Distracted driving accidents have become more prevalent in Louisiana and around the world as modern technology becomes an integral part of everyday life. These accidents can result in severe injuries, emotional stress and heavy financial burdens for victims.
At Morris Bart, LLC, our Alexandria distracted driving accident attorneys are committed to seeking justice and fair financial compensation on behalf of our clients. We are passionate about holding inattentive drivers accountable for their actions. Contact us today for a free consultation to find out how we can help you after this type of auto accident.
Why Choose Morris Bart for Your Alexandria Distracted Driving Accident Claim
- Our Alexandria car accident lawyers have fought for the rights of injured accident victims in Louisiana for over 40 years. We understand car accident law.
- Your lawyer will always put you first and pursue your specific goals for the case. We never pass cases off to paralegals; your attorney will dedicate his or her full attention to your case.
- Morris Bart has collected over $1 billion in financial settlements and judgment awards for clients. We won over 5,600 cases in 2022 alone.
- We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t pay us unless we win your case. We also offer free initial case consultations from 15 convenient office locations.
For a free legal consultation with a Distracted Driving Accident lawyer serving Alexandria, call 800-537-8185
How a Distracted Driving Accident Attorney Can Help
A distracted driving accident attorney in Alexandria will have years of experience navigating complicated car accident claims that can be used to strengthen your case. Your lawyer will know how to go up against car insurance companies to pursue a fair settlement using aggressive negotiation tactics, when necessary. You can trust your lawyer to take care of many complicated aspects of your distracted driving claim for you while you focus on healing.
- Providing insights into Louisiana’s legal landscape of car accident law.
- Returning to the scene of the car accident to investigate its cause.
- Searching for evidence to prove distracted driving, such as cell phone records.
- Hiring experts to reconstruct the crash and establish fault.
- Taking care of confusing claims filing processes and paperwork.
- Negotiating with insurance claims adjusters on your behalf.
- Advocating for your rights in court, if necessary.
Although most car accident cases in Louisiana settle, or reach agreements outside of court between an insurance company and an injured victim, it is a good idea to hire a lawyer with trial capabilities in Alexandria. This will show an insurance company that you are prepared to go to court, if necessary, for a fair case outcome. The experienced litigators at Morris Bart, LLC know how to deal with insurance companies to achieve the best possible case results.
Types of Compensation Available
A distracted driving accident can inflict significant harm on those involved. Distracted driving accidents are often serious, as the driver may not hit the brakes at all prior to impact. If a driver, bicyclist or pedestrian gets hit by a distracted driver, he or she could sustain life-altering injuries, such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. While no amount of money can reverse what happened, obtaining a fair settlement or judgment award cafn help the victim move forward with less financial stress.
The types of financial compensation that may be available include:
- Medical bills: all health care costs associated with the accident, which may include surgeries, hospital stays, doctor’s appointments, therapies, rehabilitation, medications and medical devices.
- Disability costs: compensation for a long-term or permanent disability, such as ongoing medical care, home or vehicle modifications, and lost capacity to earn a living.
- Lost wages: income and employment benefits lost from the inability to work due to an injury, both immediately after the accident and future potential earnings.
- Property damage: reimbursement for the full cost to repair or replace damaged property, such as a motor vehicle or bicycle.
- Pain and suffering: intangible losses suffered from being involved in the distracted driving accident, such as physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Wrongful death damages: if you lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, you may be eligible for compensation for funeral and burial costs, lost income and inheritance, and loss of consortium.
These are all compensatory damages, which aim to compensate an accident victim or make him or her financially whole again after an auto accident. In some cases, another type of compensation known as punitive damages is also available. Punitive damages punish a defendant for egregious or intentional acts of wrongdoing or gross negligence. Reckless driving behaviors such as texting while driving could potentially result in punitive damages to discourage others in the community from distracted driving.
Common Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving refers to operating a motor vehicle without dedicating 100 percent of the driver’s visual, manual and cognitive attention to the driving task. Driving while distracted by anything inside or outside of a vehicle is a dangerous practice that can drastically increase the risk of a car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,522 victims lost their lives in accidents involving distracted drivers in 2022.
Common causes of distracted driving accidents in Alexandria include:
- Cell phone use: texting, sending emails, watching videos, looking at photos and browsing social media apps can be a manual, visual and cognitive distraction simultaneously.
- Talking on the phone: even in hands-free mode, talking on a cell phone can cause cognitive distractions while driving.
- Eating and drinking: these tasks can take one or both of a driver’s hands off the wheel and eyes off the road.
- Interacting with passengers: talking with passengers, helping children in the back seat or handling a pet in the car can be significant distractions.
- Adjusting dashboard controls: fiddling with the radio, GPS or infotainment system while driving can distract a driver manually and visually.
- Daydreaming: losing mental focus due to wandering attention, preoccupation with something else, emotional distractions or road rage can delay a driver’s reaction times.
