Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in Waipahu, HI
Distracted driving is one of the most common and dangerous hazards facing drivers in Waipahu today. Motorists talking on the phone, texting, adjusting in-vehicle controls, picking music, snacking, or being inattentive could easily cause a severe injury accident.
If you’ve been badly injured in a distracted driving accident, a Waipahu car accident lawyer at Recovery Law Center could help you seek compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other crash-related losses.
With more than 25 years of experience, our skilled distracted driving accident lawyers know what it takes to help accident victims recover the money they need to move forward with their lives. Get a free initial consultation today to learn more about how we can help you.
Common Driver Distractions
Technological advances make today’s cars safer than ever. However, the availability of new technology has also increased the number of potential distractions for drivers.
The most common causes of distracted driving include:
- Cell phone use — Talking on the phone takes your focus off your surroundings, making it easy to miss sudden changes in traffic. It is illegal to hold a mobile electronic device while driving in Hawaii. If you must talk, make sure to use a hands-free device.
- Texting — Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous distractions. Texting means you’re not looking at the road, and at least one hand is off the wheel. You’re also not paying attention to what’s happening around you. At 55 mph, a car can travel the length of a football field in the few seconds it takes to look down and read a text message. That is more than enough time for a distracted driving accident to happen.
- Snacking — A driver can’t have both hands on the steering wheel if they are eating or drinking on the road. You need full contact with the wheel to give you the best possible control of the vehicle.
- Adjusting vehicle controls — Modern cars come with infotainment systems that drivers can use to select music, stay comfortable, and find their destinations. However, using these controls takes your eyes and at least one hand off the wheel, increasing the risk of distracted driving accidents.
- Using a navigation device — Using a GPS is safest when you program your destination before leaving on a trip. Trying to do it while your vehicle is moving can cause a distracted driving accident.
- Changing the stereo — Music makes a drive enjoyable. However, only adjust the stereo when you’re stopped.
- Talking to passengers — Riding with a passenger can help prevent accidents by giving you an extra assistant in the car to tend to children or take over if you get sleepy. But spending too much time talking to passengers is an easy way to become distracted and potentially cause a crash.
- Pets and young children — Pets and kids can be loud and often demand attention, making it hard to concentrate on driving.
- Rubbernecking — Watching an accident in another traffic lane can greatly increase your odds of being involved in an accident if you’re not paying attention to your direction of travel.
Distracted Driving Statistics in Waipahu
According to the Insurance Information Institute, distracted driving accidents accounted for about nine percent of all fatal crashes across the U.S. in a single recent year. Cell phones were a contributing factor in 13 percent of those collisions. Overall, more than 3,100 people died in distracted driving accidents.
Recognizing the danger, Hawaii has ramped up efforts to curb distracted driving. Statistics show that the state issued nearly 18,000 distracted driving citations in just one year.
Common Injuries Involved in Distracted Driving Accidents
Typical injuries from distracted driving accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Joint damage
- Damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Back injuries, including spinal cord damage
- Bodily or facial disfigurement
- External head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Filing a Car Accident Claim in Waipahu
Hawaii’s no-fault car insurance laws complicate filing a claim after a distracted driving accident. All Hawaii drivers must carry a minimum amount of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits as part of their auto insurance policy. These benefits cover your medical bills and a portion of your missed wages, up to the limits of your policy. PIP benefits are a victim’s first option after a distracted driving crash, and they are available regardless of who is at fault.
However, your PIP benefits may not be enough to cover all your losses in a distracted driving accident. If this is the case, it could be possible to file a personal injury claim against the distracted driver. But before you can file a claim, you’ll need to provide evidence that your losses exceeded your PIP benefits. You’ll also need to prove you’ve suffered serious personal injuries in the crash. Only then will your personal injury case be allowed to move forward.
Though filing a personal injury claim is not always possible, you should always check to see if it’s an option for you. An experienced distracted driving car accident lawyer from Recovery Law Center can provide the answers you need.
Compensation After a Waipahu Distracted Driving Accident
With the right evidence and help from a Waipahu distracted driving accident attorney, you can potentially recover compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Damaged personal property
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress