Although much research has shown the devastating impact of distracted driving accidents, these car crashes still happen throughout Moncks Corner and the rest of South Carolina.
When you’re coping with the aftermath of a distracted driving crash, you need an advocate in your corner to help ensure that the at fault party is held responsible. If you were hit by a distracted driver, contact a Moncks Corner car accident lawyer today. West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help you.
Types Of Distractions Behind the Wheel
Cars today are filled with numerous pieces of technology that can distract someone including things such as tablets, phones, TV viewing screens, GPS systems, radios and even makeup friendly mirrors.
There are three major types of distracted driving. These are manual, cognitive, and visual.
Manual distractions refer to things like physically removing one or both hands from the wheel, like putting out a cigarette, reaching into the backseat to collect something that fell or answering the phone.
Although manual distractions could pull a driver’s attention away from the road and release their control on the steering wheel for a short period of time, texting and driving still has the most devastating potential in distracted driving wrecks.
Cognitive distractions can occur with both manual and visual distractions. If any of these distractions may have caused an accident between you and another driver, filing a lawsuit may be the best chance for the victim to recover owed compensation.
Any cognitive distraction is something that keeps a driver’s mind from being focused on paying attention. This can include things like talking to someone else in the car, emotional distress, fatigue or paying attention to things on the side of the road.
Visual distractions are some of the most common with drivers and can also be paired with cognitive and manual distractions.
Looking at a phone to see who’s calling, adjusting the GPS or changing the radio station are all examples of visual distractions. Distracted driving endangers the person operating the vehicle but also pedestrians and other motorists.
Approximately 25% of all vehicle accidents today are tied to distracted driving.Research from the NHTSA shows that certain distractions, such as texting while driving, give the driver the same delayed response time as a drunk driver.
South Carolina’s Distracted Driving Laws
South Carolina’s laws do not clearly define what it means to be distracted while driving. South Carolina Code of Laws 56-5-3890 states that it is illegal for drivers to text while driving in South Carolina. If there is any evidence that the at fault driver was reading or sending a text message at the time of the accident, that person could be found liable for a victim’s injuries.
Additionally, texting while driving is a moving traffic violation that can carry a fine of $25 for a first-time offense and $50 for every subsequent offense. In South Carolina, it is not against the law for a driver to use a hands-free phone or handheld phone, but it can show up as evidence in a personal injury claim regarding possible distraction leading to a car accident.
How Do You Prove the Other Driver Was Distracted?
When the accident happens, you may not realize exactly what occurred. An investigation of the accident scene may be necessary in order to name all possibly liable parties.
For example, if you get involved in an accident with a truck driver who was distracted, that driver may be liable for your injuries as well as his or her employer.
A lawyer with plenty of experience in the field of personal injury can help you to review all of this information and to determine what is most relevant in your distracted driving case. Evidence from the scene of the accident, such as a police report, eyewitness statements and certain aspects of the accident itself like tire tracks may all be used to help illustrate liability.
It falls to the victim in a personal injury case in South Carolina to show that the other person was responsible for their injuries, so you need an attorney who has plenty of background doing this in similar cases.
How soon do I need to file a case against a distracted driver?
You should file your distracted driving lawsuit as soon as possible after you get hurt. This protects your legal right under the statute of limitations, but it also increases the chances of collecting evidence in your claim.
You can’t file a lawsuit if more than three years have passed since your original accident. The sooner you get started, the sooner you may be able to close out this case and move forward with your life.
What is comparative negligence?
South Carolina follows what is known as a comparative negligence system. This means that you are eligible to sue one or more people in an accident even if you were partially responsible for it.
In order to recover damages in a distracted driving or any other accident, you must be less than 50% responsible for the accident and no more responsible than other involved parties. As the plaintiff, it is your responsibility to show how the distraction of the other party constituted negligence. This can even include things such as phone records or video surveillance or footage where applicable.
Contact a Moncks Corner Car Accident Lawyer After a Distracted Driving Crash
There are many unique components to filing a personal injury claim and a lawyer is highly knowledgeable and valuable during this time. As a victim, you need to remain focused on your medical care and doing everything possible to protect your rights. Your lawyer will take up the remainder of your accident claim concerns in order to help you recover the compensation you need and deserve.
When someone else is distracted behind the wheel, you need experience on your side. At West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers, our legal experience goes back four generations in Moncks Corner, and we bring a wealth of courtroom experience to the table for you.