Distracted driving makes up a large segment of driving accidents every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 3,000 people died in distracted driving accidents in 2018. It has become more prevalent as mobile technologies and other factors have become more popular. Because the driver who caused your accident was distracted, they might be held liable for expenses related to your recovery.
If you or a loved one is recovering from injuries in a distracted driving accident, you could receive compensation for your expenses. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at (800) 598-7557 to explore your legal options and learn how a Baltimore distracted driving accident lawyer can help your case.
Defining Distracted Driving
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), distracted driving is any type of driving where the driver’s attention is not on the road. Distractions can take many forms. Cellphones are a common distraction, whether they are being used for texting, phone calls, or other purposes.
Having passengers can also be a distraction, as it can be challenging to hold a conversation while focusing on driving. Unruly children can also divert a driver’s attention. Regardless of what the distraction is, you can still be held liable for damages that you cause.
For a free legal consultation with a distracted driving lawyer serving Baltimore, call 800-959-1444
Civil lawsuits can only be filed against parties that can be held liable in your accident. Liability means a person or entity is financially responsible for the damages they cause. In your case, this will be the person that caused your accident.
The liability claims in some accidents are more complex than others. When the vehicle that caused your accident is owned or operated by a company, that company could have liability as well. For example, a taxi that was improperly maintained might make the taxi company liable for damages.
Your lawyer will try to determine all the parties that could have liability for your accident. In most cases, insurance companies will be involved since all vehicles must have insurance coverage. Your lawyer may have to work directly with the insurance company to resolve your lawsuit.
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Auto Insurance Settlements
If an insurance company is involved, then your lawyer will likely have to work directly with the company to handle your lawsuit. This happens because insurance companies tend to offer settlement agreements to end cases.
A settlement agreement is a contract that says you will end your lawsuit and terminate all claims for liability in exchange for financial compensation and other terms you can negotiate. You are not obligated to accept a settlement agreement, but it can help you in several ways. It does give you the option of negotiating a specific amount of compensation.
It might not be as much as you would get in a trial, but it does guarantee that you will get a specific amount. Accepting a settlement agreement also ends your lawsuit sooner, which means you can collect compensation and address the financial issues you have without waiting for a trial to conclude.
Many accident victims accept settlement agreements because of the shorter time frame. However, it is important that you work with your lawyer to fully review settlement agreements before you accept them. Make sure your expenses, including your long-term expenses, are accounted for in the compensation that you will receive. Failing to do so can have long-term financial implications and leave you struggling to pay your bills for years.
The team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, is ready to help you with your Baltimore distracted driving accident. Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation so we can learn more about your case.
Lost Wages and Other Expenses
Getting into a distracted driving accident can leave you with a lot of expenses. Medical expenses are often the biggest problem for victims to worry about, but there are other types of expenses that can significantly impact your finances. These include lost wages, which can build up over time if you are out of work. Missing work can affect your monthly finances and make it harder to avoid going into debt while you recover.
As you recover and decide to take legal action, make sure to document as many of your related expenses as possible. This makes it easier for your lawyer to identify expenses that should be claimed in your lawsuit. If you can develop an accurate accounting of what your expenses are, you can ask for enough compensation to cover them.
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Understanding Your Rights
You might be able to take legal action against the person that caused your distracted driving accident. Under civil law, you have the right to sue someone for causing you harm in some way. There are different statutes that you can base a lawsuit on depending on the specifics of your accident.
For example, being physically injured in the accident entitles you to compensation for medical expenses. Likewise, damage to your vehicle or other property entitles you to property damage compensation. Discuss your case with your legal representative to see what you can claim and which steps you should take next.
Seeking Legal Action
Many victims take months to decide if they want to file a lawsuit or not. Taking legal action is not something that people take lightly, and they want to take time to think about it before acting. There is nothing wrong with taking your time to decide. However, be aware that there is a time limit for how long you have to file your lawsuit.
This is called the statute of limitations. In Maryland, you have three years from the date of the accident to file personal injury and property damage claims according to the Maryland Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings §5-101. Start the legal process early enough so that your Baltimore distracted driving accident lawyer has enough time to build your case and file your lawsuit before or by the deadline.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, Today
If you or a loved one were injured in a distracted driving accident, you might be entitled to compensation from the person that caused your accident. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at (800) 598-7557 to discuss your case with our team.