Huntsville Distracted Driving Attorney
Distracted driving poses a serious threat to all drivers on the road, including Alabama. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,450 people lost their lives in the United States due to distracted driving behaviors in 2016. If you or a loved one suffered harm in a distracted driving accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim and collect compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Conchin, Cole & Jordan, to schedule a free case review and learn more about your legal options.
Driving a vehicle is something most people do every day in the northern Alabama area. The many miles of highway and beautiful scenery seem to encourage travel by automobile. Whether traveling to and from work, running errands, or traveling on vacation, the automobile is a regular part of our life.
Distracted Driving in Alabama
The CDC reports that across the country, approximately 1,000 people are injured every day in auto accidents resulting from distracted driving.
According to a report from the Center for Advanced Public Safety released in June of 2017, there were 391,000 accidents nationwide attributed to distracted driving, accounting for 14% of all crashes and 15% of all injury accidents. Statistics for accidents due to distracted driving were slightly higher for Alabama than the rest of the country. Alabama saw 16 deaths per year due to distracted driving.
However, many people have become so accustomed to driving a car that they can forget how dangerous piloting heavy machinery at highway speeds can be. All too often drivers fail to take the very basic precaution of keeping all their attention focused on the road. Despite laws against texting and driving and a nationwide campaign to educate drivers on the dangers of distracted driving, many people still recklessly put lives in danger by failing to keep their attention on the road. If you or someone you love has been in a distracted driving crash in Huntsville, come to the distracted driving accident lawyers at Conchin, Cole & Jordan for experienced legal counsel.
Elements of a Distracted Driving Case
If a driver, pedestrian, or cyclist becomes involved in an accident with a texting driver, he or she may collect compensation for any damages, if the following elements apply:
- The texting driver owed the victim a duty of care. All motorists owe a duty of care to all parties who share the road.
- He or she violated the duty of care or committed negligence. Since texting and driving is against Alabama law, violating the statute constitutes negligence.
- The driver’s negligence was the direct cause of the victim’s injuries.
- The victim suffered harm as a result, such as medical bills, lost wages, or loss in life quality resulting from the crash.
Victims of texting and driving should contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss possible legal recourse. Car accident claims have a statute of limitations of two years, but it’s in a plaintiff’s best interest to get the process started quickly to defend his or her right to compensation.
Proving a Driver Was Texting
One of the most essential elements of a texting and driving case will be proving the driver was texting at the time of the crash. A Huntsville car accident attorney can help establish fault by using one of the following methods to prove negligence:
- Talking to eyewitnesses at the scene. If multiple parties saw a driver texting in the moments before the crash, it’s more likely that an insurance company or jury will believe that the defendant committed negligence.
- Subpoena of phone records. An attorney can compel a phone company to provide phone records that may show a driver sent or received text messages in the time leading up to the crash. This can provide compelling evidence to a jury, but it also requires an attorney’s skill to obtain.
Distracted Driving Laws in Alabama
Many states, including Alabama, have statutes on the books that prohibit distracted driving. Specifically, Alabama passed a statewide texting ban in 2011, which prohibits all drivers from sending, receiving, or typing text messages or e-mail while driving. Novice drivers (those aged 16 and 17) cannot use any handheld device while driving a motor vehicle, though Alabama law does not prohibit all cell phone use for those over the age of 18.
Alabama’s distracted driving laws are “primary,” which means a police officer may pull a driver over if he or she sees the driver texting or using a phone. Those who violate the rule receive a $25 fine and two points on their licenses. Second offenders get fined $50, and third offenders $75. However, those who text, and drive may also be civilly liable for any damages they cause under state law.
Distracted Driving Injures Others
The tragic reality is that distracted driving contributes to a large number of auto accidents and injuries every year. Car drivers, as well as drivers of 18 wheelers and other large vehicles, are guilty of being distracted while driving leading to life-changing consequences for those their vehicle collides with. Even government employees may be guilty of distracted driving while traveling for work.
Injuries from car accidents can rack up expensive medical bills, require long rehab to return to work, and cause lost wages from time missed at work due to injury. The expenses can quickly become insurmountable for the average person if they are not able to receive compensation from those who caused the accident or their insurance company.
Even though it may seem as though a car accident caused by a distracted driver is a very open and shut case, it is usually a good idea to contact an attorney anyway. Because of Alabama’s contributory negligence laws, if the insurance company can prove that you contributed in any way to the accident, even a small percentage, then they may be able to deny paying you any compensation at all. A personal injury attorney at Conchin, Cole & Jordan can help you make your case and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.