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Can You Hold Distracted Drivers Accountable?

October 23, 2017 · FLEMING | NOLEN | JEZ, L.L.P.

Auto accidents and fatalities have been steadily increasing across the U.S. in recent years, and experts say distracted driving is playing a key role in pushing those numbers higher. Now one of the most dangerous epidemics on American roadways, driver distraction claims the lives of roughly 9 people each day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). What’s more, there are over 1,000 crashes each day involving a distracted driver.

Because driver distraction has become such a horrific problem, and because research has shown that it can substantially increase crash risks, states across the country have taken steps to pass laws that prohibit certain forms of distraction. Often these laws focus on texting and cell phone use, which can increase crash risks by as much as 23 times.

Even when a state does not enforce texting or cell phone bans behind the wheel, or doesn’t create laws prohibiting other common forms of driver distraction – such as eating or drinking, personal grooming, conversations with passengers, or adjusting music and electronic devices – driving distracted is a form of negligence.

Drivers who choose distractions over their duty to safely operate a vehicle can be held accountable for their negligence, and liable for the damage victims suffer as a result, including their pain and suffering, medical expenses and future medical needs, and lost income, among others. Holding a driver accountable for negligence is a matter that can be effectively handled by proven accident attorneys like those at Fleming | Nolen | Jez, L.L.P.

Over the years, our car accident attorneys have fought for distracted driving victims throughout Houston and the U.S. by building clear and convincing personal injury claims establishing the following essential elements:

  • A duty existed – Any driver who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle has an inherent legal obligation to drive safely and take reasonable measures to do so.
  • A duty was breached – Choosing a distraction, whether it be an act prohibited by law (i.e. texting) or not is NOT a reasonable measure that allows for the safe operation of a vehicle. Because it increases crash risks and places others in danger, driving distracted is a breach of duty.
  • Causation – Proving causation is critical to a successful personal injury claim. Victims, with the help of their attorneys, must show that distraction more likely than not led to the crash and resulting injuries.
  • Damages – Victims must have suffered damages in order to have a valid cause for a claim. These can include economic and non-economic damages.

Proving these elements and taking a full account of the damages suffered by victims is critical to securement of the compensation victims need and deserve. By working with our legal team, victims can receive the guidance they need to navigate the claim process, as well as the representation required when dealing with insurance providers who want to limit victim payouts as severely as they can.

If you would like more information about holding a distracted driver accountable for you accident and injuries, do not hesitate to call a proven car accident lawyer from Fleming | Nolen | Jez, L.L.P. at (713) 621-7944 for a FREE consultation. Our attorneys are ready to fight on your behalf!