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Hazleton Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer

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Driver distraction is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents. Driving requires focus and undivided attention, but too many people choose to endanger themselves and others by multitasking behind the wheel.

If a distracted driver hits you or someone you love in Hazleton, you need a Hazleton distracted driving accident lawyer who can prove negligence and win you maximum compensation. The Hazleton car accident lawyers at Munley Law have decades of experience representing car accident injury victims, and we have won numerous multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts. Our attorneys have earned the industry’s highest ratings from Martindale-Hubbell, and have been named the Best Lawyers in America. Let us get you the justice you need.

Get the help you need today. Contact Munley Law for a free consultation. We will listen to your story and give you advice as to how to proceed, and if you choose to hire us to represent you, we will get to work right away. There is no charge for our services unless we win your case.

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What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving takes many forms. Driving is a physically and mentally complex task that demands one’s full attention. Anything that takes your attention away from the task of driving is a type of distraction. Younger and more inexperienced drivers are more prone to distraction than older drivers, but no driver is immune. Reading or sending a text message is one of the most common distractions for drivers on the road, but not all forms of driver distraction involve mobile devices.

Distraction can be broken down into three categories: cognitive distraction, visual distraction, and manual distraction. All three impair driving performance.

Cognitive – Cognitive distractions take your mind away from the task of driving. Even if your hands are on the wheel and your eyes are on the road, cognitive distractions such as a hands-free phone conversation or a wandering mind can take your attention away from the task at hand. While many people consider hands-free Bluetooth conversations to be safer than a handheld phone call, they have proven to be highly distracting as well.

Visual – Visual distractions are anything that diverts your eyes from the road. Drivers must stay aware of their surroundings in order to be safe – this includes the road ahead, as well as the view from side and rear-view mirrors. Taking your eyes off the road to read a message, look for something in the glovebox, or look at a map on your navigation system are all forms of visual distraction. Taking your eyes off the road for even two seconds while driving can be deadly.

Manual – Manual distractions take your hands off the wheel. Holding food or drink, digging through a purse or backpack, or tending to children or pets in the car are all distractions.

Naturally, some activities involve all three forms of distraction.

Common driver distractions that cause accidents include:

  • Reading or sending a text message
  • Looking at social media
  • Checking email
  • Using a music app
  • Using an infotainment system
  • Using a GPS or navigation
  • Conversations with passengers
  • Eating or drinking
  • Applying makeup
  • Searching for an item in the car
  • Hands-free phone conversations

In other words, there really is no such thing as multitasking when you’re behind the wheel of a car. Every day, innocent people pay the price for those who risk driving distracted.

hazleton distracted driving accident lawyer discussing a case with a client

How Can You Prove Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is a type of reckless and negligent behavior. If a driver is found to have been texting at the time of an accident for which they were at fault, they may be found negligent and, therefore, liable for damages they caused.

However, this is often easier said than done. The plaintiff (victim) in a personal injury case must prove certain elements in order to recover damages from the defendant successfully. You must be able to show:

Duty – You must show that the defendant owed you a duty of care. In car accident cases, this is fairly straightforward. All drivers on the road have a duty to exercise reasonable care and caution behind the wheel. This includes abiding by traffic laws, paying attention to the roadway, and avoiding collisions with other drivers and pedestrians.

Breach – You must show that the defendant breached their duty by texting, using social media, or engaging in some other distracting activity while driving. This can be difficult to prove. Your lawyer may obtain the defendant’s phone records to determine if phone use contributed to your crash. But other types of distraction will be more challenging to demonstrate. This is where your attorneys may rely on witness testimony and deposition, surveillance footage, and other forms of discovery.

Causation – You will need to demonstrate that the defendant’s breach of duty resulted in the crash that caused your injuries. If there is any question about this factor, your attorney can call upon engineers and experts to make your case.

Damages – Finally, you will need to prove that you suffered damages (economic and noneconomic) as a result of your injuries.

In order to make a successful personal injury claim, you will need to prove that the other driver was negligent. In a distracted driving accident case, this means you will need to prove that the at-fault driver was distracted. In some cases, the at-fault driver will be issued a citation for texting and driving at the time the police respond to the accident. This will likely be noted in the police accident report.

What Are the Common Injuries in Hazleton Distracted Driving Accidents?

A distracted driver might fail to slow down in time to avoid hitting the car in front of them. They might fail to notice a pedestrian or bicyclist at an intersection. They might run a red light and collide with an oncoming vehicle. They might drift out of their lane and hit another driver head-on. All of these types of collisions can result in serious, catastrophic injuries.

Common injuries sustained in a distracted driving car accident include:

Broken bones – The impact of a car crash can result in broken bones including arm, leg, rib, collarbone, and other fractures. Broken bones are not only extremely painful, but they can also require multiple expensive surgeries and can even cause internal damage. Pedestrians, motorcycle riders, and cyclists, who lack the protection of a vehicle, are especially vulnerable to these types of injuries.

Traumatic brain injuries – Traumatic brain injuries or TBI are among the most common injuries that occur in motor vehicle accidents. Brain injuries can range from mild concussions to skull fractures and brain bleeds. A brain injury can cause long-term or permanent disability and change the victim’s life forever. Because these are often hidden injuries, they are highly complex to understand and to treat.

