Distracted driving, such as texting and driving, is unsafe, and its results can be devastating. In 2020, 3,142 people were killed, and 324,652 were injured in auto accidents involving a distracted driver in the United States.
Every time a driver takes their focus off the road, even for just a few seconds, they put their lives and the lives of others in danger. For example, using a phone while driving makes a driver 2–6 times more likely to be involved in an accident, and some studies report that an accident is 23 times more likely when the driver is texting.
At our law firm, we pay close attention to this dangerous trend that has affected many of our clients and their families. Our practice is limited to representing people in Louisiana who have become victims of serious personal injuries, including catastrophic injuries and fatalities caused by distracted drivers.
If you or someone you care about was injured or killed by a distracted driver in New Orleans, call us today to schedule a free case evaluation with a New Orleans auto accident attorney from Dudley DeBosier. We may be able to help you recover substantial compensation.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is when a driver engages in any activity that takes their focus away from what is happening on the road ahead of them. Some of the most common examples of distracted driving include the following:
- Talking on cell phones and other devices
- Texting, eating, drinking, and smoking
- Reading, including maps
- Using navigation devices
- Tuning the radio
- Personal grooming, such as combing one’s hair or applying makeup
- Checking one’s appearance in the mirror
- Turning to look at passengers in the backseat
- Dropping and reaching for something
Engaging in activities like these, while driving, takes a driver’s attention away from the road, significantly increasing the driver’s risk of causing or being involved in an auto accident.
Signs That a Driver May Be Distracted
Sometimes it is easy to recognize when a driver is distracted. For example, when a driver is texting and driving, you may see their chin tucked down for two to three seconds at a time. This is important to know because, at a speed of 60 miles per hour, a vehicle can travel 88 feet per second. That’s more than 1/2 the length of a football field in just two seconds while the driver’s eyes were on their cell phone.
Distracted drivers also tend to reduce their speed. If you see a driver in the passing lane of a highway going 50 miles per hour in a 65-mph-zone, the driver is likely distracted by something other than the road in front of them. Distracted drivers may also be observed swerving from side to side or drifting slowly across lanes.
How Does Distracted Driving Impact an Auto Accident Case in New Orleans?
In Louisiana, it is illegal to read or write text messages while driving. However, using hands-free devices and doing other things like eating, fidgeting with the radio, looking at the backseat, tending to pets, and other forms of distracted driving are not necessarily illegal.
But even if a distracting activity is not illegal, it can be evidence of negligence. In an auto accident case, a skilled attorney will use any evidence of driver inattentiveness or distraction to bolster their client’s lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Evidence of distracted driving can be hard to collect. However, if there is reason to believe that the driver was texting or on the phone when the accident happened, the victim’s lawyer may be able to subpoena records from the cellphone company as evidence.
Louisiana does not award punitive damages for injuries caused by distracted driving. However, juries do not look favorably upon distracted drivers, and they may award an auto accident victim more in damages simply because distracted driving was involved.
Our law firm takes distracted driving cases very seriously, and we use the resources at our disposal to prosecute these cases vigorously to enhance the compensation our clients recover.
Why Hire an Auto Accident Attorney in New Orleans?
Whenever a person is injured in an auto accident due to someone else’s negligence, the aftermath can be devastating. Life as they knew it may be forever changed due to no fault of their own.
Not only might the victim be forced to cope with the physical and emotional trauma caused by the accident, but the uncertainty of what their life will look like beyond the accident can leave them feeling helpless and confused.
For the victim, an accident caused by a distracted driver is a stressful event with potentially life-altering consequences. But for the liable insurance company, the case is simply a business transaction. Their goal is to negotiate a quick settlement with the victim and pay out as little compensation as possible.
It is not always easy to prove distracted driving, but by working with a skilled auto accident attorney, New Orleans accident victims have the best chance of recovering the compensation they deserve. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Dudley DeBosier have the resources, know what to look for, what questions to ask, and how to get the answers an auto accident victim needs to move forward successfully in their injury claim.
Let Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers Help You with Your Auto Accident Case
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you have suffered enough, and you shouldn’t be mistreated by the liable insurance company. Our lawyers can help you take control of your case so that you can get your life back on track.
Getting started with us is easy. Simply call us to schedule a consultation with an experienced auto accident attorney who will review the details of your case, answer all your questions, and provide you with a plan to get the justice you deserve.
At Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, every prospective client gets a free case assessment. We love to help people protect their future and get what they deserve. Contact our New Orleans office today to consult with an auto accident attorney.
This content has been reviewed by Chad Lederman, Director of Legal Operations at our New Orleans office.
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