Baton Rouge Distracted Driving Lawyer
Louisiana Injury Attorneys for Distracted Driving Accident Victims
Distracted driving occurs when a driver doesn’t give full attention to the road or other motorists while operating their vehicle. It seems the number of distractions for drivers keeps on increasing, and so does the number of accidents. In fact, distracted driving is now the leading cause of car wrecks in the United States. These accidents outpace collisions caused by drunk driving, speeding, and other common negligent driving behaviors.
If a distracted driver causes an accident that leaves you or a loved one injured or killed, you may be able to recoup compensation for your injuries with a personal injury lawsuit. The Baton Rouge distracted driving attorneys at Joubert Law Firm have represented countless clients whose lives were turned upside down by distracted drivers. We are dedicated to providing unmatched representation and advocacy in personal injury law and guiding our clients through some of the most stressful moments of their lives. We are happy to discuss the details of your case during a free consultation, so give us a call at (225) 761-3822 today.
What is Distracted Driving?
The term “distracted driving” is relatively new; however, inattentive drivers have caused accidents for as long as people have been driving. Nowadays, most people associate distracted driving with texting or talking on a cell phone while driving. Phones are a big distraction, and their use may prove deadly when a driver loses focus. The infotainment systems built into vehicles are another culprit behind distracted driving, as drivers often turn their focus from the road to their DVD players, GPS systems, and satellite radio stations.
However, as previously mentioned, distracted driving has been around for decades. The term refers to any activity that draws a driver’s attention away from operating their vehicle. Texting and driving, and using a cell phone join these traditional forms of distracted driving:
- Applying makeup
- Getting dressed
- Interacting with passengers
- Tuning the radio
Forms of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving comes in three forms: cognitive, manual, and visual.
Cognitive distractions are actions that demand your attention. Disciplining or caring for children, conversing with passengers, and focusing on a phone call are all cognitive distractions.
Manual distractions occur when drivers take their hands off the wheel for behaviors like texting, eating and drinking, or adjusting the radio.
Drivers are visually distracted by activities that take their focus away from behind the wheel. These activities include reading text messages, looking at a GPS or a map, or checking their appearance in the mirror.
Many distracting behaviors involve multiple distraction types, sometimes all at once. The risk of distracted driving accidents increases with the number of distractions. For example, texting while driving is particularly hazardous because it involves all three types of distractions.
Louisiana Texting and Driving Laws
Texting and driving is illegal and a primary offense in Louisiana. When an infraction is a primary offense, police don’t need another reason to pull you over or give you a citation for violating the law. It is against the law to read, write, or send a text or to access, read, or post on social media while driving.
Louisiana law does not explicitly address driving and talking on a cell phone. However, drivers with learning permits or an intermediate license may only use a cell phone hands-free. Drivers younger than 18 can’t use a phone at all. Furthermore, it is illegal for anyone to use their phone in a school zone.
There is typically strong evidence available to hold a driver liable if they cause an accident while engaging in any of the abovementioned behaviors. The Baton Rouge personal injury lawyers at Joubert Law Firm will use this evidence to recover compensation from the negligent driver for damages such as medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more.
Did Texting or Other Distractions Factor Into Your Car Accident?
Smartphones make it easy for us to stay connected to the world. But that connection poses a serious risk when someone checks their phone while driving. In fact, the National Safety Council finds that cell phone usage contributes to 1.6 million auto wrecks annually.
Operating a motor vehicle is a complex task requiring a driver’s full attention. Activities that distract a driver from driving increase the risk of a distracted driving accident. The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims drivers take their eyes off the road for approximately five seconds when sending or reading text messages. Five seconds seems like a minuscule amount of time; however, a car going 55 mph travels a football field length in just five seconds. And if a driver is texting, it’s like driving that distance wearing a blindfold.
Common Types of Accidents Due to Distraction
As South Louisiana car accident attorneys, our team at Joubert Law Firm has seen our fair share of accidents caused by distracted driving behaviors. Among them are:
Also known as a frontal impact collision, a head-on collision is a type of wreck that happens when one vehicle crashes head-on into a solid object or another car. Distracted driving and frontal impact collisions are closely connected. The impact force is so severe that it often crushes the face and its inner bones – even when airbags deploy. These types of motor vehicle accidents are also notorious for causing catastrophic injuries such as a Traumatic Brain Injury.
Side-impact or “T-Bone” collisions result when a vehicle strikes another perpendicularly. The two cars essentially form a T shape in the wreck, with one vehicle running directly into the side of the other vehicle. This accident type usually occurs at intersections when an inattentive driver doesn’t yield when turning or runs a red light or stop sign.
When a vehicle collides with the car in front of it, it’s considered a rear-end collision. According to NHTSA findings, most accidents are rear-end collisions, making up about 29% of wrecks nationally. Like the other accident categories, distracted driving is a significant factor in rear-end crashes. All it takes is one look down for the driver in front of you to come to a stop without you realizing.
Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
The three types of accidents discussed cause various injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening. Injury severity depends on several factors, including seat belt use, airbags, where the vehicle was struck, and if the accident was low-or-high speed. No matter how severe your injuries are, it’s crucial that you see a doctor immediately.
Penetration injuries and impact injuries typically occur in car accidents. A person receives impact injuries when they collide with the car’s interior during impact. Loose objects inside the car and shattering glass cause penetrating injuries like lacerations and scrapes. Other types of common car accident injuries include:
- Abdominal injuries
- Broken bones
- Chest injuries
- Facial trauma
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Leg, ankle, and knee injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Most minor injuries resolve themselves within a few days to a few months. However, more catastrophic injuries may cause permanent scars or a lifelong physical disability. Regardless, you should always be assessed by a medical professional after such an event to rule out any potentially serious or lasting injuries.
Representation for Your Injuries Caused By a Distracted Driver in Baton Rouge
Retaining an experienced and skilled attorney is typically the best course of action you can take after a serious accident. Louisiana drivers injured by distracted motorists may be able to seek compensation with an injury claim, meaning the other party’s insurance company may be required to pay for the damage their client caused.
Let the personal injury lawyers at Joubert Law Firm help you through this difficult situation so you may focus on your recovery. Our caring and compassionate attorneys work tirelessly on your behalf to get you the compensation you need to pay for your medical treatment and other costs associated with the wreck. We provide a free case evaluation, so contact a Baton Rouge distracted driving lawyer from our firm as soon as possible.
Can I Sue a Driver Who Hit Me While Texting?
Texting while driving engages all three types of distractions and poses a serious danger to other drivers and pedestrians. For this reason, texting and driving is frequently compared to drinking and driving. Like alcohol or drug use, texting while driving slows a driver’s reaction time and sharply increases the chance of a motor vehicle accident. Also, like drunk driving, texting and driving puts the driver at risk and endangers their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians.
Having an experienced car accident lawyer on your side is crucial if a distracted driver causes injury to you or a loved one. You may be able to file a personal injury claim for damages against the responsible driver. You may also have to prove the other party was texting while driving or otherwise not paying attention, which can be difficult. Luckily, your chances of receiving compensation are much higher with a Joubert Law Firm personal injury lawyer by your side.
Car Accident Damages
When a car wreck occurs, a victim may file a compensation claim for damages. Damages are a type of financial compensation awarded for the injuries an accident victim receives because of another’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions. Economic damages and non-economic damages are the two general categories of damages:
Special or economic damages financially compensate an injured party for actual expenses related to the responsible driver’s negligent actions. The damages are established by adding up the victim’s financial costs and include:
- Lost wages or earning capacity
- Past and future medical expenses
- Property damage or loss
General or non-economic damages are also losses directly related to the victim’s injuries, but they are typically much harder to quantify. A judge or jury may assign non-economic damages, although most cases settle out of court. Non-economic damages often include:
- Loss of consortium (awarded to family members in wrongful death cases)
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment or disability
- Reduced quality of life
Non-economic damages don’t come with a dollar figure, so they are used as a multiplier. Called the “multiplier method,” the victim’s economic damages are multiplied by a number to determine non-economic damages. More severe injuries receive a higher multiplier number. Another way to calculate general damages is with the “per-diem method.” With this method, a value is placed on the victim’s daily pain and suffering and multiplied by the number of days it took the victim to recover.
Also called exemplary damages, punitive damages are only available in specific situations. Judges and juries award punitive damages to make an example of a defendant for especially egregious behavior.
How Long Do I Have to File a Distracted Driving Accident Claim in Louisiana?
Article 3492 of the Louisiana Civil Code establishes a one-year prescription for distracted driving claims. This means plaintiffs have one year after the date of their accident to file suit. The court will likely dismiss the case if a plaintiff files after the deadline.
Free Case Review With Experienced Baton Rouge Distracted Driving Attorneys
The Baton Rouge distracted driving accident attorneys at Joubert Law Firm are dedicated to obtaining full and fair compensation on behalf of our clients to hold distracted drivers responsible for their behavior. Please reach out to an accident lawyer at our firm if you or someone you care about is hurt in a car accident due to the negligence of the other driver. Call (225) 761-3822 for a free initial consultation about your Baton Rouge texting and driving wreck or to establish an attorney-client relationship today.
Our personal injury lawyers practice various aspects of personal injury law, including Baton Rouge 18-wheeler collisions, Baton Rouge boating accidents and maritime claims, Baton Rouge pedestrian accidents, and Baton Rouge dog bites. To see if you have a valid injury claim, reach out to schedule your free consultation today.
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