The number of auto accident fatalities continues to increase every year across the United States. This is surprising because the safety features on vehicles are improving year to year. Vehicles are now equipped with lane assist, cameras, and other features that help drivers avoid crashes with other vehicles and objects. And, airbags and seatbelt restraints are also much better than even five years ago.
The increase in auto crash deaths can be attributed to a number of factors. First, there are many more heavy trucks, SUVs, and pickup trucks on the road. Their sheer weight alone makes them more likely to cause a fatality in a crash with a smaller vehicle. Another major factor is the prevalence of drivers using cell phones while operating a vehicle, and especially sending and receiving texts while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.
Texting while driving or using a cell phone while driving is a form of distracted driving. Distracted driving is very dangerous to all drivers on the roads. Even with many states passing the anti-texting laws, which prohibit a driver from texting while driving, the number of car accidents caused by a negligent driver texting while driving has not decreased. Simply put, these laws have not been as effective as hoped in preventing this behavior
Persons injured in car accident due to a negligent driver texting while driving have the legal right to pursue claims for personal injuries and other claims. An injured driver and passengers can make claims for pain and suffering damages, also known as non-economic damages.
Pain and suffering damages generally include compensation for:
Physical pain and suffering
Fright and shock
Denial of social pleasures and enjoyments
Embarrassment, humiliation or mortification
While many lawsuit defendants deny talking on the phone or texting while driving, it is possible to prove they are untruthful. Once a suit is filed, the party’s attorney has the right to issue subpoenas to various deponents, including companies like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and other providers. The records from cell phone companies can establish that a vehicle operator was either talking on the phone, sending a text, or receiving a text at or around the time of the crash. Phone bills often itemize these calls and texts so it is possible to even take a deposition of the other person involved in the conversations.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to prove and win a distracted driving case. Diligent investigation by an attorney is an essential part of winning fair compensation for an injury victim. It is usually the legwork that discovers inconsistencies by the defendant in their testimony and statements that forces the insurance company to pay a settlement.
Many of these auto accidents were completely preventable if not for the actions of the negligent driver. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists are often the most seriously injured in distracted driving accidents. Lawsuits hold these people accountable for the harms caused by their actions and help compensate victims for their personal and financial losses.
Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. 2022National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 5