Our Indianapolis Lawyers Represent the Rights of People Hurt by Distracted Drivers
What do using a cell phone, applying makeup, eating, shaving, or looking at the scenery have in common? If one has engaged in any of the aforementioned activates as a driver, they have been a distracted a distracted driver. Did you know that even if your fellow drivers do everything right they could still be distracted? On average, it takes all but three minutes to become distracted by one thing or another. While most of the time one will regain their focus and nothing will happen there are times where a momentary lapse in focus while at the wheel could lead to a catastrophic automobile accident.
If a distracted driver injured you or a loved one in Indiana, talk to an attorney as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation with an Indianapolis car accident lawyer, call the Law Office of William W. Hurst today at (317) 636-0808 or contact us online.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving occurs when the person who is at the wheel engages in a non-driving related behavior such as eating, texting, or grooming. Since the U.S. Department of Transportation began compiling statistics, they have reported that on an average yearly basis, 3,328 drivers and passengers lose their lives due to being in a car where a driver becomes distracted or being hit by a distracted driver. Over 421,000 people survived their accident but nonetheless suffered some sort of harm connected to distracted drivers. In fact, 17 percent of official crash reports list driver distraction as at least one of the causes that led to their automobile accident.
In Indiana, distracted driving causes more accidents than drinking and driving. The Indiana government goes onto explain that whenever you text and drive even if it is a single word, you incense your chances of crashing by 23 percent. As numerous studies have shown, in the event that you must react quickly, your chances of successfully doing so get diminished by 30 percent when distracted. Seeing as though the average driver who texts will fail to remain squarely in their lanes at least 10 percent of the time, the importance of reacting before disaster hits becomes all the more critical. Even if you are simply reading a text going 55 miles per hour for five seconds, you’ll cover 500 yards, or the length of five football fields, excluding the end zones.
Distracted driving can be placed into three overarching categories
- Cognitive distraction – Your mind drifts elsewhere as opposed to focusing on the driving task at hand
- Visual distraction – You are no longer keeping your eyes on the road but rather are looking for someone or something else
- Manual distraction – You no longer have both hands on the wheel
Texting is by far the most dangerous off distractions as you are being distraction checks off all three categories simultaneously
Indiana Distracted Driving Cell Phone Law
The Governors Highway Safety Association provides a yearly list of each state distracted driving laws. Here are some of the relevant laws in the state of Indiana:
- Hand-held restrictions: None, unless you are under the age of 21 then there is an outright ban
- Can you text and drive? No, If you get caught it is a $500 fine if you get caught texting while on any
- Can school bus drivers use their phones while on the job? Yes
- Can drivers 21 years of age or younger use their cellar devices while at the wheel? No, unless they are dialing 911 (see org)
- School or construction zone ban: No
While the above law specifically deals with cellar device use, you can be pulled over anytime you do not have your hand on the wheel, are weaving in and out of your lane, or otherwise driving dangerously.
Common Injuries Caused by Distracted Drivers
Accidents caused by distracted drivers can result in extremely serious injuries for everyone involved. In many cases, these injuries result in months or even years of medical expenses and pain and suffering. Some of the more common injuries sustained in accidents caused by distracted drivers include the following:
- Broken or fractured bones, most vulnerable are the hands, legs spinal cord and neck and face
- Other back and neck injuries
- Facial and other body lacerations, bruises or burns
- Mental and psychological issues
How Much Is My Case Worth?
Every car accident case is different, and it is impossible to determine the value of a car accident claim without thoroughly analyzing all of the facts associated with the case. In addition, there is no way to know how much you will actually receive until a settlement offer is accepted or your case comes to a conclusion in court. Some of the factors that will affect the amount of compensation you ultimately obtain include:
- The medical costs associated with the accident itself as well as any ongoing medical treatment you’ll need due to the accident
- Your present and future pain and suffering
- Your lost income in both the immediate aftermath of the accident and into your future
- Wrongful death
- Loss of companionship should you lose a loved one
- Lost wages of a spouse
- Repair value or replacement of your car and other property
- How long you wait to see a doctor or lawyer the longer you wait the less you may get, in some cases, if you wait too long you’ll recover nothing
- How good is your evidence? Did you see a doctor? Do you have photos and eyewitnesses’ reports?
- Your insurance situation while you are required under Indiana law to have insurance the extent of your and the other driver’s insurance will be a factor
- Whether you were partially at fault for the accident
Call Us Today to Speak With an Indianapolis Attorney
William W. Hurst an Indianapolis area lawyer has been specializing in auto-related accidents for more than 35 years. Call or email the law offices of William W. Hurst at (317) 636-0808 to determine if you might have a case after becoming a victim of a distracted driver.