Neck and back injuries – The force of a crash frequently results in neck and back pain. Some accident victims don’t experience the full effects of a neck and back injury until days after the crash. Neck and back pain can be debilitating and lead to loss of mobility. Costly spinal surgery and extensive time off of work can be involved in recovery from a back injury.

man texting while driving before getting into a hazleton distracted driving accident

What Damages Are Available in a Hazleton Distracted Driving Accident Lawsuit?

Becoming the victim of a car accident can turn your life upside down in an instant. In addition to the physical pain and the psychological stress you experience, you may also be facing sudden medical bills, damage to your vehicle, and time missed from work. If someone else’s negligence caused you to suffer these damages, you should not have to pay for them on your own. The purpose of a car accident lawsuit is to award the plaintiff financial compensation or damages for the harm they have suffered due to the defendant’s actions.

Damages in a Hazleton distracted driving lawsuit can include both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages in a Hazleton car accident include financial losses like medical bills, hospital stays, prescription medicine, physical therapy, lost wages, and lost earning power.

Non-economic damages include emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering.

Your distracted driving accident lawyer will work with experts to calculate the current and future damages in your case, and fight for the maximum amount of compensation you can receive.

Hazleton Distracted Driving Accident FAQs

The driver of the car in which I was a passenger caused a crash. Can I sue?

Perhaps you were a passenger injured in a single-vehicle crash that happened because the driver was distracted. Or, maybe your friend or family member hit another car while distracted, and you suffered injuries as well. As the passenger of the vehicle, you also have the right to sue the at-fault driver for damages you have experienced as a result of their reckless behavior.

Many passengers hesitate to sue a distracted driver because the driver is their friend or relative. What you should understand is that it is the insurance company, not the driver, who pays in a personal injury lawsuit. If you were seriously injured, you should not have to pay for someone else’s negligent and dangerous decisions.

To better understand your legal rights and options after a car crash, contact a Hazleton personal injury lawyer at Munley Law for a free, private consultation.

Is distracted driving a crime in Hazleton?

All forms of distraction are dangerous, but only some specific types of distracted driving are illegal in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, drivers are prohibited from reading, writing, or sending text-based communication using an interactive wireless communication device. The penalty for texting and driving is a fine of $50.00. If texting and driving results in the injury or death of another person, the consequences are much more serious.

Daniel’s Law states that a driver found guilty of causing serious bodily injury while texting will face a 2-year jail sentence, and a driver found guilty of causing fatal injuries while texting will face 5 years.

How many people are involved in distracted driving crashes every year in PA?

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, in 2021, there were 12,703 distracted driving accidents including 58 fatalities in Pennsylvania.

Does insurance cover me if I was hit by a driver who was texting?

Under Pennsylvania law, all drivers’ injuries will be covered by their own personal injury protection or “PIP” coverage on their insurance policy, regardless of who was at fault. When this coverage is exhausted, victims can seek additional compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance for damages.

In Pennsylvania, car accident victims are bound by the tort option they select on their car insurance policy. A full tort policy allows you to sue for pain and suffering if you’re hit and injured by another driver. A limited tort policy limits your ability to sue. With a limited tort policy, you can sue for medical bills and lost wages only, unless your injuries are severe enough to breach this limitation. There are some exceptions to this rule. If you were a pedestrian hit by a car, you will automatically enjoy the benefits of a full tort policy. Likewise, if you were hit by an out-of-state driver, you would enjoy the privileges of a full tort policy.

Another form of coverage that can help you after being hit by a distracted driver is your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If the driver who hit you does not have sufficient insurance coverage to compensate you for your damages, you may look to your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for additional funds.

In order to hold a distracted driver accountable for your damages, you will need to prove that they were negligent. This is where a car accident lawyer at Munley Law can help you.

What if I was hit by a distracted truck driver in Hazleton?

Truck drivers are as prone to distraction behind the wheel as the rest of the driving population. If you were hit by a commercial truck and you believe the trucker may have been distracted at the time of the crash, the Hazleton truck accident lawyers at Munley Law are ready to help you today. We devote a significant portion of our practice to heavy trucking and tractor-trailer cases specifically, and we are recognized nationwide as leaders in truck accident injury law.

I need a car accident lawyer who speaks Spanish. Can you help me?

Yes. At Munley Law, we are fully equipped to serve Spanish-speaking clients. Two of our attorneys speak Spanish, and we have a bilingual translator and interpreter on staff. We will make sure that a language barrier does not stop you from getting the justice you so rightfully deserve. Visit our Spanish language pages for more information.

Contact a Hazleton Distracted Driving Lawyer at Munley Law

Drivers who attempt to multitask behind the wheel knowingly put other people around them in harm’s way. If you or someone in your family was injured by a distracted driver, you deserve answers. Our award-winning team of lawyers is standing by, ready to get to work for you.

Our attorneys will answer your questions, listen to your story, and advise you about what to do next. Once hired, we will get to work obtaining evidence, reviewing your medical records, and consulting with experts to prepare your case. We will conduct any necessary investigation, and we will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf even as we prepare your case for a jury trial.

There is never a charge for our services unless we win your case. If we do not succeed in getting justice for you, you owe us nothing.

Do I Have A Case?

If you think you may have a personal injury case, contact us now for a FREE consultation.

    Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys

    197 N Cedar St.
    Hazleton, PA 18201
    (570) 536-9498

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