Injured By A Driver On A Cellphone?

In a 2011 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 69 percent of people ages 18–64 admitted to using a cellphone while driving. While many feel making calls on the road is safe, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research shows that more than 3,000 people are killed each year as a result of distracted driving, including in car accidents involving cellphones.

If you or a loved one has been in such a crash, you know firsthand the serious health and financial effects that can result when someone talking on a cellphone causes a car accident. Showing that another person has been negligent in their actions behind the wheel can enable you to recover compensation for medical bills, property replacement costs, lost wages and other damages. An experienced lawyer can be an important legal advocate during this personal injury process.

How Cellphones Cause Car Accidents
Although talking on a cellphone does not chemically alter the brain as drugs and alcohol do, the degree of distraction often is the same. Talking on a cellphone can be so consuming to drivers that they swerve into other lanes or fail to observe posted speed limits. Studies also show that people talking on the phone have significantly slower braking speeds than undistracted drivers.

Just why is it so dangerous to drive and talk on the phone at the same time? The CDC reports that drivers become distracted while driving in three different ways:

  • Visually. Motorists who take their eyes off the road to make or receive a call risk getting in a collision. Particularly when traveling at high speeds, failing to watch traffic for even a moment can produce severe accidents.
  • Manually. Making or receiving a call on a cellphone can require motorists to remove at least one hand from the steering wheel. Holding a hand-held device further limits a driver’s ability to manually control a car. It can be difficult, for example, to swerve out of the path of another car or a pedestrian.
  • Cognitively. A phone conversation can take your mind off the main task of driving a vehicle. This can have a serious impact when a traffic hazard requires a driver to make a split-second decision to avoid an accident.

While Bluetooth devices and other hands-free communications equipment can lessen the negative impact of talking on the phone in a car, there remains an element of greater distraction that can still contribute to accidents.

Find Help To Prove Another’s Negligence
Determining whether another’s use of a cellphone caused an accident can be difficult, and showing that a person is legally responsible for a crash can be harder. Fortunately, a personal injury attorney has investigative resources he or she can use to help prove another person’s negligence caused a collision.

A lawyer will likely seek to interview witnesses who observed a cellphone-caused auto accident. Attorneys also commonly request the phone records of the other driver to help determine whether talking on a cell phone led to a crash, or if a vehicle collision involved texting.

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Injured While Riding A Bike?

Bicycling is more than just a pastime for many people. The movement toward green living and the rising costs of gasoline make bicycles a popular alternative method of transportation. While there are many benefits to cycling, the activity also comes with risks — including the potential for bike accidents.

Bicycles are much smaller than cars and other vehicles, exposing riders to safety dangers. While drivers of motor vehicles are expected to exercise caution when sharing the road, the consistently high numbers of bicycle accidents involving cars indicate that many motorists fail to maintain proper attention.

Accidents can be very serious for cyclists. Often riders sustain severe injuries or even die when struck by another vehicle. Given the potentially tragic, costly and life-long impacts of bike crashes, it’s essential to contact a lawyer after an accident.

Common Causes Of Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists must follow the rules that govern traffic on roadways. It can be very frustrating, then, to see motorists — who are driving much larger vehicles ­— routinely ignore the laws that are intended to keep everyone safe.

Common actions that can put bicyclists at risk include:

  • Failure to observe “proper lookout.” Texas law expects every motorist to be constantly aware of his or her surroundings. Failure to pay attention can be used to find a driver negligent.
  • Turning into a bicyclist. In what is the cause of many bicycling accidents, a driver fails to see a biker and turns into the cyclist. Such a crash could be prevented if a driver carefully checked his or her blind spot
  • Bike lane intrusions. A bicyclist may be struck by a driver who moves into a clearly marked bike lane. Often riders are struck from the side or behind.
  • Moving into a cyclist’s path. A motorist may pull out in front of a bicyclist at an intersection. A bicyclist may have insufficient time to stop before striking a vehicle.
  • Following at an unsafe distance. Drivers who follow a cyclist too closely run the risk of striking a biker from behind.
  • Failure to yield right of way. A motorist may fail to observe traffic signs that give a bicyclist the right of way, potentially leading to collisions.

Pursue A Personal Injury Case
Even if you were following all cycling laws when a motor vehicle accident happened, a successful personal injury lawsuit will require proof that a driver’s actions caused a collision. An experienced lawyer can help you compile evidence that will be important for making a strong case, including copies of the report on a car accident, crash scene photographs and eyewitness reports attesting to a driver’s negligence.

Gathering evidence to show a motorist is at fault in a bike crash can be overwhelming, particularly if you or a loved one is dealing with serious injuries following a bicycle accident. An attorney can be an important advocate during this legal process.

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Injured By A Texting Driver?

According to a 2011 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of motorists admitted to receiving or sending text messages or emails while driving. This figure has dramatic implications for public safety on roadways. A Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study shows that a person is 23 percent more likely to get in a car accident while texting.

