Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: How does the law of contributory negligence play a role in my case?
A North Carolina woman who was seriously hurt in a crash with a distracted driver will receive $4 million in a mediated settlement. The woman was turning left when her vehicle was hit by a commercial van. The van was allegedly traveling at a high rate of speed and went through a red light. The driver of the van was said to be on his phone and therefore distracted at the time of the crash. The van broadsided the woman’s vehicle, causing severe injuries. Phone records were utilized to help prove that the van driver was indeed using the phone when he failed to stop at the light and hit the woman’s vehicle.
Distracted driving accidents are on the rise. Distracted driving occurs when someone’s eyes, hands, or mind is taken away from the task of driving by doing something else at the same time. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving caused more than 3,100 deaths in 2019. Distracted driving is anything that prevents a driver from paying attention to the road. Driving while distracted increases the likelihood of an accident. There are many activities that could be considered distracting.
Activities That are Considered Distracted Driving
The most common form of distracted driving is the use of cell phones, particularly for texting. Other activities that can distract you from driving include eating, drinking, talking to passengers, handling children, changing radio stations, putting on makeup, shaving, reading, and many others. A vehicle can travel the length of three football fields when you look at your phone to read a text message while traveling at 55mph. While you are not paying attention to the road you may encounter a situation that you will not be able to control.
Distracted Driving Laws in North Carolina
North Carolina has a law that addresses distracted driving in the form of texting while driving. North Carolina law prohibits the use of a cell phone for texting or emailing while behind the wheel. It further prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using a cell phone at all, even handsfree, except to call a parent. It is important to note that North Carolina utilizes primary enforcement of distracted driving laws. This means that the police can pull you over specifically for the violation of the texting while driving law.
What to Do if You are the Victim of an Accident Caused by Distracted Driving?
The first thing to do immediately after any accident is to call the police. Ensure that the police make a report and investigate the crash. Obtain the name, phone number, and insurance details of the other driver. When possible, take photos of the accident at the time of the incident. Witnesses may be essential in finding out the cause of the accident. Note the exact time and place of the accident for further review.
Distracted driving cases can be complex and difficult to prove. It is imperative that you seek legal representation as soon as possible following an accident. Your attorney will be able to request or subpoena documents and information that could reveal distracted driving as a major cause of the crash. If you are the victim of a serious crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we are here to help you get the money you deserve for your injuries. Call (704) 370-2828 to receive a video, phone or in-person consultation with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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