Chicago Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
Chances are you’ve been sitting in rush hour traffic somewhere in Chicago and noticed another driver talking or texting on a cell phone, eating a hamburger with one hand while driving with the other, fiddling with their stereo, or applying lipstick while looking in the rearview mirror. Americans’ lives are busy, and multitasking is how many people get through the day. They cram as much into each moment as they can, including when they’re driving.
Distracted driving is a common cause of car crashes in Chicago, and can result in serious or fatal injuries. The Illinois State Police reports that driver inattention is the cause of more than 1 million car crashes each year nationwide that impact the American economy by $40 billion. Based on the current year’s budget, you could run the city of Chicago for more than four years with $40 billion.
If you’ve been injured in a wreck caused by a distracted driver, a personal injury attorney may be able to help. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 for a free, initial consultation to discuss your situation.
When You’re Injured by a Distracted Driver
On a personal level, it’s an incredibly frustrating experience to be hit by a driver who was paying more attention to his or her cell phone or personal grooming than to the road. That anger and frustration only deepen when the collision left you injured and you’re left with medical costs and other damages you shouldn’t have to shoulder.
An experienced car accident lawyer can help you collect evidence and build a case that may result in an insurance settlement or jury verdict to cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement, and loss of normal life.
Wrongful Death Cases Involving Distracted Driving
The law requires that every person exercises ordinary care while operating a vehicle. This means that everyone has a legal duty to drive the way a reasonable person would under similar circumstances. When a driver’s breach of this duty causes injuries to others, the victims can sue that driver for negligence.
Since no reasonable driver would ever allow him or herself to be distracted while driving, any evidence that a driver was distracted can provide the basis for a negligence case. If you hire one of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.’s fatal accident attorneys to work on your wrongful death case, the first thing he’ll do is request to see the at-fault driver’s phone records to determine whether he or she was texting or calling at the time of the accident.
In the absence of hard evidence of distracted driving, such as a text message being sent in the seconds before a crash, your attorney can use circumstantial evidence. This means collecting enough facts from which it can be inferred that the driver was distracted. For example, if the accident occurred in good visibility, on a dry road, and your relative was obeying traffic signals and driving at a reasonable speed, it is more likely than not that the driver that crashed into your relative was distracted.
Using Cell Phones on the Road
Talking or texting while driving has become a common cause of auto accidents. The Pew Research Center shows that 91 percent of Americans own some sort of mobile phone, and 61 percent of Americans have a smartphone that doubles as a mobile computing device. An internet trends report that came out in 2013 said people check their phones 150 times per day — or an average of about six times per hour.
Starting Jan. 1, 2014, Illinois banned the use of handheld electronic devices while driving. That means no talking unless you’re using a Bluetooth or other hands-free device, and no texting, emailing, or checking the Internet. Drivers under 18 aren’t allowed to use cell phones while driving at all, even with a hands-free device, and adults aren’t allowed to use them in school zones or highway work zones.
If you think your accident was caused by someone talking or texting, there are ways to prove that. Your lawyer will go through a process called discovery, which is basically a legal term for gathering evidence, that may include getting the other person’s cell phone records or text messages. Your lawyer may have to subpoena that information, and it would be very difficult for you to get on your own without a lawyer.
How a Chicago Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Will Help You
Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. is a different kind of law firm. Not only do we aggressively pursue every avenue for recovery on behalf of our clients, we treat them with compassion and respect. We understand how traumatic car accidents can be, especially if you have lost a loved one, so we make every effort to make the process of getting compensation as stress-free as possible.
Once you hire us, you won’t have to pay any fees until we win or settle your case. If you have questions about your case, you can call us any time of day or night for an update on your case at (312) 236-2900. We guarantee that we will connect you with the car accident attorney who is working on your case—not a paralegal or administrative assistant.