Texting is a major cause of car accidents because it reduces attentiveness in three ways. First, drivers must look away from the road. Second, motorists must have at least one hand off of the steering wheel. Third, texting diverts cognitive attention from decisions that must be made on the road.

Reflecting concerns about the dangers of texting while driving, recent laws have made it illegal in some areas of Texas. In addition to being held legally responsible, drivers who text may also be liable for damages they cause in auto accidents.

What Texting And Driving Looks Like
It’s relatively easy to spot people who are busy texting while driving. Their faces may not be visible as they bend down to look at their phones. Many of these motorists are steering with their knees, and their attention seems to be focused anywhere but on the road.

These factors can lead to dangerous roadway behaviors, including:

Inconsistent vehicle distances. Looking down may not allow a person to see when traffic slows. A driver may strike (or nearly) strike a vehicle that is in front of him or her.
Moving around in a lane. Texting drivers often move about within a lane. Often with neither hand on the wheel, they’re unable to maintain a consistent path within traffic.
Crossing beyond lane lines. Motorists who are distracted by texting may veer over a traffic line, potentially causing a collision with another vehicle.
Reduced reaction time. Texting drivers are often slow to see and recognize roadway hazards. They may be forced to brake hard, thus increasing the potential for accidents.

While drivers of all ages text while driving, it is young drivers who most often engage in the behavior. Text messaging among novice drivers can be especially dangerous given these motorists’ relative inexperience behind the wheel. Acknowledging this fact, Texas state law prohibits texting, and cellphone use of all kinds, among drivers who are under 18 years of age.

When Texting Causes Car Accidents
If you’ve been in an accident involving a texting motorist, you may feel anger or resentment. It can be painful to know that another person’s irresponsible actions are the cause of your physical injuries and emotional suffering. It might not seem fair that you’re the one who must somehow deal with expensive medical bills, car repair costs, and other expenses. Maybe injuries keep you from working, and lost wages are harming your family’s financial standing.

Filing a personal injury lawsuit is one way to hold another person accountable for their actions. An experienced lawyer can help you recover compensation for damages associated with a car accident involving texting or another cellphone-related car accident. An attorney will collect evidence supporting your claim, including eyewitness interviews and phone records that show a person was texting or talking.

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Injured By A Driver Under The Influence Of Drugs?

When you think of car accidents caused by drugs, your mind may immediately jump to drivers who use cocaine, methamphetamine or other illegal drugs. You might not think about over-the-counter or prescription medications, but these powerful drugs can also cause motorist impairment and cause an auto accident.

While law enforcement officials devote significant resources to reduce the numbers of people who drive under the influence of alcohol, drugged driving has not received the same level of attention. This is despite the fact that a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey revealed that more than 16 percent of weekend, night-time drivers tested positive for at least one illegal, prescription or over-the-counter drug.

Understand Common Drug Impairments
Illegal, prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause effects that can impair a person’s ability to drive. Ranging from mild side effects to severe, mind-altering impacts, these changes in mood and behavior can contribute to car accidents.

Among the most common impairments observed in drugged driving cases are:

Memory loss. A drug can limit a person’s ability to draw information from previous experiences, potentially increasing the risk of confusion or risk-taking behavior.
Loss of coordination. People under the influence of drugs may be physically unable to operate a motor vehicle safely.
Loss of judgment. Drugs often affect a person’s decision making abilities.
Altered perception. Hallucinations or distortions of distance, time and speed carry obvious risks on roadways, both to the safety of a driver and other motorists.
Anxiety. Extreme anxiousness or paranoia can make it impossible for a motorist to responsibly operate a vehicle.
Euphoria. Feelings of overconfidence, fearlessness or delirium often accompany drug use. These feelings can lead a person to make irresponsible decisions behind the wheel
Drowsiness or lethargy. Alertness is vital when driving a motor vehicle. If a person is drowsy or lethargic, he or she is likely to have longer response time to traffic events, endangering other motorists.
In a worst-case scenario, a driver may simply fall asleep or otherwise be rendered unresponsive by the effects of a drug. In these situations, a vehicle in essence becomes an unguided missile on the roadway, primed to catastrophically harm other motorists.

Get Justice After An Accident Caused By Drugs
If you or a loved one has been harmed in an accident caused by drugs, or a crash in which you were hit by a drunk driver, personal injury law may allow you to pursue compensation for injuries, property damage and lost wages. This can be the case whether illicit, over-the-counter or prescription drugs — or a combination thereof — caused a driver’s impairment.

An experienced attorney can help prove that a motorist took an illegal substance, misused a legally prescribed medication or failed to heed driving restrictions listed on the label of an over-the-counter product. This legal advocate will seek fair compensation on your behalf, serving as a go-to source of information throughout the personal injury process.

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