Llano Distracted Driver Accident Attorney
Whether it’s calming your children down or grabbing a quick bite to eat on the go, it’s easy to get distracted behind the wheel. But did you know that over 100 people die each day in crashes on US roadways – and nearly 10% of those fatalities are a result of distracted driving? Distracted driving is a huge problem, and although not every crash is serious, they’re largely avoidable.
If you’re in a crash with a distracted driver, a Llano distracted driver accident lawyer can help. The team at the Law Offices of Shane W. Jennings understands what you’re going through, and we want to support you at this stressful time. Let us handle the legal side of things while you focus on moving forward – here’s an overview of how our distracted driver accident attorneys in Llano can assist you.
Distracted Driving Is a Serious Problem in Texas
Distracted driving is not just a nuisance – it’s a serious problem that can lead to life-changing or fatal injuries. In fact, according to statistics compiled by the Texas Department of Transportation, a distracted driver caused around one in five car crashes in Texas in 2020 alone. Most worryingly, this resulted in 364 fatalities and 2,200 serious injuries.
Contact our Llano distracted driver accident attorneys for help if you’re affected by a distracted driving crash in TX.
What Are Some Types of Distracted Driving in Llano, Texas?
First, let’s be clear about what we’re discussing. What exactly is distracted driving?
Helpfully, the clue is in the term “distracted” driving. Essentially, it’s any activity or behavior that diverts a driver’s focus away from operating the vehicle. We can group distracted driving behaviors into three categories:
- Cognitive: The driver’s attention is somewhere else – e.g., they’re thinking about something unrelated to driving.
- Manual: They are physically doing something other than operating the vehicle.
- Visual: The driver is looking elsewhere other than at the road.
Here are some common examples of distracted driving in Llano, Texas:
- Talking to passengers
- Turning around to discipline children
- Eating or drinking
- Smoking or vaping
- Changing radio stations
- Calling someone
Of course, it’s not illegal to perform an action such as talking to a passenger. The difficulty is when the action becomes distracting to the point where the driver is no longer focusing on the road. So, for example, if there’s an argument between a driver and a passenger, the driver’s mind is distracted, and that leads to a car crash in Llano, Texas.
Are There Laws in Texas Against Distracted Driving?
Yes. In fact, Texas takes distracted driving extremely seriously.
For example, under the texting while driving law, Texas § 545.4251, it’s an offense to type, read, or send any type of electronic message while driving. You must stop the vehicle and pull over safely if you wish to text or check electronic messages. Under-18s cannot use any devices while driving, including wireless or hands-free devices, and you shouldn’t use cellphones if you have a learner’s permit and you’re within your first six months of driving.
Distracted Driving Defenses
It’s important to remember that there are exceptions to every rule. A driver may have a defense against distracted driving allegations if they can show that:
- The vehicle was at a complete stop when they texted someone
- They sent a text during an emergency situation
- They read a message during a situation that they truly believed was an emergency
- It was a hands-free device rather than a physical cellphone
These defenses matter because you may need to prove that the driver did, in fact, break the law before you can claim compensation.
Can You Sue a Driver for Distracted Driving in Llano, Texas?
It all depends on what you can prove. In Texas, you can sue the other driver if you can prove fault or negligence. This means showing that:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care. Drivers do owe other road users a duty of care. They’re expected to drive in a way that shows regard for others’ safety.
- The other driver breached this duty of care by driving carelessly, or negligently. Distracted driving is negligent because it diverts your attention from the road and makes you more likely to crash.
- You were injured and sustained losses due to the crash. Injuries include everything from minor cuts to catastrophic injuries. Losses include medical bills and therapy expenses.
- The other driver’s negligence is the reason why you’re injured. In other words, they’re at fault because they caused the crash.
How do you prove negligence? It all depends on the case. For a distracted driving claim, you need to prove that the other driver was, in fact, distracted. Under the Texas driving laws, this means that either a police officer saw the distraction or other evidence supports the claim. The type of evidence you might rely on includes:
- Cellphone Records: Was the other driver on the phone at the time of the crash? By checking cellphone records, you can determine if the driver was distracted by a call.
- Social Media Accounts: Alongside cellphone records, you may be able to confirm whether the person was on social media at the time of the crash. You can confirm this by checking message history for example.
