Fighting For Your Right To Compensation After An Accident In Renton
When a driver gets behind the wheel, he should be focused, attentive, and prepared for any situation. There is no room for error on the busy roads around King County, including the scenic suburbs of Renton. Unfortunately, distracted driving has become commonplace on our streets. When a driver is distracted by a text message or eating a sandwich on the way to work, she can easily cause a catastrophic collision.
If you or someone you love was injured by a distracted driver in Renton, let Pendergast Law, go to work getting you compensation for your injuries. Our team of Renton distracted driving accident attorneys have the expertise and skill to handle the other driver’s insurance company. Let us sit down with you in a free consultation and talk about what happened to you. Call today toll-free at 888-539-9211.
Washington’s Distracted Driving Laws
It is illegal for any driver to operate a vehicle while using a portable electronic device without using a proper hands-free device, according to RCW 46.61.672. This law took effect in 2017 and makes it a traffic infraction to drive while handling a cellphone, with offenders being charged $136 for the first offense and $234 for additional offenses. In addition, a driver can be charged $99 for committing another type of distraction, such as:
- Grooming, including applying makeup
- Eating and drinking
- Reading and writing
- Interacting with pets
- Arguing with passengers
- Any action that the officer believes took the driver’s attention away from the road
Under this law, all forms of distracted driving are illegal. But that doesn’t stop some people on Renton’s roads.
How Serious Is Distracted Driving?
Stopping distracted driving has become a major priority for both state and federal officials. Any time a driver is distracted, he or she is more likely to be involved in a fatal collision. While passing laws and improving education have highlighted the seriousness of the issue, it hasn’t stopped it.
More than 2,300 accidents occurred on the roads around Renton in a recent year, leading to almost 800 injuries. As Renton residents ourselves, we know that some of those involved distracted driving. Across our state, distracted driving contributed to over 46,000 accidents, accounting for many of our state’s fatalities. In fact, distracted driving was a factor in 23% of accidents and 30% of fatal collisions in Washington.
When Commercial Drivers Are Distracted
Distracted driving can affect commuters, but it is also a big problem for commercial drivers – that is, those who drive for a living. Whether that someone is driving a catering van or big rig, he must always have his hands on the wheel and his eyes on the road. All it takes is one distraction to cause a catastrophic accident that injures multiple drivers and pedestrians. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the responsibility.
Commercial drivers are expected to follow all the same rules as other drivers, including the “don’t use handheld phones” law. However, employees are often pressured to use cellphones while driving, whether they need to rely on GPS software, or use apps to communicate with their employer or customers. They can utilize hands-free devices, but that doesn’t remove the danger of them becoming distracted.
In our experience, the most at-risk industries for distracted driving are:
- Semi-truck drivers
- Rideshare drivers
- Delivery drivers and package handlers
- Maintenance companies
- Catering companies
- Shuttle services
- Motorcoach operators
- Tour bus drivers
How To Receive Compensation After A Collision
If you were injured by a distracted driver, you may be eligible to pursue an auto accident claim against their insurance company. Since distracted driving is illegal in Washington, it counts as an act of negligence for the purposes of an insurance claim. As such, the at-fault driver is responsible for paying for your medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering after a collision.
Getting compensation is easier said than done, however. If you go to an insurance company on your own, the adjuster may try to dismiss your injuries as minor, offer you a small settlement that hardly covers your emergency room bill, or outright dismiss your claim. Instead of going it alone, your best option is to let an experienced attorney handle it for you.
At Pendergast Law, we have nearly 30 years of experience under our belts and know how to handle dismissive insurance companies. We can review your police report in a free consultation and break down the process of getting you compensation. Distracted driving is often underreported by the police, but we can collect other forms of evidence to show the driver wasn’t paying attention. This can include:
- Witness statements
- Accident photos and videos
- Expert testimony from accident reconstructionists
- Social media posts
- Cell phone records
In addition, we will never devalue your injuries and will get you the most out of your claim. In some cases, this means going through your own insurance company through MedPay or uninsured motorist coverage. We also have experience dealing with commercial insurance policies for major trucking companies. With former insurance adjusters on our staff, we are not afraid to go up against big corporations.
Call Pendergast Law Today
No one should have to endure a traumatic accident because another driver couldn’t wait to check social media or reply to a text.
If you or someone you love was injured by a distracted driver, let Pendergast Law go to work to get you full compensation for your injuries. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars for our clients and can provide the strong legal support you need after a collision. Many of our clients came to us in distress, and we confidently guided them through the claims process. You are more than welcome to hear their stories and learn what we can do for you.