Injured By A Distracted Driver In Washington? Call Us.
Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents. With the ever-growing popularity of cellphones and other devices, distracted driving is only becoming more prevalent. Washington officials are doing their part by enforcing cellphone-use laws, but that is not enough to deter all drivers. If a distracted driver has injured you or a loved one in a car crash, do not hesitate to seek the help and counsel of one of our experienced Seattle car accident attorneys at Pendergast Law.
The Three Types Of Distracted Driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) breaks down distracted driving into three parts:
- Visual: This is when a driver takes their eyes off the roadway.
- Cognitive: This is when a driver loses focus.
- Manual: This is when a driver takes their hands off the wheel.
One of the most common forms of distracted driving is cellphone use. Holding a cellphone is an act of manual distraction, as picking up the phone requires you to remove one hand from the steering wheel. It is a visual distraction as well, as you look at the phone to enter a number. Finally, it is also a cognitive distraction, as you then must focus on both your conversation and your driving.
Does Washington Allow Cellphones While Driving?
Talking on a handheld phone while driving is illegal in Washington, as is texting. RCW 46.61.667 states: “A person operating a moving motor vehicle while holding a wireless communications device to his or her ear is guilty of a traffic infraction.” The legislature went further in 2017 with the Driving Under the Influence of Electronics (DUIE) Act, which virtually bans all use of handheld devices while driving – even when stopped at a red light. Violators can get a ticket for over $100 on the first offense and over $200 on the second offense.
The exceptions are that drivers may use mounted cellphones with “minimal finger use” for directions (but not video); they may use built-in hands-free device systems; and they may call 911 for emergencies. Using a handheld device while driving is now a primary offense, meaning that Washington police officers can pull someone over just for using a cellphone.
What About Other Forms Of Distracted Driving?
Other acts of distracted driving that have been known to cause car accidents include:
- Reaching for a moving object while driving
- Eating while driving
- Checking a GPS
- Changing the radio
- Fiddling with temperature controls
- Putting on makeup
- Talking to passengers
These distractions are considered secondary offenses in Washington and will lead to an additional fine if the driver is given a citation for a primary offense, but they will still come into play in a court of law if a distracted driver crashes into someone and causes an injury.
If A Distracted Driver Caused Your Crash
A life can be destroyed in the seconds another driver takes their eyes off the road to send a text or make a call while driving. Any drivers who allow themselves to be distracted have made a choice to ignore the law and put others in danger.
If your serious injury was caused by distracted driver, you may pursue compensation by filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. The decision to take legal action can seem overwhelming due to the complex nature of the personal injury process. However, with the guidance of a compassionate lawyer, you can rest assured that your legal rights will be protected. A successful personal injury case not only assists an accident survivor with finances, but it can also bring emotional healing through closure once the reckless party is held accountable.
Determining Liability For A Distracted Driver Accident In Washington
To pursue compensation for an injury accident, the victim of the crash may have to prove that the other driver’s negligence caused the crash. Proving that the at-fault motorist was distracted is not always easy. Drivers afraid of being cited by the authorities for causing a crash may deny that they were distracted. In such cases, an experienced personal injury attorney may be needed to prove the cause of the crash.
How Much Is Your Case Worth?
The damages available after a car accident will depend entirely on your specific situation, including the cause of the accident, the severity of the injuries and more. Generally, damages available include compensation to account for:
- Both past and future medical care
- Lost wages
- Property damages
- Noneconomic damages, including pain and suffering, quality of life and more
When you meet with our attorneys, we will examine the details of your case and assess your past and future expenses. Insurance companies often pressure injury victims to settle quickly. While we understand the importance of helping you move forward, we will doggedly pursue the compensation you deserve and advise you when such a settlement is not in your best interests.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
Distracted drivers put everyone on the roadway at risk. Our Seattle distracted driver accident lawyers at Pendergast Law make sure that the injured victims of these negligent drivers are able to get financial compensation for their losses. We provide no-cost consultations and comprehensive case evaluations to injured victims and their families. Call us today at 888-539-9211 or email us through our online contact form.