Houston Car Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving
If you were injured in an accident due to a distracted driver, you might be entitled to compensation. At The Law Offices of Willie D. Powells III and Associates, PLLC, we can provide the legal representation and services you need to hold the negligent motorist liable for their actions.
Distracted driving is reckless behavior that can result in injuries and fatalities. Anyone operating a motor vehicle should always remain focused on the task at hand. Anything that pulls attention from the road ahead to something else prevents the driver from having total control of the car. They likely won’t see the dangerous conditions they’re approaching and have enough time to avoid a crash.
If you want to discuss the accident you were involved in with a qualified and experienced lawyer, call Willie Powells today at (281) 881-2457 for a free consultation.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving involves a driver engaging in an activity that redirects their attention from driving a car. Distracted driving takes a person’s focus away from what’s happening around them. You might think you can multitask. But no one can effectively perform two tasks at the same time when one of them involves operating a motor vehicle.
How Distractions Lead to Accidents
Distractions can cause devastating accidents and fatalities. In 2019, 3,142 people died in collisions involving distracted drivers. Anything that averts a driver’s eyes, hands, or attention to something other than the task of driving is dangerous. Three main types of distractions can lead to car crashes.
Manual distractions – A manual distraction involves a driver taking one or both of their hands off the steering wheel. They no longer have total control over their car because they can’t maneuver quickly when necessary. Eating, drinking, and texting are common forms of manual distractions.
Visual distractions – Visual distractions take a motorist’s eyes off the road to look at something else. Texting while driving is one of the most common types of visual distractions. When someone looks down at their cell phone while driving 55 miles per hour, they could travel the entire length of a football field before they realize it. In those few seconds, another person could slam on their brakes or swerve into the distracted driver’s lane, and they wouldn’t notice.
Cognitive distractions – Anything that pulls a driver’s attention or focus away from operating their vehicle is a cognitive distraction. For example, if someone’s yelling at another motorist who cut them off, they’re not paying attention to what’s happening in front of them. Their brain won’t recognize and alert them to a hazard, preventing them from reacting appropriately.
Injuries Caused by Distracted Driving
Car crashes can cause injuries to pedestrians, bicyclists, and the occupants of any vehicle involved. Some injuries are minor and heal with minimal medical intervention. Others are severe and can result in permanent disability.
The most common injuries in distracted driving accidents include:
- Bruises, cuts, and burns
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Emotional trauma
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord damage
- Back and neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
Deadly crashes can occur if a driver becomes distracted while engaging in other dangerous behaviors. Speeding increases the risk of fatal injuries and death during accidents. There isn’t enough time for the motorist to slow down, stop, or swerve if they’re exceeding the speed limit and looking down at their cell phone. In 2019, 9,478 people were killed in crashes involving speeding.
Compensation for Distracted Driving Injuries
Texas is a fault car accident state. That means the driver at fault for a crash becomes financially responsible for the victim’s injuries and resulting losses. You could file a claim with the distracted driver’s auto insurance carrier. Everyone who owns or operates a motor vehicle in Texas must carry liability insurance.
The settlement you receive in a claim could compensate for your past and future losses, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of household services
- Mental anguish
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
If you are a surviving spouse, child, or parent of someone who died in a distracted driving accident, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit. The compensation you receive could cover the losses suffered by you and your family, such as:
- Lost love, companionship, society, and comfort
- Mental pain and anguish
- Loss of earning capacity
- Lost inheritance, including what the decedent could have saved if they were still alive
- Loss of services, care, maintenance, counsel, support, and advice
You might also be entitled to exemplary damages if you choose to file a lawsuit. This punishes the at-fault driver instead of compensating you for your losses. The court requires clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s malice, gross negligence, or fraud to award this to a plaintiff.
It’s important to note that Texas follows a modified comparative negligence system. A jury could reduce your monetary losses if your actions contributed to your injuries. Modified comparative negligence diminishes the plaintiff’s compensation by their percentage of fault. For example, if you suffered $40,000 in losses, but the jury determines you were 25% to blame for the accident, you would receive no more than $30,000. The statute prohibits a financial recovery if the plaintiff is more than 50% at fault.
How Willie Powells Could Help
Willie Powells dedicates the necessary time and effort to every case. He cares about accident victims and treats them with the respect and compassion they deserve. Our legal team will treat you as a priority from the second you step into our offices. You will receive quality customer service, dependable representation, and legal guidance from start to finish of the process.
You should not be forced to pay out of pocket for the expenses you incurred if you weren’t partially responsible for the accident. We will advocate for your rights and fight by your side for the maximum possible compensation. Our goal is to try to reach your desired outcome.
If you sustained injuries in an accident caused by a distracted driver, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Willie D. Powells III and Associates, PLLC. We can discuss your case during a free consultation and advise you of the available legal options. Call us now at (281) 881-2457. We are available 24/7 to speak with you.