Other common distractions include personal grooming, applying makeup, reading, looking at billboards and rubbernecking roadside accidents. Motor vehicle drivers have a legal obligation to drive with an appropriate level of care and prudence to prevent car accidents. Any form of distracted driving or inattention is a breach of this duty, otherwise known as negligence.
Proving Negligence in a Distracted Driving Accident
Negligence is the foundation of most car accident claims in Louisiana. The definition of negligence is to act below the required level of care based on the situation. Driver negligence in a car accident case can take many forms. One of the deadliest is distracted driving. When an injury claim is filed in Louisiana, the victim (plaintiff) bears the burden of proof. This means the victim must establish the truth of the claim being made.
The burden of proof in a civil lawsuit is a “preponderance of the evidence,” otherwise known as more likely to be true than not true or true with at least a 51 percent certainty. Meeting this burden of proof requires compelling evidence. In a claim against a distracted driver, evidence could include a police report, witness statements, cell phone records, social media activity and photos of the inside of the driver’s car (e.g., food wrappers in the front seat).
It may be necessary to hire an expert to provide testimony in a distracted driving car accident case. Experts can lend insights about a subject from the standpoint of a specialist with many years of relevant education, training and/or professional experience. A human factor expert, for example, may be able to analyze driver behavior and assess the level of distraction based on available evidence. Medical experts and crash reconstruction professionals may also be hired to testify.
Louisiana’s Comparative Fault Laws
Louisiana’s comparative fault law, found in Louisiana Civil Code 2323, states that the degree or percentage of fault of every person involved in the injury claim will be determined, regardless of whether the person is a party to the action. If it is ascertained that a person suffers injury, death or loss as a result of his or her own partial fault, the amount of damages recoverable will be reduced in proportion to the percentage of negligence attributable.
If you are found to be partially at fault for a distracted driving accident, you may still be eligible for financial compensation from other at-fault parties. However, your financial recovery will be reduced by an amount equivalent to your degree of fault. If a distracted driver is found to be 85 percent responsible for texting and driving, for example, but you are attributed 15 percent for speeding, your recovery award would be reduced by a matching 15 percent.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Distracted Driving Car Accident?
Liability, or legal and financial responsibility, for a distracted driving car accident can extend beyond just the distracted driver. While an at-fault driver in Louisiana can be held responsible for damages caused by a distracted driving accident, one or more third parties may also bear fault for the crash, depending on the circumstances.
Potential parties who could be held liable include:
- The distracted driver
- The driver’s employer
- A trucking company
- The owner of the vehicle
- The manufacturer of a defective vehicle
- A social host or dram shop (in a drunk driving accident case)
- A vehicle passenger
- A government agency
Liability in a distracted driving accident is not always clear-cut. These cases can be complex and involve the fault of one or more third parties in addition to the inattentive driver. An attorney from Morris Bart, LLC can investigate your car accident to identify the liable party or parties. We have the ability to go up against any adversary, including major corporations and powerful insurance providers, on your behalf.
Louisiana’s Distracted Driving Laws
Like many states, Louisiana has passed cell phone laws in an effort to reduce the number of distracted driving car accidents. Louisiana Revised Statutes Section 32:300.5 prohibits the use of electronic devices for text messaging and social networking while operating any motor vehicle on any public road or highway. This includes using a cell phone to read, write or send text messages, as well as to access, read or post to a social networking site.
Adult drivers in Louisiana are permitted to talk on cell phones while driving. However, it is against the law for drivers who have class E learner’s permits to talk on a cell phone unless it is in hands-free mode. When driving through a designated school zone, drivers in Louisiana cannot use cell phones, even in hands-free mode. Since cell phones are the number one cause of distracted driving accidents, these laws can help reduce the number of collisions.
Statute of Limitations for Distracted Driving Accidents
There is a legal deadline to file any type of automobile accident claim in Louisiana. If you miss this deadline, you will most likely lose your opportunity to seek a financial recovery for your related losses. The defendant in your case can use the missed time limit as a reason to file a motion to dismiss the case, which the courts will most likely accept.
A law known as the statute of limitations (Louisiana Civil Code 3492) gives a time limit of one year for most personal injury claims. This means you will have no more than one year from the date of your distracted driving car accident to pursue a related lawsuit. There may be exceptions, however, for cases involving delayed injury discovery, injured minors and government liability.
Special scenarios can either shorten or extend the statute of limitations. This is why it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your distracted driving accident to learn your individual filing time limit. An attorney can help you submit the required claims paperwork by your specific deadline for a valid claim to damages in Alexandria.
Contact an Experienced Alexandria Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one was recently involved in a distracted driving automobile accident in Alexandria, Louisiana or the surrounding area, help is available from the Alexandria personal injury attorneys of Morris Bart, LLC. We are knowledgeable and compassionate automobile accident attorneys with decades of legal experience.
Our lawyers can guide you and your family through the process of holding a distracted driver accountable. We will help you seek fair compensation for your past and future losses using personalized legal strategies. Contact us today and schedule a free case consultation to learn more. Call (318) 416-0089 or contact us online and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Questions?Call us, Louisiana.