Seeking Justice After a Scranton Distracted Driving Car Accident
All drivers have an obligation when they enter the road. They are obligated to drive safely, obey all traffic laws, and behave in a manner that does not put themselves or any other party in harm’s way. However, unfortunately, drivers do sometimes fail to meet obligations while behind the wheel, whether that be via drunk driving or simply distracted driving.
$32 Million Wrongful Death
$26 Million Truck Accident
$17.5 Million Car Accident
$12 Million Product Liability
$9 Million Truck Accident
$8 Million Truck Accident
$8 Million Truck Accident
$7.5 Million Auto Accident
$6.9 Million Garbage Truck Accident
$6.5 Million Traumatic Brain Injury
$5 Million Medical Malpractice
$5 Million Bus Accidents
It’s important to remember that a distracted driver is a dangerous driver. If you have experienced the consequences of a distracted driver via an automobile accident, an experienced Scranton distracted driving accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help. We will review your car accident case and fight to ensure you receive the compensation you are owed. Contact us today for a free consultation. We do not collect a fee for our services unless we win your case.
The True Dangers of Distracted Driving
Something as small as reading a text while driving can lead to a car accident and have deadly consequences. This is something Americans seem to agree on; in fact, a AAA Traffic Safety Culture Index survey in 2015 found that 84.4% of drivers agree that texting or emailing while driving is totally unacceptable.
However, knowing the dangers does not prevent these types of car accidents from happening. The NHTSA reports that distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2019. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Pennsylvania alone saw distracted driving play a role in over 14,000 car accidents in 2018. Of these, 63 were fatal.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a distracted driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation. You’ll want to seek out a car accident lawyer who can walk you through the process from start to finish and guide you along the way. At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, you will find incredible, dedicated car accident attorneys whose only goal is to fight for and protect your rights. Contact a car accident lawyer today for a free consultation and learn how we can help you protect your rights.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is an umbrella term that covers many different types of negligence while at the wheel. The NHTSA defines “any activity that diverts attention from driving,” which may include “ talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system”.
Distracted driving is defined as driving a vehicle while doing any activity that takes your attention away from the task of driving. Distraction can be:
Visual distractions include anything that diverts your eyes from the roadway. Examples include reading a message on your phone, looking at the map on your navigation system, or looking in your mirror to apply makeup. Manual distractions take your hands from the wheel and might include searching for something in your car, eating while driving, or typing a text message. Cognitive distractions are distractions that divert your mind from the task at hand. Cognitive distractions may include conversations with passengers, or hands-free phone calls, or infotainment systems. While handheld devices are generally thought of as the most severe form of distraction, even hands-free systems can cause a distraction that results in a crash.
The NHTSA also notes that amongst all of these, texting while driving potentially poses the greatest risk of a car accident. If you are driving at 40 mph, you are moving at a rate of nearly 18 feet per second. That means that if you look away for just 5 seconds while moving at this speed, you will travel about 90 feet. A lot can happen in that space and time.
What’s more, texting while driving is considered a summary offense in the state of Pennsylvania. There is a base fine of $50, plus additional court expenses and fees. Unfortunately, these laws are not nearly severe enough to counteract the dangers of distracted driving. This type of offense is not recorded on the driver record of non-commercial drivers.
Choosing the Right Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in Scranton
When you’ve been in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, it can be difficult to know where to turn. Proving that the driver who hit you was distracted can be challenging. You need an experienced lawyer who can determine and prove the cause of your accident and get you the financial compensation you deserve.
At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, our car accident lawyers have handled cases against car and truck drivers who were distracted behind the wheel. We have earned national recognition for our work on behalf of injured victims and their families. And, we have a record of success when it comes to getting justice for our clients; we have obtained record-setting settlements and verdicts in complex personal injury cases. We do not charge a fee for our services unless we win your case; if we do not obtain a settlement or favorable verdict for you, you owe us nothing.
If you have been injured in a car accident of this type, contact a car accident lawyer in Scranton PA who can guide you through the process of seeking justice.
Frequently Asked Distracted Driving Accident Questions
Q: What should I do immediately after the car accident?
As with any car accident, you should first seek medical care if needed. Beyond that, you should call police to the scene immediately after your car accident. The police will examine the scene of the car accident, speak to witnesses, and ultimately write a report. This report serves as an official account of what happened and can be used by insurance companies and your car accident lawyer later on.
In addition to speaking with the police, it’s wise to document the scene of the car accident yourself. This can help with insurance claims, and can help your car accident lawyer if you need to file a personal injury suit. You can take pictures of the car accident, take down the information of any drivers involved, and talk to witnesses.
You should also exchange insurance information, names, and license plate numbers with any other drivers involved, but it’s best to limit the contact to that. Things said on the scene can be later used against you as an admission of guilt, so choose your words carefully. If any further contact is initiated, seek advise from your car accident lawyer. Your car accident lawyer can guide you through all communications with insurance companies and other parties involved.
Q: Does drunk driving qualify as distracted driving?
Drunk driving and distracted driving are different, but both can result in fatal motor vehicle accidents and should absolutely be avoided. Driving while drunk is illegal, and occurs when an individual gets behind the wheel while intoxicated, or after consuming any amount of alcohol that impacts cognitive function and motor skills.
Distracted driving, as described previously, involves a driver doing anything while driving that minimizes their ability to stay fully focused on the road. If you were hit by a drunk driver or were in any way injured in a drunk driving auto accident, a Scranton drunk driving accident lawyer can help you. Reach out to a Munley accident lawyer today to discuss your options.
