Distracted driving is a big issue for road users in North Carolina and all over the country. In fact, it is now being considered an epidemic by various groups and institutions. Going by the numbers, distracted driving is the second-leading cause of car accidents in North Carolina, accounting for nearly 18% of these cases.
According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, in 2020, distracted driving caused 44,128 collisions, leading to 18,552 injuries, and 157 deaths. Despite knowing the dangers and consequences associated with distracted driving, many drivers still choose to engage in this risky behavior thus endangering their lives and those of others.
If you or a loved has been harmed in an accident caused by a distracted driver, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced Winston Salem distracted driving attorney from McIver Law Firm to pursue justice and maximum financial compensation. Call us today at 336-727-9886 to schedule a free consultation with our Winston Salem personal injury lawyer and access top-notch legal services.
What is Distracted Driving?
This is the act of engaging in any activity that takes your attention away from the primary task of driving. While distracted driving is widely associated with texting while driving, there are plenty of other actions that qualify as distracted driving.
What Are the Types of Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving falls into three major categories depending on the type of distraction:
Visual distractions are those that take the driver’s eyes off the roadway, even if momentarily. These include looking at your phone, reading directions, looking at billboards, and observing a distracting scene outside the vehicle, for example, an accident.
These are any activities that cause the driver to remove one or both of their hands from the steering wheel. These include adjusting dashboard controls like the temperature or radio, reaching for something in the vehicle, eating, and so on.
These are any activities that take the driver’s focus and concentration away from the task of driving. These can include daydreaming, conversating with passengers, and talking on the phone.
What Are the Laws Regarding Distracted Driving in North Carolina?
North Carolina has implemented several laws in a bid to curb cases involving distracted driving. Under North Carolina state law:
- All drivers are prohibited from reading or sending text messages and emails while behind the wheel. However, exemptions apply to drivers who are legally stopped or parked, law enforcement and first responders.
- Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using mobile devices of any kind while behind the wheel (except when talking to parents or in emergency situations).
- Adult drivers are allowed to talk on the mobile phone while driving.
- School bus drivers are prohibited from using mobile devices of any kind, except for emergency purposes.
The penalties for breaking these laws are:
- A $100 fine for the offense of texting or emailing while driving.
- A $100 fine for school bus drivers found using a mobile device while behind the wheel.
- A $25 fine for drivers under the age 18 years caught using a mobile device while behind the wheel.
What Damages Can a Victim Recover in a Distracted Driving Accident Claim?
In a successful Winston Salem distracted driving case, you can expect to recover the following types of damages:
These damages are designed to compensate the victim for financial losses suffered as a result of the accident and subsequent injuries. These include loss of income, medical bills, house modification costs, loss of earning capacity, and more.
These are damages intended to compensate the victim for subjective losses that can’t be assigned a monetary value. These include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of limb function.
These types of damages are only awarded under special circumstances. They are meant to punish the offender for acting with recklessness, malice, or deceit. While they are mainly awarded against drunk drivers, a case can be made for such damages in cases involving texting drivers.
It is important to note that North Carolina is a Contributory Negligence state. This means that the plaintiff can’t recover damages if they are even 1% at fault for the accident. This is why it is crucial to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible to prove your innocence.
Are There Any Time Limits on Filing a Claim?
The North Carolina General Statutes Section 1-52 dictates that the plaintiff in a distracted driving personal injury case has up to three years from the date of injury to file the claim.
Why Do I Need a Winston Salem Distracted Driving Attorney?
As noted, North Carolina follows the doctrine of contributory negligence, making it one of the toughest states to recover compensation. You need to provide adequate proof that you bear no responsibility for the accident that led to your injuries.
An attorney will evaluate your situation and determine whether you have a valid case. They will then gather all the necessary evidence to prove your innocence and required level of compensation. They will handle all the paperwork involved and deal with the insurance company on your behalf.
If they fail to reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company, they will take your case to court where they will fight hard for your rights before a judge and jury.
All in all, working with a Winston Salem distracted driving attorney from the onset gives you the best chance of a favorable outcome in your case.
Reach Out to An Experienced Winston Salem Distracted Driving Attorney Today!
Distracted driving can have devastating consequences for the victims and their families, from long-term injuries and financial hardships to the loss of a loved one and other unexpected consequences.
These are all things that can be easily avoided if all drivers paid a little more attention on the road. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a distracted driving accident, you deserve justice.
At McIver Law Firm, we have extensive experience fighting for the rights of distracted driving accident victims in Winston Salem, NC. We also serve the Lewisville, NC community as well. We are renowned for our high-quality legal services and are prepared to fight for your rights too.
Contact us today at 336-727-9886 to schedule a free consultation. Remember, we offer our services on a contingency basis!