Distracted Driving Accidents
Driving is a privilege that comes with a set of responsibilities. One of these important responsibilities is focusing on the road. Unfortunately, many drivers succumb to various distractions. If you or your loved one has been injured in this type of crash, it is important to reach out to a skilled Wheaton and Schaumburg distracted driving accident lawyer who can assess the merits of your case. Our car accident attorneys are committed to providing people with an honest assessment of their claims.Holding a Careless Driver Accountable for a Distracted Driving Accident
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that distracted driving caused 3,179 deaths and 431,000 injuries in 2014, for example. The problem is also widespread in Illinois. Distracted driving takes place when a driver is engaged in any activity that takes their attention away from the primary task of driving. When this happens, the likelihood of an accident occurring increases significantly. In fact, the Illinois State Police warn that using a cell phone while driving increases the likelihood of a traffic accident by 400 percent.
Distractions may be divided into three categories: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distractions take a driver’s eyes off the road, manual distractions take a driver’s hands off the steering wheel, and cognitive distractions take a driver’s mind off the road. Activities that would be considered distractions include texting while driving, fiddling with a cell phone while driving, eating or drinking, applying makeup, reaching into the backseat to comfort a child or pet, adjusting the navigation system or radio, or daydreaming.
If you were injured or your loved one was killed by a distracted driver, you can typically seek damages from the at-fault party through a negligence claim. Negligence occurs when a person fails to use ordinary care behind the wheel. Ordinary care is defined as how a reasonably prudent person would act under the same or similar circumstances. For example, if a driver causes an accident because they were texting while driving, that driver would likely be liable for any harm or damage that results from the accident. A reasonably prudent driver using ordinary care would not be likely to text while driving. A distracted driving accident attorney in Schaumburg or Wheaton can help gather evidence to build your case.
In order to establish negligence, the following elements must be proved:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- The defendant breached that duty of care by engaging in an activity that constituted distracted driving;
- The defendant’s breach was a direct cause of the accident; and
- The plaintiff sustained damages in the form of injuries or property damage.
Illinois follows the modified comparative negligence doctrine, in which fault is relatively apportioned to each party involved. As a practical matter, this means that a plaintiff’s total award will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a plaintiff is awarded $250,000 but is deemed to be 20 percent at fault, they will be able to recover up to $200,000 from a defendant who bore the remaining responsibility. The only exception to this rule is if the plaintiff is 50 percent or greater at fault, in which case they are barred from recovering any compensation.Discuss Your Case with a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in Schaumburg or Wheaton
If you or someone close to you has been injured by the negligence of a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Therman Law Offices, our Wheaton and Schaumburg distracted driving accident attorneys have the skill, knowledge, and determination to handle your case. Time is of the essence, so it is important to act quickly. We also assist injured people in communities such as Norwood Park, Edison Park, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Elmwood Park, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Rosemont, Elk Grove Village, and Mt. Prospect. For a free, no-obligation consultation with a motor vehicle collision lawyer, call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.