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Can distracted drivers be liable for injuries?

On Behalf of | May 26, 2016 | Car Accidents, Firm News |

We have all heard the message: Distracted driving is dangerous. It is unnecessary and causes thousands of accidents each year. But just how common is distracted driving? Who is most likely to not pay attention behind the wheel? Can people who cause these crashes be liable for the pain and suffering they cause?

Due to the high number of injuries and deaths, the U.S. Department of Transportation really wants the message to pay attention while driving to stick. The department shares the following information:

  • People are dying in these crashes. In fact, 3,179 people died and another 431,000 were injured in distracted driving accidents in 2014.
  • While distractions behind the wheel are tempting for all drivers, those between the ages of 15 and 19 make up the largest percentage of drivers involved in distracted driving crashes.
  • In an insurance survey, drivers admitted to engaging in all types of dangerous driving behaviors, including not only texting while driving, but brushing their teeth and changing their clothes.
  • A driver looks down to send a text for an average of five seconds. For someone driving at 55 mph, this is the equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded.

These facts point to a real danger on the roadways. And while there are any number of distractions, such as eating, talking to passengers and adjusting the radio — to name only a few, using a cellphone in some capacity remains one of the top distractions. Whether it is sending a text, Internet browsing, trying to find a song or messing with a navigation system, smartphones continue to be a real distraction for many drivers on the roadways.

When these distractions lead to accidents, those hurt should not have to pay for someone else’s mistake. The distracted driver who caused the crash can be held liable. Preparation in these cases is paramount, though, as it will often involve a subpoena for the other driver’s cellphone records and talking to witnesses. At Tauzin & Lorio, Attorneys at Law, we help those hurt in crashes caused by distracted drivers. We build a case to seek compensation for not only the actual injuries, but also lost wages and other costs related to the crash.