Injured In A Tacoma Auto Accident?
Distracted driving is an everyday menace in the state of Washington. Drivers who are distracted by text messages, social media notifications, or phone calls are more likely to be involved in a serious car accident. All it takes is one glance down, one moment when the driver’s hands are off the wheel, for a fatal collision to occur. Unfortunately, even with increased education and laws against cellphone use, distracted driving is still a major threat to everyone on the road.
If you or someone you love was injured by a distracted driver in Tacoma, reach out to Pendergast Law. Our Renton distracted driving accident attorneys are strong advocates for injured drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. We can research who is responsible for your injuries and go to work getting you full compensation for your trauma. Call us today toll-free at 888-539-9211 to get a free case evaluation.
Washington’s Anti-Cellphone Laws
Since 2017, the Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act, or RCW 46.61.672, has made it illegal for drivers to hold electronic devices in their hands while operating a vehicle. While there are certain exceptions for emergency workers, drivers who need to contact emergency services, and drivers who use Bluetooth devices, the law makes it clear that no one else should be using a phone while operating a vehicle. Drivers who violate these laws can be punished with a $136 ticket for the first offense, a $234 ticket for multiple offenses in five years, and a $99 ticket for other forms of distraction.
Unfortunately, it is difficult for police officers to enforce distracted driving laws unless they see a driver use a cellphone while driving. As a result, many drivers get away scot-free, often leading to serious auto accidents.
The Danger Of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving crashes are underreported across the country, but the research we do have paints a dire picture. Distracted driving caused almost 9% of all fatal car accidents in the U.S., or over 3,100, in a recent year. Here in Washington, distracted driving accounted for more than 46,000 collisions, making up 23% of all serious collisions and 30% of all fatal accidents.
In Tacoma, when you account for the roughly 4,700 collisions that occurred in a recent year, you see that distracted driving may have played a major role.
The types of distracted driving that lead to accidents in our state include:
- Using a cellphone
- Adjusting a radio
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Being distracted by billboards or things outside the car
- Reading or writing
This issue is even more serious for commercial drivers. Drivers of semi trucks, maintenance vehicles, delivery vans, and rideshare vehicles are all more likely to be distracted while driving due to the nature of their jobs. Most now use GPS to get around Tacoma and the rest of Pierce County, and coordinate with their employers via texts, apps, and phone calls.
Employers are responsible for enforcing safe driving practices and holding their drivers accountable while they violate state laws, but most will bend the rules to make a profit. There is no excuse for this type of behavior, and if a distracted driver caused your injuries, you deserve full compensation from their insurance policy.
Your Options After A Collision
Driving while distracted is a clear violation of Washington state law and can make the driver liable after a collision. It is important to carefully review the police report, collect witness statements, and get copies of accident footage. These pieces of evidence may show that the at-fault driver was distracted at the time of the crash.
However, distracted driving is often hard to spot after the fact. As such, it is underreported by police and may not be included in your crash report. But accident reconstructionists, video footage, and witness statements may help show that the driver was distracted, proving your case. If you were struck by a commercial driver, their employer may have cellphone records that show the driver was distracted.
In either case, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. While this should be a simple process, insurance companies make it incredibly difficult, often devaluing victims’ injuries or trying to blame them for the collision. To get your medical bills paid after a collision, you need to work with a skilled attorney who will fight for your case.
Get A Free Case Evaluation Today
Our team of Tacoma car accident attorneys at Pendergast Law has spent nearly 30 years successfully recovering compensation for accident victims. If you were injured by a distracted driver, we can collect evidence of negligence, calculate the full costs of your injuries, and work to get you compensation from the insurance company. We provide diligent and compassionate representation to all of our clients. You are more than welcome to read what they have to say about us after we fought for them after tragic accidents.
If you were injured in Tacoma, call us today toll-free at 888-539-9211. We offer every potential client a free case evaluation and work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning we do not get paid until you do.