car Accidents
As part of their duty to keep others safe on the road, drivers are expected to pay attention to their surroundings and avoid distractions behind the wheel. Unfortunately, not everyone adheres to this expectation of care. In 2018 alone, distracted drivers in Ohio accounted for almost 14,000 automobile crashes that resulted in more than 50 fatalities.
Operating a motor vehicle while distracted is often considered negligence per se. Accordingly, anyone hurt in a distracted driving car accident may have valid grounds for a civil lawsuit against the responsible party. However, recovering comprehensively through this kind of claim might be tricky without professional guidance. It is worth speaking to a seasoned car accident lawyer at Tittle & Perlmuter first before trying to pursue civil compensation or negotiate with insurance companies on your own.
What Constitutes “Distracted” Driving"?
One of the most common driving distractions in the United States today is cell phone usage behind the wheel. To address this, Ohio state legislators have outlined specific regulations under Ohio Revised Code §4511.204. Anyone who uses a phone or any other handheld electronic device to write, send, or read text messages while operating a motor vehicle is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. Perhaps more importantly, texting on the road would also make a driver liable in most cases for any subsequent traffic crashes they were involved in.
However, distracted driving does not necessarily have to involve a cell phone to impose liability for a car accident. A driver may be considered distracted in the context of civil litigation for any action that requires them to remove their hands from the wheel, look away from the road, or otherwise lose focus. Legal counsel in the area could help collect evidence that a defendant driver was distracted and assert that their lack of focus directly cause the traffic wreck in question.
Dealing with Insurance Companies for Distracted Driving Accidents
Since Ohio is a fault-based car insurance state, anyone found to be at fault for a distracted driving car accident is liable to either pay for ensuing damages themselves or have their insurance company cover them up to their policy limits. However, anyone who has ever dealt with an insurance company knows how difficult it can be to get them to pay out on a valid claim, even if fault is obvious.
Insurance representatives are specifically trained to ask leading questions, provide selective information, and trick claimants into incriminating themselves or harming their case. Because distracted driving is somewhat vaguely defined and difficult to prove as causation for a car crash, qualified legal representation may be essential for a successful insurance settlement or personal injury lawsuit.
Enlist an Attorney for Distracted Driving Car Accident Cases
Car collision cases involving unfocused drivers are often uniquely complicated because it can be challenging to obtain objective evidence of distraction behind the wheel. If the driver who caused your accident was not ticketed by police, you might need to pursue civil action to prove they were at fault and collect the compensation you deserve.
Distracted driving car accidents may be easier to manage with help from a knowledgeable attorney. Call today to see what kind of assistance the legal team at Tittle & Perlmuter could provide in your situation.