Wichita Falls Distracted Driving Car Wreck Lawyer
If you stop and think about it, driving at high speeds enclosed in metal is pretty dangerous in itself. Motor vehicles become especially dangerous and sometimes deadly when drivers are not solely focused on the road they are driving on and the task of driving itself. Unfortunately, thousands are killed and injured every year by distracted drivers. In fact, distracted driving continues to be one of the leading causes of car wrecks in both Texas and Oklahoma. Because it is so prevalent, it is important to be aware of the dangers of distracted driving, know what to do after a distracted driving accident, and understand how a Wichita Falls distracted driving car wreck lawyer can help.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is anytime the driver’s attention is away from operating their vehicle. Distracted driving can be broken down into three forms:
- Cognitive. When your attention is not focused on driving.
- Visual. When your eyes are off the road.
- Physical. When your hands are not on the steering wheel.
Anything that takes away the driver’s attention is a distraction that is potentially deadly. One of the most common distractions is, of course, cell phones. Texting while driving is one of the most common, most dangerous, and most deadly forms of distracted driving because it involved all three forms of distracted driving.
More examples of distracted driving include:
- Texting while driving
- Talking on the phone while driving
- Changing the radio while driving
- Adjusting the GPS while driving
- Eating while driving
- Searching and reaching for objects in the car while driving
- Changing clothes while driving
- Interacting with other passengers while driving
- Day dreaming
- Using social media while driving
- Taking pictures or videos while driving
- Looking at pictures or watching videos while driving
- Caring for children or pets while driving
Distracted Driving Laws in Texas and Oklahoma
Both Texas and Oklahoma have outlawed texting and driving. In 2015, Oklahoma became the 46th state to ban texting while driving and in 2017, Texas became the 47th state to ban texting while driving.
While both states explicitly prohibit texting while driving, there are still other forms of distracted driving that the law doesn’t touch such as eating while driving.
What You Need to Do After a Distracted Driving Accident
Distracted driving does not have to be explicitly illegal for a victim of an accident to receive compensation for injuries and damages caused by a distracted driver. Texas and Oklahoma personal injury laws hold a party responsible for damages arising from negligence, so if a distracted driver causes a traffic accident, that driver can be held liable for the following damages:
- Medical care
- Medical care in the future
- Loss of income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Scarring, impairment, disability, and/or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Other financial losses
How much compensation you receive for a distracted driving accident depends on the liability and how much percentage, if any, you were at fault, how much insurance coverage there is, the severity of your injuries, and your other financial losses. Additionally, the things you do after being injured in a distracted driving accident can also affect the value of your injury claim.
Specific steps you need to take after a distracted driving accident:
- Call 911 and report the accident
- Explain to the officer what happened, but do not admit or accept any fault for the accident
- Collect names and contact information for any eyewitnesses
- Take photographs and videos of the accident scene, the vehicles, and your injuries
- Seek medical treatment immediately and document your injuries
- Document all financial losses (medical bills, medication, loss of income, travel expenses, etc.)
- Refrain from posting on social media and do not discuss the case with anyone
- Do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company of the person who caused the accident
- Do not sign any authorizations or release forms from the insurance company of the person who caused the accident
- Contact our Wichita Falls distracted driving attorney for a free, confidential, no obligation consultation as soon as possible.
Why You Need a Wichita Falls Distracted Driving Accident Attorney to Help You
Proving that a driver was distracted at the time of the crash is one of the most difficult parts of distracted driving claims, and it is not sufficient to prove fault. The police may issue a Wichita Falls driver a ticket for texting while driving and that driver may plead guilty. However, while texting and driving is a traffic offense, it is not conclusive evidence that a driver caused the accident.
Distracted driving is the cause of many accidents. However, in order to hold the driver responsible for the damages caused by the accident, you must prove that the distracted driver did something to cause the collision.
For instance, let’s review a scenario where a driver has dropped their phone beneath their seat and while they are distracted searching for it, they cross the median and hit another vehicle in a head-on collision. In this case, the primary cause was the driving crossing the medial into oncoming traffic. While reaching for their cell phone was absolutely a contributing factor and can be considered negligence, the primary cause was veering into another lane of traffic.
The cause of the wreck is easier to prove in some cases than others. Proving that the distracted driver and the distracted driver’s distraction was the cause of the crash is critical. Our experienced Wichita Falls distracted driving accident lawyer understands the ins and outs of the factors surrounding these types of accidents. We know you need evidence of all factors that contributed to the cause of the wreck to establish responsibility.
Our legal team will utilize our variety of resources to ensure we thoroughly investigate the crash, properly determine the causes involved, and secure the evidence that is needed in order to prove liability. In more complex cases, we will enlist the help of experts to determine the cause of the crash and provide further evidence and testimony to prove that the other drive was at fault.
Distracted Driving Statistics
Nationwide in 2019, 3,142 people lost their lives in distracted driving accidents.
Every year in the United States, distracted driving leads to approximately 391,000 total injuries and almost 3,500 deaths.
More than 100 people die every day in car crashes, 9 of which are a result of distracted driving.
When traveling 55 mpg, if you send or read a text, you take your eyes off the road for approximately 5 seconds, which is long enough to cover the length of a football field.
Distracted Driving Accident Statistics for Texas and Oklahoma
In Texas in 2020, there were approximately 80,451 total distracted driving accidents, 22,124 possible injuries, 10,439 non-incapacitating injuries, 2,203 suspected serious injuries, and 368 fatalities. In Texas in 2020, approximately one in five crashes were caused by distracted drivers. That’s nearly 20% of all crashes across Texas.
In Oklahoma in 2020, there were approximately 7,290 total distracted driving accidents, 1,069 injurie total injuries, 180 serious injuries, and 41 fatalities.
Contact a Distracted Driving Car Accident Attorney in Wichita Falls
One silly distraction can change the lives of an entire family in an instance. If a distracted, negligent driver has caused you injuries, our legal team can help you. We provide guidance, support, and legal counsel to accident victims and their families as they attempt to get their lives back on track after a distracted driving accident.
Call the Law Office of Steven R. Booker at 940-569-4000 for a free, confidential consultation with a Wichita Falls distracted driving accident lawyer. You can get sound legal advice from an experienced and trusted attorney of injury victims throughout Texas and Oklahoma without any obligation to hire our firm.