Distracted driving is more common than ever before, especially with the widespread use of cell phones and other electronic devices. The consequences for drivers in Kentucky and Indiana have been catastrophic.
Even a moment’s distraction can result in a serious accident. It only takes three seconds to look down and read a text message, but that’s enough time to cross the entire length of a football field at 65 miles per hour.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, the Karl Truman Law Office is here to help. Please call (502) 222-2222 today for a free consultation in or around Louisville, Kentucky. We also serve clients in and around Jeffersonville, Indiana; call (812) 282-8500.
The Help You Need After a Distracted Driving Car Accident
When you contact the Karl Truman Law Office, our team will listen to your story and discuss your legal options. You may be able to recover compensation through an insurance claim, or you may need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Distracted Driving Isn’t Always Easy to Prove
If you take action against the other driver, you and your attorney must prove that the driver’s negligence resulted in the accident. In other words:
- The other driver did not exercise reasonable care and did something that a reasonable person would consider unsafe, careless, or reckless.
- Because of that failure, you got hurt.
- You have damages (financial or emotional losses) due to your injuries.
Proving negligence in these cases isn’t always easy to do. Distracted drivers are rarely honest about what they were doing at the time of the car accident. They might not want to admit that they were reading a text message or fiddling with the radio. They might even claim that their brakes locked up, or that you cut them off or made an improper turn. And they might not be intentionally lying, either. In a traumatic scenario, memory isn’t always reliable.
If you don’t have strong evidence to support your version of events, the distracted driver’s insurance company isn’t going to make a fair settlement offer. They might even look for ways to blame the crash on you.
Truman Law Office Uses Advanced Tactics to Help You
If you suspect distracted driving was a factor, our lawyers will thoroughly investigate and gather crucial evidence on your behalf. This may include:
- Investigating the scene of the accident to determine how the crash occurred
- Interviewing eyewitnesses who saw the accident
- Obtaining a copy of the police report and reviewing it for key details
- Subpoenaing the at-fault driver’s cell phone records
- Requesting data from the vehicle’s onboard computer
- Working with accident reconstruction experts and other professionals
- Assessing the vehicles involved in the accident inside and out, including possible distractions within the car
Our team will also work with your doctors and other medical professionals to understand the severity and extent of your injuries. This information will enable us to calculate the damages you have suffered, then pursue fair compensation on your behalf.
Distracted Driving Case Study: Keith’s Story
At Truman Law Office, we represent clients hurt by distracted drivers all the time. One of our most notable cases involved Keith, a veteran who was rear-ended by an F-350 driver while stuck in highway traffic.
When we analyzed the truck’s black box, we discovered that the driver hadn’t even applied his brakes—he hit Keith at full speed. We also hired an accident reconstructionist, who was shocked that Keith survived based on the analysis of the police photos, skid marks, and other evidence at the scene.
Our evidence proved conclusively that the at-fault driver was distracted at the time of the accident and fully responsible for Keith’s damages. We were able to settle for the maximum amount allowed under the applicable insurance policies. Keith incurred over $1 million in medical bills, but the settlement he received eliminated his medical debt.
CLIENT STORY: Veteran Gets Policy Limits Settlement After a Catastrophic Crash
What Is Distracted Driving?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “any activity that diverts attention from driving” is considered a possible cause of distracted driving. More than 3,100 drivers were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2020, according to the most recent official NHTSA statistics—and this is almost certainly a significant undercount.
All forms of driver distraction compromise one, some, or all three of the essential types of focus needed to drive a car safely:
- Visual: The ability to spot hazards, judge distance, and adapt to changes in road and traffic conditions. Anything that takes driver’s eyes off the road is a visual distraction.
- Manual: The physical act of controlling the car; manual distractions take drivers’ hands away from the wheel, limiting their control of the vehicle.
- Cognitive: The mental focus on the vehicle and one’s surroundings. Activities or thoughts that take your mind and focus away from driving are considered cognitive distractions.
