Every motorist knows the dangers of distracted driving, and most are fully aware that certain types of cell phone use behind the wheel are prohibited by Colorado law. Still, far too many drivers ignore the risks and the laws by talking, texting, and engaging in other activities that take their attention away from operating the vehicle; this is something that our Pueblo distracted driving accident lawyers know all too well. According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,166 people were killed in 2017 and thousands more were injured in distracted driving crashes. The lives of victims and their families were shattered by the physical, financial, and emotional consequences.
Fortunately, you do have rights under Colorado law if you were hurt or lost a loved one in a distracted driving crash. These cases can be complicated, however, so you should trust our attorneys at McCormick & Murphy, P.C. to assist with getting the compensation you deserve by law. Please contact our office to set up a free case assessment with a Pueblo distracted driving accident lawyer, and read on for some important information about your legal options.
Liability in Distracted Driving Crash Claims
Most auto crashes happen because a motorist was negligent, and distracted driving is a form of negligence. To recover compensation for your losses as a victim, you must prove four essential elements:
You need to show that the other driver had a duty to operate the vehicle safely, so as to not create a risk of harm to others;
You must have evidence that the individual breached this legal duty through various forms of distracted driving;
You need to establish a link between the breach of duty and the accident in which you were injured, such that you wouldn’t have been hurt but for the breach; and,
You must prove that you suffered injury/losses as a result of being hit by the other driver.
These elements may seem straightforward, but it can be overwhelming to gather solid evidence regarding each one – especially when you’re still recovering from your injuries. Our Pueblo distracted driving accident attorneys can handle the investigation and related legal tasks for you, so you can focus on your health.
Why Distracted Driving is so Dangerous
Generally speaking, distracted driving is hazardous because it detracts your attention away from your most essential priority: Safe operation of your vehicle. The NHTSA reports that there are three key areas that are adversely affected by distracted driving:
1. Visually, because your eyes aren’t on the road or your car’s systems;
2. Manually, since your hands and/or fingers are being used for non-driving tasks; and,
3. Cognitively, when your attention is on a topic other than safe driving.
Many people associate distracted driving with cell phone use, and it’s true that this is a significant risk. Texting, talking, surfing the internet, posting to social media, and other activities increase the likelihood of an accident. Still, there are other forms of distracted driving that can cause crashes. Examples include:
Eating or drinking;
Adjusting the radio or a GPS;
Talking to passengers;
Grooming or applying makeup; and,
Your Rights as a Victim of a Distracted Driving Collision
Whether through an insurance settlement or litigation, there is a wide range of compensation you can seek through the process. Monetary damages are intended to make you as whole as possible as a victim, so you may be entitled to recover:
Your medical costs;
Lost wages, if you were unable to work because of your injuries;
Pain and suffering;
Losses based upon the impact on your personal relationships; and,
Many other types of compensation, depending on the details of your case.
Note that, if you lost a loved one in a distracted driving accident, you also have rights as a surviving family member. Colorado has a statute on wrongful death claims, in which you can recover monetary damages for the losses you sustain because of the victim’s death.
How a Pueblo Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help
Our attorneys at McCormick & Murphy, P.C. are committed to assisting with all aspects of your claim. The details may vary according to your unique circumstances, but our tasks may include:
Gathering proof that the other motorist was using a cell phone or engaged in other forms of distracted driving;
Working with your doctor and treating physicians to obtain necessary medical records;
Filling out all insurance claims forms;
Negotiating with the insurance company in an attempt to work out a settlement that will cover your losses;
Filing court documents to initiate a lawsuit, if the insurer fails to agree to a sufficient settlement amount;
Representing you in court at motion hearings, status conferences, and other appearances;
Engaging in discovery and depositions to prove the essential elements of your case;
Preparing for your trial;
Advocating for you in court to get the highest compensation available under Colorado law; and,
Other legal services to protect your interests.
Call Now to Speak with a Pueblo Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
While this information about distracted driving crash claims may be useful, it’s still crucial to retain skilled legal counsel to assist with the claims process. Our team at McCormick & Murphy, P.C. is prepared to take on the challenges, as we have more than 50 years of combined experience fighting on behalf of injured victims. Please contact our office today to schedule a no-cost consultation with a Pueblo distracted driving accident lawyer. We can explain your rights and remedies after reviewing the details of your case.