Each state has different laws on driving with the use of a hands free device. Many states allow it, but there are certain instances where hands free phone use while driving could be illegal.
You can legally drive while using a hands free device in Louisiana, for example, but there are some exceptions. Louisiana does not allow drivers to go hands free in a school zone, or for drivers under 16 years of age.
Many drivers choose to go hands free because there is a perception that is safe to do so. While hands free may be safer than using a device in-hand, it can still be a distraction if it takes your mind off of the task of driving. This is also referred to as a cognitive distraction. Cognitive distractions can make a driver slower to react and less able to think quickly, which can increase the chances of a car accident.
While hands free while driving is not illegal in some cases, it can still be dangerous.
Distracted driving is a common cause of car accidents in Louisiana. Figures from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission show that distracted driving led to 192 deaths between 2011-2015, and almost 27,000 injuries.
Compensation Options Following a Distracted Driving Accident
If you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be owed compensation for your damages. The pursuit of compensation usually goes one of two ways: negotiating a settlement offer with the responsible party’s insurance company or filing a lawsuit against them in court.
Whether you are taking the insurance route, filing a lawsuit, or a combination of the two, a lawyer can explain what each process will entail in accidents that involve the use of hands free devices while driving.
To receive compensation, you will need to prove three things:
- That the other driver had a duty of care to you, such as safely sharing the road
- That they failed in their duty of care, perhaps by breaking a traffic rule and causing an accident
- And that you sustained damages, such as injuries caused by the accident
Louisiana’s comparative fault laws do apply to car accident cases. This means that if a judge decides that you were 25% responsible for the accident, the compensation you are awarded may be reduced by 25%. Accordingly, it can be useful to produce evidence of the full extent of the responsible driver’s negligence in your defense.
Compensation in a Distracted Driving Case
If you are able to prove liability, you may receive damages from under two main categories: economic and noneconomic. This compensation may cover:
- Your present and future medical bills
- Your rehabilitation and care costs
- Your lost earnings, reduced earnings, and future earnings
- Your psychological damage, which may include depression, anxiety, PTSD, panic attacks, and more
- Your pain and suffering and other non-financial losses
To learn more about what specific compensation may be available to you, contact a car accident lawyer. Under the Louisiana Civil Code, you only have a short time to pursue legal action, which is one year from the date of the accident
Injuries Resulting From Distracted Driving Accidents
Common injuries that can occur in distracted driving accidents, including those involving hands free devices, are Seatbelt injuries
- Whiplash, which can cause head and neck pain
- Broken ribs
- Internal bleeding
- Joint, muscle, and soft tissue injuries
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Scarring and burns
- Spinal and neck injuries
- Back injuries and herniated discs
- And more
Some of these injuries might only be short-term but others may have permanent symptoms.
If you have been in a car accident, it is best to be evaluated by a doctor as soon as it is safe to do so. Evidence in your medical record linking your injuries to the car crash can also be useful in a personal injury case.
Call Morris Bart, LLC Today
If you are suffering the consequences of a distracted driving accident, the attorneys at the Morris Bart law firm may be able to assess your claim, investigate your case, and gather evidence in your defense.
Our firm offers a free consultation call for accident victims who are wondering about their legal options. Call us at (800) 537-8185 to get started today.
The Morris Bart law firm operates on a contingency-fee basis, meaning there are no up-front payments required for us to work for you. Our lawyer fees only come as a percentage of your compensation if and when you win your case.