Cincinnati Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers
Few accident causes are as frustrating for victims as distracted driving. These crashes are usually caused by another driver’s failure to pay attention to the road. Many people tend to think of themselves as being very capable when it comes to multitasking, but the simple truth remains that people who attempt to do multiple things at a time often fail to perform those functions as well as they would have if they had dedicated their complete focus to those tasks.
When one of the tasks not receiving undivided attention is driving a motor vehicle, the decision often places many other people at tremendous risk because the distracted driver is completely unprepared to respond to any emergency situation. While cell phones are perhaps the most common kind of distraction, they are not the only one, any kind of distraction can make the distracted driver negligent and liable for all damages.
Did you suffer severe injuries or was your loved one killed in a motor vehicle accident caused by distracted driving in the Cincinnati area? You must not delay in retaining legal counsel so you can have the best chance of recovering all of the compensation you are entitled to.
Lawrence & Associates has a record of success that includes several six- and seven-figure settlements and verdicts. Call (513) 351-5997 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.
Do I Need A Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer?
As strongly as you might believe that another driver was distracted when they caused your accident, the other driver’s insurance company may very well claim that you were actually the party to blame for a collision. The first reason you are going to want an attorney is that they will know how to obtain the evidence you need to prove a distraction.
For example, if you think another driver was using a cell phone before your crash, then the lawyer can subpoena that driver’s phone records. When the records indicate the driver was active on their cell phone at the time of a crash, this may be used as evidence of negligence in court.
You are also going to want to have an attorney handle all of your phone calls from the other driver’s insurance company. An insurer will usually try to contact you soon after your accident, and a claims adjuster may ask you to provide a recorded statement, but you should never agree to do so without legal representation.
In some cases, the insurance company will quickly offer you a lump sum settlement. You are right to wonder if you are really being offered what you deserve, and chances are that you are not. A lawyer will be able to negotiate for a truly fair and full settlement to your case.
Why Choose Lawrence & Associates To Handle My Case?
Lawrence & Associates can handle every single aspect of your personal injury case from start to finish so you do not have to worry about meeting legal deadlines or filing certain claims. We will prepare your case for trial even when a settlement appears likely.
Justin Lee Lawrence is a member of the Northern Kentucky Bar Association, the Kentucky Bar Association, the Kentucky Justice Association, and Rotary International at the Florence Club. He was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers Association and is licensed in Ohio and Kentucky. Pete Tripp is also licensed in Ohio and Kentucky, and a member of both the Ohio State Bar Association and Kentucky Bar Association.
Do not let money prevent you from consulting with an attorney because Lawrence & Associates will represent you on a contingency fee basis. In other words, you only pay when you obtain a financial award.
Types of Distracted Driving Accident Cases We Handle
While smartphones are undoubtedly the most well-known and frequently discussed kind of distraction to avoid while driving, the truth is that drivers can be distracted by a number of other items. Other distractions include, but are not limited to:
- Other vehicle occupants
- Using a Global Positioning System (GPS)
- Watching videos
- Adjusting stereo or climate controls
- Rubbernecking (looking at other accidents)
- Reaching for fallen objects
Distractions are typically divided into three categories: visual distractions that take your eyes off the road, manual distractions that take your hands off the wheel, and cognitive distractions that take your mind off of driving. Text messaging while driving is considered one of the most dangerous distractions because it involves all three of these kinds of distractions.
What should I do after a distracted driving accident?
You will always want to be sure that you receive medical care after any motor vehicle accident, even when you do not think you were hurt. You should still have a medical professional perform an evaluation so you can be sure that any injuries you did suffer are properly treated. Contact the local law enforcement agency to file a police report for your crash, and also try to get as many photographs of your accident scene as you possibly can. Also, look for potential witnesses and get their contact information, as these people may be able to provide very valuable testimony for your case. Be careful not to speak to anybody else about your accident until you have legal representation. Take special care as it relates to your social media profiles, as insurance companies routinely turn to these websites to collect damaging statements from victims.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit for a distracted driving accident?
Under Revised Code § 2305.10(A), a person has two years from the date of their accident to bring legal action. The statute of limitations can be tolled (or delayed) in certain cases when a distracted driving accident victim is not legally capable of filing a lawsuit. For example, a minor will have two years from the date they turn 18, and a mentally incompetent person (such as an individual in a coma after a distracted driving crash) will have two years from the date they become mentally competent.
What kinds of compensation can I recover for a distracted driving accident?
Distracted driving crashes are typically resolved through settlements that are designed to cover every single expense a person has incurred or will incur because of their injuries. When an insurance company refuses to settle a case, a trial becomes necessary and a victim could be awarded compensatory damages. These damages are usually some combination of economic damages and noneconomic damages, with the former being the tangible bills like medical expenses, lost income, and property damage, while the latter relates to harm that cannot be quantified like loss of consortium, disfigurement, or pain and suffering. While punitive damages can also be awarded in distracted driving cases, they are usually quite rare.
Distracted Driving Accident Statistics
An April 2017 Traffic Safety Bulletin from the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) reported that 13,994 drivers crashed while being distracted by something within their vehicles in 2016, an increase of 5 percent from 2015 after distracted driving had increased 11 percent the year before. These crashes caused 27 deaths.
According to the OSHP, “Other Inside the Vehicle” (denoted in cases involving distractions posed by other vehicle occupants or items such as food and drink) was the distraction category that comprised 60 percent of all distracted drivers and 50 percent of distracted drivers in fatal crashes. “Phone” and “Texting/Emailing” accounted for 23 percent of all distracted drivers and 38 percent of fatal crashes.
According to an August 2018 Kent State University dissertation exploring the impact of texting while driving laws in Ohio and Pennsylvania, there were 3,537 injuries, 24 fatalities, and 16,664 property damage incidents associated with distracted driving in Ohio in 2017. The 26 fatalities in 2013 were the most of any year since distracted driving was included on police reports in 2012.
The same dissertation found that 9,990 or 93 percent of drivers in all incidents between 2010 and 2016 in Ohio were not distracted, but 53 drivers (0.5 percent) were distracted by cell phones, 56 cases (0.5 percent) involved surveillance inattention, and 192 cases (1.8 percent) were miscellaneous distractions (not device-related). Another 450 cases (4.25 percent) were unknown or not reported.
Oddly enough, the 122.45 pre-law average for drivers who were not distracted represented 96.6 percent of drivers, but the post-law average for drivers who were not distracted decreased to 116.02 (90.1 percent). Ohio pre-law averages were 0.24 drivers (0.2 percent) distracted by cell phones, 1.08 cases (0.9 percent) involving surveillance inattention, 1.08 cases (0.9 percent) of miscellaneous distractions (not device-related), and 1.92 cases (1.5 percent) being unknown or not reported, but post-law averages were 0.96 drivers (0.7 percent) distracted by cell phones, 0.33 cases (0.3 percent) involving surveillance inattention, 3.28 cases (2.5 percent) of miscellaneous distractions (not device-related), and 8.20 cases (6.4 percent) being unknown or not reported.
Contact a Cincinnati Distracted Driving Accident Attorney Today
Were you hurt by a distracted driver in Cincinnati? If so, you could be owed significant compensation. Drivers have a duty to pay attention to the road, and if a driver was distracted by their phone, by activity in the car, or any other type of distraction that caused them to crash into you, we’ll be there to get you answers and justice.
Have our experienced Cincinnati car accident attorneys review your case during a FREE consultation. Call us at (513) 351-5997 or reach out to us online to schedule yours today.