Northern Virginia Distracted Driving Attorneys
Many motor vehicle accidents in Northern Virginia are caused by driver negligence, and few forms of negligence can be as frustrating for the victims in such crashes as distracted driving. When a motorist engages in distracted driving, they are usually partaking in some activity while behind the wheel that takes their attention off of the task at hand and often causes some kind of collision.
Certain types of distractions are easier to prove than others, but anybody who suspects that their injuries or a loved one’s death stems from distracted driving could be entitled to various forms of compensation. It should go without saying that most insurance companies are likely to ignore distracted driving allegations and try to find ways to blame other drivers or factors.
If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a distracted driving accident in Northern Virginia, you will want to be sure that you retain legal counsel right away. Make sure that you contact CHASENBOSCOLO as soon as possible.
Our Virginia car accident attorneys have recovered more than $750 million for our clients since 1986. You can have us provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (703) 538-1138 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
Do I Need A Distracted Driving Lawyer?
You may know that another driver was distracted, but you may not have evidence of that distraction. One of the primary reasons you should contact an attorney is because they can help you obtain very important evidence relating to certain types of distracted driving cases.
For example, if another driver caused your accident because they were talking or text messaging on a cell phone, a lawyer can possibly subpoena that driver’s phone records. When the records demonstrate phone activity at the time of a crash, it could serve as evidence that a driver was distracted.
Even when you are armed with solid evidence, you will still have to deal with a negligent driver’s insurance company. All insurers are out only to protect their bottom lines, and this usually involves paying people as little as possible to resolve their injury claims.
Always remember that no insurance company is ever on your side and you should never read too much into the seeming sincerity of an agent’s concern about your well-being. You will want to have an attorney handle all discussions with insurers on your behalf so you do not have to worry about possibly saying something that jeopardizes your civil case.
Why Choose CHASENBOSCOLO To Handle My Case?
CHASENBOSCOLO has been serving clients for over three decades and has handled more than 500 jury trials in just the past five years. We have a team of 25 attorneys and more than 90 professionals available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Barry M. Chasen has nearly 40 years of legal experience and has been licensed in the District of Columbia since 1984. He has received the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, denoting the highest level of professional excellence, and is a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, District of Columbia Bar, and Prince George’s County Bar Association.
Benjamin T. Boscolo was also rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and also received the Dean’s Award for Professional Responsibility from American University. He has served as a workers compensation panelist for the National Football Players Association and Major League Soccer Players Association.
When you work with CHASENBOSCOLO, you pay nothing without a financial award because of our No Fee Guarantee®. Our firm will make every effort to achieve a fair and full settlement, but we will not hesitate to file a lawsuit when an insurance company is refusing to provide an adequate level of compensation.
Types of Distracted Driving Cases We Handle
Smartphones are widely regarded as being one of the most common distractions for drivers of all ages. They are not the only kind of distraction though, and people can be involved in accidents caused by many other types of distractions.
CHASENBOSCOLO has experience handling cases involving such distractions as:
- Other passengers
- Eating or drinking
- Personal grooming
- Caring for pets
- Global Positioning System (GPS)
- Adjusting stereo or climate controls
Virginia Code § 46.2-1078.1 makes it unlawful for any person to operate a moving motor vehicle while using any handheld personal communications device to enter multiple letters or text in the device or read any email or text message transmitted to the device. The law does not apply to parties engaged in the performance of official duties, operators who are lawfully parked or stopped, the use of global positioning systems (GPS) or wireless communications devices used to transmit or receive data as part of a digital dispatch system, or people using such devices to report emergencies.
What should I do after a distracted driving accident?
You must always get medical care immediately after any distracted driving crash, even when you think that you were not harmed. It is always recommended that you get a second opinion from a doctor as a basic precaution and it is also beneficial to your injury claim moving forward to have a medical record created as soon as possible after an accident. You should also try to take the other following steps at the scene of your accident while you are waiting for medical attention:
- Contact Law Enforcement — You are going to want to make sure a police report is filed relating to your crash. The distracted driver may also be cited.
- Exchange Insurance Information — Get information from the other driver about their insurance policy and driver’s license number. Avoid getting into any arguments about liability.
- Take Pictures — Remember that your crash scene is going to be cleaned up relatively quickly and much of the evidence will thus disappear. Preserve what you can by taking as many photographs as possible of all of the items relating to your accident.
- Seek Witnesses — If any other individuals saw your accident, they may have also seen that the other driver was distracted. These independent witnesses could be extremely important if that driver denies they were distracted, so get names and phone numbers from these people.
After you have received medical attention, you will want to make sure that you contact a lawyer before you speak to an insurance company.
Why is texting while driving considered to be so dangerous?
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, there are three main kinds of distractions that include:
- Visual — A distraction that takes your eyes off the road.
- Manual — A distraction that takes your hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive — A distraction that takes your mind off of driving.
Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it involves all three of these kinds of distractions.
What kinds of compensation could I be entitled to?
You should know that a settlement is the most likely outcome for your case because insurance companies do not like paying the expenses necessary to take cases to trial. As a result, many settlements are agreed to only as a trial is set to begin. When a distracted driving case does go all the way to court, then a person who proves their case by a preponderance of the evidence can be awarded both economic damages and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages relate to tangible costs such as medical bills, lost income, and property damage, while noneconomic damages are awards for more subjective types of harm, including loss of consortium, pain and suffering, or emotional distress. Punitive damages (also known as vindictive damages or exemplary damages) can also be awarded specifically to punish a defendant for particularly egregious wrongdoing and deter other people from behaving similarly, but such awards are very rare and are also subject to a limitation (“cap”) of $350,000.
Distracted Driving Statistics
According to the 2017 Virginia Traffic Crash Facts from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the 208 people killed in crashes involving distracted driving was an 18.2 percent increase from 2016. The 14,656 people injured in 2017 was a 3.4 percent decrease.
The top three distracted driving categories were eyes not on the road, looking at a roadside incident (rubbernecking), and talking, texting, or browsing on the phone. The 26,123 distracted driving crashes in 2017 included 189 fatal crashes, 9,284 injury crashes, and 16,650 property damage crashes.
The 208 distracted driving persons killed included 147 drivers, 37 passengers, and 24 pedestrians. The 14,656 distracted driving persons injured included 11,366 drivers, 3,074 passengers, and 216 pedestrians. The 1,659 distracted driving persons seriously injured included 1,258 drivers, 345 passengers, and 56 pedestrians.
The 2017 Virginia Traffic Crash stated that 167 distracted driving fatalities (80.3 percent) occurred on non-interstate roadways while 41 distracted driving fatalities (19.7 percent) occurred on interstates. There were 106 distracted driving fatalities (51.0 percent) in single-vehicle accidents and 102 distracted driving fatalities (49.0 percent) in multi-vehicle accidents.
Contact a Distracted Driving Attorney in Northern Virginia
Did you sustain severe injuries or was your loved one killed in a distracted driving accident in Northern Virginia? The attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO can help you get the maximum compensation possible for your claim. Our firm will be willing to fight to ensure that you are fairly and justly compensated for all of your losses. Call (703) 538-1138 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.