Personal Injury Lawyer Kennewick, WA
As a personal injury lawyer Kennewick, WA, trusts can confirm, distracted driving continues to be one of the most dangerous yet preventable hazards plaguing motorists statewide. Like most states, Washington has outlawed texting while driving. Thankfully, lawmakers also saw fit to ban the use of handheld cellphones while driving. Studies have shown that drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a crash when talking on a cellphone.
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Despite our state’s stringent laws, however, distracted driving remains a pervasive problem. According to statistics from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, nearly 1 in every 4 serious crashes (23 percent) statewide is caused by distracted driving. This behavior is responsible for 30 percent of all crash fatalities.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured by a distracted driver (whether distracted by a cellphone or another source), know that you do have legal options available to you. The experienced team at Telaré Law is ready to help you seek the compensation you need and deserve.
Violating a Duty of Care
Each of us may be controlling our own vehicles and choosing our own destinations, but we share a common responsibility. By traveling on shared roads, each driver assumes a “duty of care” that they owe to all other vehicle occupants, bicyclists and pedestrians. This essentially means that we all must avoid driving in a way that could reasonably be predicted to cause injury to others.
Given the statistics about the dangers of distracted driving, those who engage in the behavior are knowingly violating their duty of care. Even if texting and handheld cellphones weren’t explicitly banned behind the wheel in Washington, someone who caused a distracted driving accident could be sued for personal injury because of the duty of care principle. Thankfully, these behaviors are banned, which ultimately makes it easier for injured drivers to pursue litigation with the help of an experienced Kennewick, WA personal injury lawyer.
Cellphones are the Largest Problem
There are many ways to be distracted behind the wheel. Distraction is defined as any behavior that:
- Takes the driver’s eyes off the road
- Takes the driver’s hands off the steering wheel
- Takes the driver’s mind off the task of driving
Eating, applying makeup, changing the radio station or having extended conversations with passengers in the back seat could all be distracting enough to result in a crash. But by a wide margin, cellphones have been shown to be the most common distraction on our roads and highways. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission notes that of all the distracted drivers observed by others, about 70 percent were using their cellphones.
The one silver lining about cellphones is that they can provide the evidence needed to prove distracted driving in court. Personal injury attorneys often subpoena call logs and text message data to demonstrate that the distracted driver was using their phone at or very near the time of the crash.
Contact Us to Discuss Your Legal Options
If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, you have rights that deserve to be protected and legal options available to you. To learn more during a free consultation, call our office to speak with an experienced Kennewick, WA personal injury lawyer; we look forward to speaking with you.
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