Q: What are my legal options if I have been in a distracted driving car accident, and do I need a car accident lawyer?
Like with many motor vehicle accidents, there are typically two potential courses of action after a distracted driving accident. The first course is to seek compensation via your insurance company. In Pennsylvania, all drivers are legally required to be insured. It is also a no-fault state, which means that your coverage through your insurance company is designed to protect you, as opposed to paying out to cover the other person’s claim. Resolving these issues through insurance is usually the first and most straightforward course of action.
However, for many reasons, it’s not always possible, and your accident lawyer can help you explore other options. Many insurance companies will try to pay out as little as possible, and may not offer enough to cover your needs. In that case, you have the option to pursue legal action by filing a personal injury claim. If you have been injured in a car accident and are curious about your options, reach out to an accident lawyer at Munley today. Upon meeting your potential car accident lawyer, you will receive a free consultation and information about how to fight for your rights.
Q: What kind of damages can I recover from these types of motor vehicle crashes?
If you have been the victim of an auto accident of any kind, there’s a range of forms of compensation you may be able to recover. Your experienced car accident attorney can review your case and help you determine what you qualify for. In general, compensation can cover the following areas:
- Property damage costs, such as repairing or replacing your vehicle
- Lost wages (this may apply if you lost your job, had to take time of work, or reduce your overall earning capacity as a result of the accident)
- The cost of ongoing pain and suffering
- Medical bills and expenses
Q: Will my insurance help after the car accident?
Negotiating through insurance companies is a common means of settling an accident, and your car accident lawyer can also offer additional advice on the process. In Pennsylvania, a no-fault state, you will most likely reach out to your own insurance company to file a claim. There are some exceptions to this; for instance, if your injuries from the car accident reach a certain threshold of severity, you may be able to file an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance company as well.
However, working with your insurance company is not always easy and does not always result in fair compensation. Many individuals report receiving brutal and life-altering injuries or mental health impacts as the result of a car accident, which insurance companies still insisted did not meet their definition of “severe”. In a case like this, it may be wise to speak to a car accident lawyer to explore your options. Talk to your accident lawyer to determine if a personal injury suit is the right course of action for you.
Q: Is there a statute of limitations on car accidents?
A statute of limitations essentially says that you have a set amount of time after an incident or accident in which you can file a suit or pursue legal action. These rules vary from state to state, so it’s important to check your state and local laws. In general, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania holds a two-year statute of limitations on all personal injury suits and claims, whether they seek to cover damages from a serious injury or wrongful death.
The two-year countdown begins at the time of the accident that resulted in injury. In other words, you have two years from the time of the accident to decide to pursue legal action. If you’re debating this path to compensation, you should seek advice from a car accident lawyer like those at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys.
Q: What is the penalty for distracted driving in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania’s Texting While Driving Ban “prohibits as a primary offense any driver from using an Interactive Wireless Communication Device (IWCD) to send, read or write a text-based communication while his or her vehicle is in motion.” The penalty for texting while driving is a $50.00 fine plus court costs and other fees. Of course, if distractions like texting cause an accident that harms another person, the consequences can be much more complex and serious.
Pennsylvania’s Daniel’s Law, signed by Governor Tom Wolf in 2016, enhanced the penalties for distracted drivers who cause bodily injury or death. Under this law, distracted drivers convicted of vehicular manslaughter could face an additional 5 years in prison. A distracted driving offense will also result in points on the driver’s license, and increased insurance rates. Daniel’s Law is named after Daniel Gallatin, who was struck and killed by a distracted driver in 2013.
Q: What is comparative fault and what does it mean in an auto accident?
The notion of comparative fault means that more than one party bears some percentage of fault for the car accident. In terms of compensation after the auto accident, the plaintiff’s damages are reduced by whatever percentage of fault they bear.
For example, imagine that you are jaywalking across a street. A driver speeding towards you is looking down at their phone to send a text. They don’t see you until it’s too late to stop and end up colliding with you. In a case like this, the distracted driver would most likely bear the majority of the blame for the car accident. However, you were crossing a street at a time and place where you were not supposed to, so if you sue the driver, a court may determine that you were also partially to blame for the car accident. If you sue for $100,000, but the court determines you are 15% responsible for the auto accident, your claim would be reduced by 15%. You would therefore be capable of recovering $85,000. Talk to a car accident lawyer today to ensure you are not being wrongfully assigned a percentage of blame. Your car accident lawyer can examine your case and help you fight for maximum compensation.
What Can Your Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Car Accident Lawyer Do For You?
Car accident claims, including those around distracted driving accidents, are inherently overwhelming, and being a victim of any type of accident is undoubtedly a terrible experience. You deserve the best when it comes to fighting for your rightful maximum compensation. Our law firm is dedicated to bringing you top-of-the-line legal services and ensuring that you receive the justice you are owed. Having a car accident attorney on your side will help ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation and are not lowballed by a powerful corporation.
Our team of ten excellent, highly experienced car accident attorneys and dozens of excellent legal support staff will work tirelessly for you, and we do not get paid unless you win. We have a stellar record when it comes to car accident cases and will make sure your car accident claim is taken seriously. At Munley, the relationship between you and your car accident lawyer is treated with the utmost care and respect, and you are welcome to a free initial consultation before moving forward.
At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, each of our car accident lawyers has over a decade of experience, as well as hands-on trial and courtroom experience. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys to discuss your accident claim and learn how we can be of service. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and learn how we can help protect your interests.