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Most drivers have been told about the dangers of texting while driving. Taking just a few seconds to glance down at your phone or to type out a message can result in an accident, serious injuries, and, in the worst of cases, can have deadly consequences. However, texting is not the only kind of distracted driving that drivers must be aware of. There are four distinct categories of distracted driving: visual distractions, manual distractions, cognitive distractions, and auditory distractions.

Distracted drivers pose a major threat to everyone on the road and cause many car accidents. If you or someone you know has sustained injuries in one of these car accidents, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Contact one of our Erie distracted driving accident attorneys today to explore your options and learn how we can help you recover the compensation and the justice you deserve from the distracted driver’s insurance company.

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$12 Million Product Liability

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$6.5 Million Traumatic Brain Injury

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What Are the Common Causes of Distracted Driving in Erie, Pennsylvania?

Erie Distracted Driving Accident LawyerDistracted driving can take many forms. Virtually anything that takes a driver’s eyes and attention off the road or their hands off the wheel can be considered a distraction. That being said, there are some prevalent causes of distracted driving, including:

  • Cellphone use (texting, emailing, talking on the phone)
  • Eating or drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Daydreaming
  • Reaching for items
  • Driving while tired
  • Using the GPS
  • Smoking

Erie Distracted Driving Accident LawyerWhile some of these activities may seem harmless, they can have fatal consequences. Something as small as reaching into the backseat for an item can mean that a driver’s hands are off the wheel and their eyes are off the road for a few moments, which can change everything. It’s so important for every driver to ensure that they are paying attention and focused on the act of driving at all times.

According to the CDC, in 2019 alone, more than 3,000 people were killed, and more than 400,000 people were injured in car accidents that involved a distracted driver. When distracted, they may not notice something in the road that requires their response: a pedestrian, a stopped car, or a piece of debris. Moreover, a distracted driver may notice an obstacle too late to react safely.

If you or a loved one is a victim of a distracted driving accident, you may be able to recover compensation. Contact an Erie personal injury lawyer today to learn about the legal process and how you can utilize your legal rights.

How Can I Prove Distracted Driving Caused the Erie Car Accident?

As with any personal injury lawsuit, a distracted driving lawsuit requires proof. Your attorneys will gather evidence that shows the at-fault driver was, in fact, at fault. This evidence can include police reports, witness statements, photographs of the scene, CCTV footage, and more.

Pennsylvania law dictates that when suing for damages after a car accident, the claimant and their legal team must show that the at-fault driver exhibited negligence. In this context, negligence is the failure to act safely and reasonably to prevent harm to you and those around you. Proving that negligence occurred requires establishing four pieces of information:

Duty of Care

The first step is establishing that a duty of care exists. For instance, in Pennsylvania, all drivers have a duty of care to other drivers, which means obeying traffic laws and refraining from any behavior that could endanger others.

Breach of Duty of Care

The next step is proving that this duty of care was breached. This means showing that the driver responsible for the auto accident acted unsafely or recklessly and, therefore, breached their duty to act safely and reasonably while behind the wheel. In the case of distracted driving, this might mean proving that the driver was texting or otherwise exhibiting unsafe distraction.

Breach Caused Accident

Next comes showing that this breach of care directly caused the ensuing accident. For instance, if a pedestrian were hit by a distracted driver who was texting at the time of the impact, the claimant would show that the driver’s unsafe behavior (in this case, texting) is the precise cause of the accident.

Damages Ensued

Lastly, the claimant and their lawyer will show that the accident resulted in damages. Car accident victims who file a personal injury claim are seeking compensation for their losses, so they must prove that these losses occurred in the first place. Losses can look like medical bills to treat injuries from the accident, lost income if the victim had to take time off work during their recovery, property damage to the vehicle, and more.

Erie Distracted Driving Accident LawyerIs There a Penalty for Distracted Driving in Erie County?

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, while the state discourages all forms of distracted driving, texting while driving is the only behavior in this realm that comes with an actual penalty. The penalty for texting while driving in Erie County is $50, plus court costs and other fees. It does not go on the driver record of a non-commercial driver, but it will be recorded on the driver record of commercial drivers.

How Much Compensation Can I Recover Following a Distracted Driving Car Accident?

Distracted driving accidents can cause a huge amount of pain and suffering, physically, emotionally, and mentally. What’s more, accidents can result in real, tangible losses. Filing a personal injury claim can be a great route to pursue compensation and be repaid for all of these losses.

Exactly how much compensation most people will recover from a distracted driving accident is difficult to estimate, as it depends greatly on the details of the accident. Compensation in a personal injury claim is typically intended not to punish the liable party but simply to repay the victim for all their losses. Generally speaking, the more severe the accident and the greater the losses, the greater the compensation a victim may recover.

For instance, if a person is in a car crash and their only injury is a sprained ankle, their medical expenses probably won’t be too great. They might not have to take time off work, so there’s no lost income. Because their expenses due to the accident are fairly low, their compensation would likely be low.

On the other hand, if a victim experiences really serious injuries, their medical bills will likely be higher. They may have to take more time off work during recovery, meaning lost income. They might be in a lot of continuing pain that requires medication, or they may need rehabilitation and physical therapy for the rest of their life. They might need additional mental health services to cope with the trauma of the accident. They will have incurred more costs from the crash so that they can receive more compensation.

Why Should I Hire a Distracted Driving Car Accident Attorney?

People in car accidents and pursuing compensation may wonder: do I need a car accident attorney in Erie? The answer is that working with experienced attorneys is the best way to set yourself up for success. These cases can be extremely complex, and working with an experienced lawyer is an essential piece of the puzzle. Recovery after a car crash can be exhausting, and working with a lawyer means you can focus on getting well while they handle the legal process.

Your lawyer will gather evidence to establish fault, liaise with the insurance company, and ensure you’re never pressured into accepting a settlement that’s less than you deserve. Your lawyer will also ensure your case is valued as it should be and negotiate with the defendant to secure a fair settlement.

While most cases of this nature can be settled, there are times when a settlement cannot be reached, and a trial may become necessary. If this is true, your lawyer can also protect you in court.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Erie Car Accident Lawyer for a Distracted Driving Crash?

One reason most people hesitate to hire an Erie personal injury lawyer is fear of the cost. This is reasonable—amidst the medical bills and other costs that often follow car accidents, adding a mountain of legal fees may sound overwhelming.

But when you work with Munley Law, there’s no need for this concern. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if you win. With this payment type, there are no upfront costs; instead, we receive payment through a small portion of your settlement. That means we only get paid when you get paid.

How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Erie, PA?

While there are some exceptions, Pennsylvania’s general personal injury statute of limitations is two years. This means that from the date of the auto accident, you have two years to take legal action and file a personal injury claim. We encourage our clients to begin the process as soon as possible to avoid running out the clock and experiencing delays.

Our Erie Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer is Here to Help

We believe that all car accident victims deserve to recover compensation and to see justice for the suffering they’ve endured. Our attorneys are here to make that happen.

Erie Distracted Driving Accident LawyerAt Munley Law, we are a family business, which means our clients are also family. You’re not a name on a file; you’re a full person who’s been through a trauma and deserves care and respect. Compassionate client service is just as important to us as securing a settlement.

We’ve been working in this region for decades and have a track record of victories for our clients that speaks for itself. Our attorneys are experts in Erie and Pennsylvania law and in navigating accidents involving texting, cellphone use, and other negligent behavior. We have the skills and expertise needed to win.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving crash. Schedule a free consultation today and learn how

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