- Police Accident Reports: A police report includes an officer’s narrative about what happened. The officer may confirm distracted driving in the report, or issue a similar citation against the at-fault driver.
- CCTV or Surveillance Footage: If you can access surveillance footage, you might show the driver participating in distracted behavior. This type of evidence can be very powerful and compelling.
- Witness Accounts: If there are witnesses to the accident, they may be able to confirm if the other driver was on the phone, eating, or distracted in some other way.
- Expert Testimony: Accident reconstruction experts can often determine whether a distraction caused a crash or at least contributed to the crash.
Our distracted driving accident attorneys in Llano can help you build a case.
What Compensation Is Available After a Distracted Driver Accident in Llano, Texas?
Every case is unique. The compensation or damages you can claim depend on a variety of factors, including:
- How serious your injuries are and how long they could last
- The level of pain, suffering, and distress you’ve experienced
- The value of any expenses you’ve incurred as a result of the crash, such as lost wages
Typically, there are two types of damages you might claim after a distracted driver crash: economic and non-economic damages.
- Economic Damages: Economic damages are your actual financial losses. These include medical expenses, legal costs, rehab costs, lost earnings, and other associated expenses.
- Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages are monies awarded for everything we can’t put a price on. This includes your pain and suffering, emotional distress and anxiety, and loss of consortium with your spouse. And if you can’t work anymore, or you can’t do the same job as before, we can seek compensation for this lost potential, too.
Damages are difficult to quantify. Our distracted driver accident attorneys in Llano will carefully examine your case to determine what it’s worth.
If you lose a loved one in a Llano, Texas, car crash, you can seek compensation on their behalf. These damages include all of the above but also loss of companionship, loss of support, and burial or funeral expenses.
Losing a loved one in a distracted driving crash is heartbreaking. We want to offer all the support we can during this distressing time for your family. Contact us to learn more about pursuing a wrongful death claim in Llano, Texas.
Punitive Damages in Llano, Texas
Sometimes, courts award what we call punitive damages. Punitive damages punish the at-fault party for their behavior. They’re only awarded if you can show gross negligence or a deliberate disregard for the safety of others. Punitive damages are far less common in distracted driving accidents; however, we can explain if you have a case for punitive damages once we learn what happened.
How W. Shane Jennings Can Help After a Distracted Driving Accident in Llano, Texas
At the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings, we treat clients like family. We don’t just fight to get our clients the damages they deserve. Instead, we champion them. Attorney Jennings and the team work tirelessly to get clients the justice they’re entitled to. If you retain our services, here’s how we’ll work for you.
- Communication: We’ll listen to what happened and determine if you have a case. If you have a claim, we’ll ensure you understand the legal options and how we might help you pursue them.
- Evidence Gathering: Our team will carefully gather evidence to support your case. If necessary, we’ll hire expert witnesses to help prove liability.
- Claim Valuation: Once we have sufficient evidence, we can value what your claim is worth. This lets us pursue a fair amount of compensation on your behalf.
- Service Support: We can help you find the most appropriate service providers and medical professionals for your needs.
- Settlement Negotiations: Our team understands how to negotiate settlements for distracted driver crashes. We won’t let insurance companies take advantage of you. Instead, we’ll ensure that we pursue every single cent you’re entitled to.
- Trial Representation: If there’s no acceptable settlement offer forthcoming, your case may go to trial. Attorney Jennings is an experienced trial lawyer who will fight your corner. He will go to battle for you and represent your best interests in court – you won’t feel lost or alone.
- Advice and Assistance: If you have any questions, no matter how minor, we want to help. Your distracted driver accident lawyer in Llano can provide reassurance and support throughout the legal process.
If you’re hurt in a distracted driver accident, you don’t just need any attorney. You need the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings on your side. Contact us to discuss how we might help.
Car Accident Law Firm in Llano, Texas
Do you need a distracted driver accident attorney in Llano? Don’t hesitate to call the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings. Attorney Jennings believes that everyone deserves justice. And while he knows that no amount of money can truly make up for what happened to you, he’s committed to protecting and upholding your legal rights. He’ll stand by your side and be your best advocate at any settlement negotiation or courtroom appearance.
Our experienced accident attorneys are here to help you through this stressful time. The team can answer any questions you have and ensure that you feel supported and empowered throughout the process. Unless your claim is successful, you don’t owe us anything, so contact us to book a free consultation.