Kennewick Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer

Everyone has seen a driver talking on the phone while waiting for a light to change. Many of us know people who text while they drive. Some of us have driven while eating a sandwich or drinking a cup of coffee. The common thread among all these types of driver distractions is that drivers who aren’t fully focused on traffic can and do cause numerous accidents – some deadly.

There’s no excuse for driving while distracted. That conversation, that email message, that sip of a beverage can wait. At Telaré Law, our Kennewick distracted driving lawyers understand how to show a driver was distracted and what distractions caused your accident. Our skilled car accident attorneys have helped many car, truck, and motorcycle riders – and pedestrians and bicyclists – who suffered injuries due to driver negligence obtain strong recoveries. Let us help you today.

How Can We Help?

  • How common are distracted driving accidents?
  • What are the different types of distracted driving?
  • What kinds of injuries happen from distracted driving accidents?
  • What are the state laws on distracted driving?
  • Who is liable for a distracted driving accident?
  • Do you have a distracted driving accident attorney near me?

How Common Are Distracted Driving Accidents?

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, 93 people were killed in  traffic accidents in 2021. The number of fatalities has decreased from prior years, in part, due to the passage of distracted driving laws in 2017. The Traffic Safety Commission states that “research shows that it can take a driver 27 seconds to refocus on the road after using a cell phone, the time it can take to drive the length of three football fields in a car moving at 25 mph.” Distracted driving is generally higher on city streets than on state routes, because drivers who travel at lower speeds are more likely to risk distractions.

The Traffic Safety Commission states that 30 percent of all traffic fatalities in Washington and 23 percent of all serious crashes are due to distracted driving. A large percentage of all distracted drivers were using their cell phones.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that about 3,000 people in the United States die each year due to distracted driving. The CDC states that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 424,000 were injured in distracted driving accidents in 2019. Many victims of distracted driving are pedestrians and bicycle riders.

What Are the Different Types of Distracted Driving?

Any activity that takes a driver’s eyes off of the road, mind off of traffic, and hands off the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Some of the different types of distracted driving in Kennewick include:

  • Texting while driving
  • Talking on a smartphone while driving
  • Using a CB radio
  • Eating or drinking while driving
  • Watching any type of entertaining device
  • Listening to music with headphones or earbuds
  • Reading a newspaper, computer screen, or any other item such as a map
  • Taking care of a pet
  • Personal grooming
  • Looking at a GPS instead of listening to voice directions
  • Drunk/drugged driving
  • Driving while fatigued

Any time you’re not 100 percent focused on traffic and potential dangers, your driving is distracted.

What Kinds of Injuries Happen From Distracted Driving Accidents?

At Telaré Law, we fight for justice and for compensation for clients who have:

We also file wrongful death lawsuits when loved ones pay the ultimate price for another’s negligence.

Our Kennewick distracted driving lawyers demand compensation for all your damages. We work with you and your doctors to understand every way that your injuries are making your life more difficult and painful. We demand compensation for all your current and future medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, property damage, loss of function, and other damages.

What Are the State Laws on Distracted Driving?

Driver distraction includes all activities that divert attention and full engagement from the task of driving.

Washington law RCW 46.61.672 bans all handheld cell phone use while driving, even when stopped in traffic. Violation of this law is a primary traffic offense. Some exceptions, such as contacting emergency services apply. Commercial drivers may be able to use electronic devices in some cases. The monetary penalty can be up to $250, and can be more for subsequent violations. Per the statute:

“Personal electronic device” means any portable electronic device that is capable of wireless communication or electronic data retrieval and is not manufactured primarily for hands-free use in a motor vehicle. “Personal electronic device” includes, but is not limited to, a cell phone, tablet, laptop, two-way messaging device, or electronic game. “Personal electronic device” does not include two-way radio, citizens band radio, or amateur radio equipment.

The statute has other definitions for “driving” and “using.”

Washington law RCW 46.61.673 defines “dangerously distracted” as “a person who engages in any activity not related to the actual operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that interferes with the safe operation of such motor vehicle on any highway.” The penalty for violating this statute is $30 and can only be imposed if there is a primary traffic infraction.

Who is Liable for a Distracted Driving Accident?

Our lawyers work with investigators and other field experts, such as traffic reconstruction experts and technology experts, to show how a distracted driving accident happened. We seek court approval to examine any phones or other technology that may have been in use when the accident happened.

Our Kennewick distracted driving lawyers represent victims of car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and Uber/Lyft accidents – including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicycle riders.

Motorcycle riders have unique risks of being seriously injured or killed by distracted drivers. Many car and truck drivers fail to look for or respect the rights of motorcycles, even when they’re fully attentive. When drivers of cars and trucks are distracted, motorcycles, due to their smaller size, are less likely to be seen than larger vehicles. When accidents do happen, motorcycle riders suffer the most serious injuries and fatalities because a motorcycle can’t offer any physical protection compared with the hoods, fronts, sides, and trunks of cars and trucks.

The people who may be liable for your distracted driving accident include:

  • The driver of the vehicle
  • The owner of the vehicle – for example, parents may be liable if their teenage son or daughter was in a distracted driving accident
  • An employer of the driver, such as a trucking company

Other defendants may be liable depending on how the accident happened.

Is There a Distracted Driving Accident Attorney Near Me?

Telaré Law maintains an office in Kennewick at 819 South Auburn St. We also see clients at our office in Richland. We make home and hospital visits for clients who are too ill or injured to travel to us.

Our distracted driving lawyers will calmly and clearly walk you through each step of your claims process.

 Call a Kennewick Distracted Driving Attorney Today

Drivers who place saving a few seconds or minutes of time ahead of your safety or the life of a loved one deserve to be held accountable for your injuries. At Telaré Law, our Kennewick distracted driving lawyers have the experience, resources, and tenacity to help you hold negligent drivers accountable. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.