Distracted driving has been a major cause of car accidents since the first days of the Model T. As technology has evolved, the amount of distracted driving accidents has only increased over the years, so that distractions often appear in a number of ways to even the most focused drivers. However, this is no excuse after an accident – if you were involved in a distracted driving accident, you may have a claim against the distracted driver.
Distracted Drivers in Nebraska
Nebraska is no different than the rest of the country, and experiences a set percentage of car accidents each year due to distracted driving. The number of people involved in distracted driving accidents caused by cell phone distractions peaked in 2009 with the greatest number of injuries resulting from an accident occurring in 2010. New laws have been implemented to protect all drivers and passengers on the road from distracted drivers, but in 2013, there were still approximately 3,600 car accidents caused by distracted driving. While this represents a sharp decrease from the height of Nebraska distracted driving accidents in 2003, it still remains high. Out of this number, approximately 1,200 distracted driving accidents resulted in injury in 2013, with 14 of these accidents resulting in fatalities.
Nebraska, as well as other states around the country, has taken a hard look at the impact of cell phone use on distracted driving accidents. In 2013, around 150 car accidents were due to cell phone distractions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver cell phone use has only slightly increased in recent years and remains highest among the 16-24 year-old age group. Nebraska has banned texting while driving along with the majority of other states, and it is therefore a traffic offense to visibly text while driving.
Prior to the advent of cell phone use, distracted driving was still a major issue on all the nation’s roadways. There are many things that distract drivers on a daily basis, including:
- Eating food while driving
- Applying makeup while driving
- Children in the back seat
- GPS navigation systems
- Car accidents, tire blowouts, or stopped vehicles on the shoulder
In short, there are a number of outside distractions that can affect a driver on a daily basis. It is your responsibility as a driver to keep the roadways safe by mentally tuning out all outside distractions and focus on the road in front of you. However, other drivers may not follow this mindset, leading to severe accidents.
Distracted Driving Claims
As the victim of a distracted driving accident, you are entitled to bring a legal claim against the responsible party for any injuries sustained in the crash. The total amount of the claim will be based on the following expenses, including emotional expenses:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
A personal injury attorney will be able to assist you in determining the total amount of your injury claim. It is important that you do not speak with the insurance agent of the responsible party. Insurance agents will try relentlessly to settle any accident claim as efficiently as possible. Therefore, they will attempt to contact you in the days following your accident to coerce you to sign a settlement claim that often appears to be a great deal. However, keep in mind that many of your injuries and expenses will not immediately manifest themselves, but will often take months to completely determine. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to predict the amount of your expenses, which are often much higher than the small settlement amount proposed by the insurance company. Keep in mind that a settlement may prevent you from bringing a personal injury claim in the future.
The Knowles Law Firm | Omaha, Nebraska
If you or a loved one have been involved in a distracted driving accident, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of the Knowles Law Firm. Our firm has the resources available to conduct a thorough investigation of your accident claim and will track down the appropriate witnesses to the accident. Distracted driving will only decrease once distracted drivers are held accountable for their actions. Your personal injury claim may prevent a future accident from occurring. Contact our Omaha, Nebraska office today for your initial free consultation.