Distracted Driving Accidents in Fort Myers
Everyone driving today knows that texting and driving is a bad idea, and in nearly all cases, illegal. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be enough of a deterrent: 1 in 4 accidents in the United States are attributed to distracted driving, with many (although not all) of those cases involving the use of a smartphone. There are many other forms of distracted driving that we will go into in greater detail below, in order to give you a sense of whether or not you may be a victim of this dangerous behavior.
If you have been in an accident caused by a distracted driver, then you have legal rights to seek compensation from either them or their insurance company. However, although it may seem like a fairly straightforward process—especially when the other driver was clearly at fault—you may be surprised at how opaque and uncompassionate the insurance adjuster assigned to your claim will likely be. The insurance company focuses on doing everything that can to limit the amount of money that they pay for any given claim, and yours is no different.
Hire an Attorney Who Can Fight For Your Compensation
Get in touch with the team at Chappell Law Group as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation about your accident and injuries. We will be able to use this time to discuss the specifics of your accident and the impacts that your injuries have already had on your life and will continue to have. You may be surprised to learn about some of the impacts that we can help you get compensation for.
Read more below to get a general idea of distracted driving accidents and how they are treated in Fort Myers and the civil courts. If you are looking for specific information and advice about your own options, the sooner you contact us the sooner we will be able to answer those questions for you.
What Is Distracted Driving?
While many people immediately think of texting while driving (and rightfully so), the term “distracted driving” covers many different situations that do include smartphones, but go well beyond, too. There are three different types of distracted driving:
Visual Distracted Driving
As you may guess, visual distracted driving involves taking your eyes off the road while your vehicle is in motion. Many people feel incorrectly confident about their ability to drive without giving their full visual attention to the road, but the biggest issue that they do not consider is the threat of sudden obstacles or hazards like a vehicle stopping short or a child chasing a ball. This includes sending texts, looking at the radio, watching things on the side of the road, looking in the back seat, and more.
When a driver is moving at 40 mph, a mere 5 seconds with their eyes off the road means that they will have traveled the entire length of a football field. While 5 seconds may not seem like much, this can put it into a shocking perspective.
Cognitive Distracted Driving
Cognitive distracted driving is when a driver takes their attention off the road, which may or may not involved also taking their eyes off the road. This type of distracted driving can be more difficult to prove if the other driver is unwilling to admit their fault, but when you are working with an experienced distracted driving attorney in Fort Myers, you will be able to explore a range of options to prove your case.
Manual Distracted Driving
Manual distracted driving involves a driver taking their hands off the wheel while they are driving. This may be done to grab something from the passenger side floor, eat food, apply makeup, send a text, and much more.
Texting while driving is so dangerous because it involves at least two types of distracted driving, manually using your hand to type and visually taking your eyes off of the road, but it additionally often involves cognitive distracted driving, as well. When someone is driving a vehicle, typing with one hand, looking at their phone, and thinking about the conversation that they are having, there is no telling what they might miss.
What To Do After an Accident With a Distracted Driver
As with any accident, the most important thing to think about is your own safety and health, as well as the safety and health of your passengers. This requires staying calm while you assess the situation, calling 911, and then taking the appropriate next steps while waiting for the first responders to arrive.
If you are able to do so at the scene of the accident, be certain to inform the police officer who is completing an accident report about the fact that the other driver was distracted. If there are any eyewitnesses to the accident, their accounts can support your own claims in order to strengthen your case.
Most importantly, get all of the medical attention that you require. There are two benefits to this: first, that your health is a priority; second, that you establish an official record of your injuries early. This proof will be equally important to your case as you and your Fort Myers car accident lawyer begin to build a case.