What To Know About Your Legal Rights In Philadelphia Distracted Driving Case
Among the negligent acts associated with traffic accidents and injuries, distracted driving has been a notable cause in recent years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported over 3,000 traffic fatalities in 2020 caused by distracted driving alone, and over 400,000 non-fatal injuries due to the same reason. Distracted driving accidents are more common in high population centers like Philadelphia.
Motor vehicles, when moving at any speed, are dangerous and potentially deadly machines when not operated correctly. Any driver behind the wheel bears a responsibility to follow a duty of care to themselves and others on the road. At a bare minimum, this means paying attention and keeping their eyes on the road and surroundings.
As defined by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, distracted driving is anything that causes a driver to either take their attention away from driving, take their eyes off the road, or take their hands off the steering wheel. Acts classified as distracted driving can include:
- Talking or texting on a phone
- Using social media or other apps on a phone
- Eating, drinking, or smoking
- Adjusting a radio or CD player
- Making adjustments on a vehicle’s interior display screen
- Personal grooming such as checking hair or makeup
- Interacting with other passengers
- Reaching around or moving something in the vehicle
Legal Liability in a Distracted Driving Case
If you have been injured due to another person’s distracted driving, you are likely entitled to recover damages through a lawsuit. To prove liability in a distracted driving case, the Plaintiff will need to prove:
- The driver had a duty of care to other drivers, including the Plaintiff;
- The driver failed to follow that duty, and their acts constituted a breach;
- Their negligent actions caused the injuries to the Plaintiff;
- The Plaintiff is entitled to some amount of monetary damage as a result.
In a distracted driving case, proving causation can be somewhat complicated. This means proving a link between the distracted driving and the accident, and not some other intervening cause. Frequently, this can be shown through the facts included in a police report, and the Defendant’s own statements. Other times, it may involve tracking a person’s cell phone records to show when and how they were using the phone immediately before the accident.
The Plaintiff will also need to show that they suffered some type of economic damage, and/or pain and suffering and future financial losses. Money damages typically include medical bills, out-of-pocket medical costs, and lost wages. Future damages can include prospective costs of rehab and therapy, loss of future employment, or other long-term costs associated with the injury. Pain and suffering is a catch-all that includes the emotional anguish – short-term and long-term – connected with the accident. In a wrongful death case, the Plaintiff may also be able to recover for loss of consortium, which is the loss of companionship with their loved one.
The Philadelphia Distracted Driving Attorneys at Green & Schafle Can Help if You or a Loved One Were Injured Due to a Distracted Driving Accident
The legal team at Green & Schafle understands the emotional and financial toll a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence can cause. When the accident was caused by something as senseless as distracted driving, the anguish can be worse. In these situations, you or your family have important legal options, and the right to recovery in a court of law. Our Philadelphia distracted driving attorneys will carefully examine all facts of your case and discuss your options with you. Contact us today for help.