Many different activities can contribute to distracted driving, including:
Texting, Talking, and Other Electronic Device Usage
Texting is considered the most dangerous form of distraction. That’s because reading and composing text messages affects the driver’s visual, manual, and cognitive attention.
However, using electronic devices in general increases the risk of an accident. This includes activities such as:
- Talking on the phone
- Reading emails
- Accessing apps and browsing the Internet
- Viewing a GPS device or map on a smartphone
Although cell phones and other electronic devices are often associated with distracted driving, there are many other ways your attention can be dangerously divided.
Eating and Drinking
For many drivers, time in the car also functions as mealtime or snack time. When eating or drinking, drivers are likely to take one or both hands off the wheel. They might also take their eyes from the road. And, if there’s a spill, their attention will be diverted from the task at hand, potentially resulting in an accident.
You often see drivers try to save time on their morning commute by squeezing in activities that are best performed at home. From applying makeup to shaving to brushing their hair, many drivers put their personal safety (and the safety of others) second to their personal hygiene.
Distractions in the Car
Even if the driver has both hands on the wheel and appears to be looking at the road, potential distractions within the vehicle abound. These distractions include:
- Passengers, especially young children
- The radio
- Temperature controls
- Objects in the glove compartment
- Items that fall onto the floor
Many of these distractions are short-lived or easy to overlook. However, the few seconds it takes you to pick up something you dropped or focus on a conversation with other occupants of the vehicle may be enough time to cause a collision.
Distracted Driving Laws in Kentucky and Indiana
Both states we serve have laws meant to specifically discourage and punish distracted driving.
- Texting while driving is prohibited.
- Drivers under age 18 may not use a cell phone in any capacity, including to make phone calls.
- School bus drivers may not use cell phones except for official purposes while transporting children.
- Texting while driving is prohibited.
- Drivers may not use a phone held in their hands while driving, including to make phone calls or use a GPS app. A hands-free device must be used.
- Drivers under age 21 may not use a cell phone in any capacity.
However, despite the laws on the books, distracted driving and cell phone use continue to be significant safety problems in both states.
Compensation for Distracted Driving Accidents
If you think your accident and resulting injury may have been caused by a distracted driver, then you may have a case to pursue compensation for your injury. You may be able to recover damages such as:
- Medical costs and expenses for ongoing treatment
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings and earning capacity, if the accident affects your ability to work
- Out-of-pocket expenses for costs associated with the accident
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages, if the at-fault driver is determined to have acted especially recklessly or maliciously
With the thousands of fatalities caused each year by distracted driving accidents, you may experience the tragic loss of a family member in a collision with a distracted driver. If your loved one is killed, our lawyers can pursue a wrongful death claim on your behalf.
You and your family may be entitled to compensation for damages including:
- Loss of your loved one’s income
- Loss of household and financial support
- Medical expenses incurred prior to death
- Expenses for funeral services and burial or cremation
- Loss of consortium, society, and/or parental guidance
The exact compensation to which you and your loved ones are entitled will depend on the circumstances of the accident and the damages you have sustained. At the Karl Truman Law Office, we make it our mission to pursue the full compensation and peace of mind that you and your family deserve.
Contact Our Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers Today
With distracted driving a growing problem in Kentucky, Indiana, and throughout the country, it is important to work with an experienced car accident lawyer who understands the devastating toll of these accidents.
At the Karl Truman Law Office, we employ a personalized approach for every client and every case. In building the strategy for your claim, we account for all the expenses and damages you are currently facing, as well as costs and difficulties you may encounter in the future.
Our lawyers have experience with distracted driving accident claims involving all types of motor vehicles.
For a free case evaluation, please contact the Karl Truman Law Office today. You can reach our office in Louisville, Kentucky, by calling (502) 222-2222, or you can reach us in Jeffersonville, Indiana, at (812) 282-8500.