Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
In today’s electronic age, we have all the information we could possibly need in the palm of our hands. Smart phones are essentially portable computers that give us access to a virtually unlimited amount of applications (apps) along with the ability to keep up with all of our text messages, social media messages, and emails. But as amazing as these devices are, they come at a price (and not just in monetary terms).
With access to nearly unlimited information also comes nearly unlimited ways to be distracted as well. When we are distracted at work or at home, it can make us less productive or take our focus away from the things that are most important to us. But distractions on the road can be far more detrimental, and even deadly in some cases.
Distracted driving is nothing new. Motorists have always had a deal with distractions, and these distractions have always had the potential to cause accidents. But cell phone activity such as texting while driving brings this danger to a whole new level. This is an activity we should all avoid when we are behind the wheel, and when someone is injured at the hands of a distracted driver, it is important that the responsible driver is held fully accountable, so this type of behavior is less likely to continue.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury in a distracted driving accident that was someone else’s fault, you deserve full compensation. Before speaking with the adjuster or anyone from the insurance company, call the Gardner Law Firm to schedule a free consultation and case assessment. We will meet with you to thoroughly evaluate your case and advise you of your legal rights and options.
At the Gardner Law Firm, we have over four decades of experience standing up for those who have been injured through no fault of their own. We serve clients in Ocean Springs, Biloxi, Gulfport, Pascagoula, and communities throughout Southern Mississippi. Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of personal injury law, and we work closely with our clients to provide the strong personalized representation they need and deserve.
When we take on a case, we handle all of the complicated legal tasks and we deal directly with the other side. This allows you to focus on getting recovered from your injuries and putting your life back on track. When possible, we look to secure a reasonable settlement that fully and fairly compensates you without the need for a trial. However, if the other side is not willing to negotiate in good faith, we are ready and able pursue full damages through litigation.
The Deadly Impact of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving has become an epidemic in the United States. According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), an average of 9 individuals are killed per day and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes that involve a distracted driver. These accidents cost our society an estimated $40 billion each year.
The distracted driving problem is most prevalent among teen drivers (those between the ages of 15 and 19), largely because of their youth, inexperience, and tech savviness. In recent surveys, 42% of high school students who drove within the past 30 days reported having sent a text or email while driving. And distracted driving is now the cause of nearly 60% of all crashes that involve teen drivers.
The Different Types of Distracted Driving
In addition to electronic activity on a smart phone, there are several other ways that drivers can be distracted. Some of the most common include:
- Eating and drinking;
- Yelling at or jostling with unruly passengers;
- Reaching for objects inside the vehicle;
- Putting on makeup/grooming;
- Turning the dial on the car radio;
- Focusing too long on billboards and road signs;
- Talking on a cell phone.
All of these distractions can cause accidents, but texting while driving and similar activities are especially hazardous, because they distract drivers in three ways; manually, visually, and cognitively. To illustrate just how dangerous this activity is, the CDC points out that at 55 mph, taking your eyes off of the road for just five seconds is roughly equivalent to driving the full length of a football field with your eyes closed.
Mississippi Distracted Driving Laws
All motorists in Mississippi are prohibited from writing, sending or reading a text or other type of electronic message while driving. Motorists are also prohibited from accessing, reading, or posting to a social media site. This is a primary offense in the state, meaning that police can pull a driver over for texting even if no other violation is observed. The fine for texting while driving in Mississippi is $100. If the distracted driver causes an accident, charges could be upgraded to reckless driving, which would result in enhanced penalties.
Although texting while driving is illegal in Mississippi, there are currently no restrictions on making or receiving phone calls or talking on a phone while behind the wheel. In addition, the consequences for texting while driving our paltry compared to what those who are seriously injured in any resulting accident have to go through.
For injury victims, this can be a life-altering event. In the span of just a few seconds, they suddenly have to deal with the pain, suffering, and anxiety of an injury that could prevent them from doing the things they normally do for an extended period of time. And in the worst cases, the injury could be permanent and debilitating, causing a permanently diminished quality of life.
In order to recover just compensation for their losses, those who are injured in distracted driving accidents must file a civil claim for damages. Damages are usually recovered through a settlement from the responsible party’s insurance company, or through a personal injury lawsuit. These types of cases can be complicated, however, and the insurance company for the other side will do everything they can get away with to undermine the claim and minimize the amount of compensation they have to pay.
To give you the best chance of obtaining a favorable outcome, it is recommended that you retain skilled legal counsel as early as possible, so they can go to work immediately investigating the case, gathering evidence, and putting together your claim.
Speak with a Knowledgeable and Compassionate Biloxi, MS Auto Accident Lawyer
At the Gardner Law Firm, we know that being injured in a distracted driving accident can take a major physical, financial, and emotional toll on victims and their families, and we fight hard to help ensure that our clients receive maximum compensation for their injuries. We handle the entire process from A to Z, and we are always available whenever you need to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.
To schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys, call us today at 228-436-6555 or send us a message through our online contact form. You may also stop by our office in person at your convenience, or we will come to you.
We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency basis – you only pay attorney fees if we win your case