Every day in the United States, almost 1,200 people are injured in distracted driving accidents. About 10 people are killed because of a distracted driver. If you find yourself the victim of an accident caused by a distracted driver, you likely find yourself with many questions. Included on the list very well may be wondering whether you need legal representation after a distracted driver accident.
A Distracted Driver Case is Not Necessarily an Open and Shut Matter
You may understandably believe that an accident caused by a distracted driver may be one that is open and shut, in your favor. Because of this presumption, you may also conclude that you do not need an attorney to effectively address your case.
You need to be realistic and understand that a distracted driver case is not going to automatically be resolved in your favor. The reality is that no matter the underlying perceived cause of an accident, the legal requirements of negligence must be met. In the final analysis, the surest way to meet the underlying elements of negligence, including in all types of automobile accident cases, is to retain the skilled services of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Understanding the Various Types of Distracted Driving Cases
Another reason legal representation is crucial in a distracted driver case rests in the reality that you may not fully appreciate the full nature and extent of your accident and its causes. You may not fully appreciate the types of distracted diving issues that may impact your case.
In recent years, texting and driving has garnered a great deal of media attention. Nonetheless, texting and driving is far from being the only type of actionable distracted driving case. Common types of distracted driving cases include:
- using a GPS
- eating or drinking
- talking on a phone
- having a conversation with a passenger
- adjusting a radio
- adjsting lights or a mirror
Types of Compensation in a Distracted Driving Case
The nature and extent of compensation you may be entitled to when injured in distracted driving case depends on the unique circumstances surrounding the accident. Nonetheless, there exists some types of losses that commonly are included in the overall compensation received by an injured person in a distracted driving case. These types of compensation commonly awarded in a distracted driving case:
- medical bills and expenses
- pain and suffering
- emotional distress
- lost wwages
Another key reason why you definitely want to consider retaining a car accident lawyer is to address properly the issue of future losses. The reality of a distracted driver case is that you not only may be entitled to compensation for existing losses, but also for losses you reasonably can be expected to face going forward into the future.
Depending on the nature and extent of your injuries, you may require medical care and treatment for an indefinite period of time into the future. You may continue to experience pain and suffering in the future. In addition, you may also face the ongoing loss of wages, at least to some degree, in the future was well. Any settlement or judgment in a car accident case needs to take these types of future losses into consideration as well.
If a lawsuit is filed in a distracted driver case, the issue of punitive damages may rise. Punitive damages represent an additional type of compensation, above and beyond the damages and losses discussed previously. Punitive damages are awarded when the conduct of the person causing an accident is deemed to be particularly reckless. Punitive damages are designed, in part, to punish the person who caused your accident for particularly egregious conduct.
How to Retain a Distracted Driving Lawyer
The first step in the process of hiring a distracted driving lawyer is to schedule an initial consultation with a personal injury attorney. The lawyer provides a preliminary evaluation of your case during this appointment. You also have the opportunity to raise questions about your situation. As a general rule, a car accident lawyer does not charge a fee for an initial consultation.
Fees in a Distracted Driver Car Accident Case
In addition to not charging a fee for an initial consultation, a car accident lawyer typically charges no fee in a case unless and until a settlement of judgment is obtained in your favor. The fee arrangement is called a contingency fee agreement or contract.