If you’ve been in a car accident caused by someone else it may be that the driver at fault simply wasn’t watching where he or she was going. Distracted driving, or engaging in any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the primary task of driving, has reached epidemic levels in Massachusetts and throughout the U.S.
In 2013, 3,154 people were killed and approximately 424,000 people were injured in car collisions involving distracted drivers across our country, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
A major cause of distracted driving is the use of cell phones while behind the wheel. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates at any given moment during the day, more than 800,000 drivers are using a handheld cell phones while driving. The Massachusetts Safe Driving Law bans all cell phone use for bus drivers and novice drivers and bans texting for all drivers.
If the driver who caused the accident you were in was a distracted driver, a Boston car accident lawyer from Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers can help you hold them accountable. Contact 1-800-LAW-GUYS today for a free initial consultation about your car accident claim.
Is Texting While Driving Illegal in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts’ Safe Driving Law bans sending, typing or reading electronic messages to or from handheld devices while operating a motor vehicle. This includes the use of the Internet and text messaging. The law prohibits all use of handheld electronic devices by drivers under the age of 18 while behind the wheel.
If you suspect that the driver of the car who caused your accident was texting while driving at the time of the crash or using a cellphone or another electronic device in violation of Massachusetts’ law, we can help you hold them accountable. Our attorneys can obtain a court order compelling the driver to turn over cell phone records and/or access to social media accounts, which may provide evidence of use just prior to the crash. If the police cited a driver for violating the Safe Driving Law, this will, of course, help your case.
Different Types of Distracting Driving
Other activities that contribute to distracted driving may have caused the accident that injured you. They include:
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Dealing with pets
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
How to Prove Distracted Driving in a Car Accident
There are several ways to determine whether distracted driving contributed to a car accident, beginning with obtaining statements from the driver, passengers or other witnesses. Evidence may also be obtained through:
- Debit or credit card receipts indicating recently purchased food or drinks. Food wrappers, drink cups, spills and other debris in the wrecked car might indicate eating or drinking while driving
- Accident scene evidence. Distracted driving accidents are characterized by a lack of braking or swerving to avoid a collision. Lack of skid marks or short, straight skid marks at an accident scene indicate little or no braking or swerving occurred
- Information from the event data recorder (EDR) in the driver’s car. Like airliners and large commercial trucks, newer cars contain EDRs, which record a variety of data, such as engine speed, changes in speed, use of brakes, and more as a car moves. This data can be downloaded after a crash
- Social media activity, which may show posts with incriminating statements made after an accident
- Security camera footage (depending on where the crash occurred), which could show the driver, passengers or a distracting incident outside of the car just prior to the accident
Developing a distracted driver personal injury lawsuit after a car wreck involves investigating each of these opportunities to obtain evidence to support the claim. In many cases, obtaining evidence requires getting a court order to allow access to the car’s black box data or the driver’s social media accounts.
It is extremely helpful to engage a lawyer quickly after a car accident to ensure that crucial evidence does not get destroyed or lost before it can be used to support your case. In some cases, having an attorney ask questions quickly after an accident can compel an at-fault driver to take responsibility for their actions.
Compensation After a Distracted Driving Accident
The purpose of an accident claim after a car accident is to obtain compensation for the individuals involved in the accident who were harmed by someone else’s negligence. This may be a driver, passenger, pedestrian or bicyclist.
The injured party may seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses due to injuries, including projected costs of disabling injuries
- Property damage due to costs of vehicle repair or replacement
- Income loss due to time away from work or disability leading to loss of earning power
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
In addition to developing evidence that shows the defendant in a distracted driving case was negligent, your attorneys from Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers would develop a full accounting of your losses and the compensation required to make you whole financially.
Many personal injury cases are settled through negotiations. If we cannot reach an agreement that suits you, we will be prepared to go to court and present your case to a judge and jury.
Contact Our Boston Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers
The attorneys of Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers work to bring justice to Massachusetts residents who have been injured by others’ negligence and recklessness. If another driver has chosen to drive while distracted and injured you or a loved one of yours in a car accident, we are ready to help.
Contact our firm for a free evaluation of your case with a car accident lawyer. We offer a 30-day, risk-free, guarantee: If you are unhappy for any reason with our legal services within the first 30 days, your file will be returned free of charge. Call for professional and aggressive legal help today.