In our busy world, distractions are a given, even while driving. Distracted driving is extremely dangerous and the cause of many preventable motor vehicle accidents. These accidents produce serious consequences to victims’ physical capabilities, emotional states, and finances.
The team of personal injury lawyers at Boettcher, Divenny, Ingle, and Wicker (BDIW) is here to help if you have been injured by a distracted driver in Stillwater. When someone else’s negligence causes your suffering, you deserve compensation, and a Stillwater distracted driving accident attorney from our firm will fight to get you every dollar you deserve.
Distractions for Drivers
Eating, drinking, watching the scenery, engaging in heated conversations, and even shaving or applying makeup have long been distractions for drivers. With the increased use of cell phones and Smartphones especially, distractions have only increased. Texts, calls, navigation systems, and social media habits compete for our attention even as we drive.
While any non-driving behavior is dangerous, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration highlights texting as particularly problematic. Reading or sending a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for a full five seconds, and when traveling at 55 miles per hour (mph) is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with eyes closed.
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Distracted Driving Accident Statistics
Operating a motor vehicle requires the driver’s complete focus. When that focus is broken, the aftermath can be devastating.
For a recent full year of data collection, the NHTSA reports 3,522 deaths caused by distracted drivers. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) calculates one in five people killed by distracted drivers were not occupants of other vehicles but cyclists or pedestrians. In their data, the CDC reports 424,000 injuries resulting from distracted driving accidents in one year.
Distracted Driving Accident Consequences
Even if victims survive distracted driving accidents, they still face a range of consequences.
While some injuries, such as broken bones, can heal fully though at a cost, others bring permanent and life-changing effects. Distracted drivers can cause catastrophic injuries, leaving victims with brain trauma and cognitive disabilities, partial or full paralysis, or chronic pain, among other outcomes.
The event of an accident can cause trauma in itself, leaving victims too afraid to drive anymore. Depending on the severity of the physical injuries incurred, victims can face additional emotional pain that comes with adjusting to their changed physical capabilities, diminished ability to engage or interact with others, or reduced independence.
Often, the damage caused by distracted drivers forces victims to miss time at work and lose all or partial pay. If their condition prevents them from ever returning to work, they lose future earnings and benefits as well. Further, their new situation may require victims to hire outside help to manage the responsibilities they previously assumed.
Death of a Loved One
If your loved one is killed by a distracted driver, a distracted driving accident attorney in Stillwater can help you file a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death settlement can cover death expenses, lost income, and loss of consortium and may bring an additional financial award for punitive damages.
Whatever your losses, you deserve compensation. By partnering with a Stillwater distracted driving accident lawyer from BDIW, you put yourself in the best position to get the settlement you deserve.
Your attorney will calculate your losses and your future needs, consulting with experts to ensure all factors are considered and demand a settlement amount to cover those losses, meet your needs, put your household on secure financial footing, and bring you justice.
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Oklahoma’s Distracted Driving Laws
Oklahoma law establishes general prohibitions against distracted driving. Statute 47-11-901(b) states, “The operator of every vehicle, while driving, shall devote their full time and attention to such driving.”
In Stillwater and all of Oklahoma, it is illegal to text while driving. Texting includes any electronic communication of written information, such as emails, Internet search commands, Instant Messaging or reading or sending text messages. Law enforcement officers who observe vehicle operators texting as they drive can pull these drivers over and issue a fine under the Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Burch Act of 2015.
Teenaged, commercial, and public transit drivers are also prohibited from using cell phones to make phone calls. However, adults may use hand-held or hands-free devices to make calls but can be cited and sued civilly if their behavior contributes to an accident.
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A Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in Stillwater Will Protect Your Case and Your Settlement
For a successful outcome to your case, you need representation from a skilled attorney knowledgeable in navigating personal injury laws and able to stand firm against insurance companies’ unfair strategies.
Personal Injury Laws
Oklahoma has a two-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims. By connecting with a distracted driving accident lawyer in Stillwater promptly after your accident, you allow your attorney time to investigate your case, gather the evidence needed to prove the at-fault party’s negligence, and file well within that deadline.
Since Oklahoma operates under a modified comparative fault system, it is critical to secure representation from an attorney with strong investigative skills and connections to experts. Your lawyer’s efforts will put the fault where it belongs, on the distracted driver, and protect you from false claims of fault.
Modified comparative fault allows victims to pursue a settlement only if they are less than 50% responsible for the accident. If they meet this standard but still bear some responsibility, the compensation they can receive is reduced by their percentage of fault.
Insurance Companies’ Strategies
To avoid making a large payout, insurance companies will look to assign you as much blame for the accident as possible. They may twist your words into admissions of fault or “interpret” the details of the accident to work in their favor. Adjusters also know how to frighten victims into accepting far lower settlements than they deserve.
Your distracted driving accident attorney in Stillwater will handle all communication with these companies, protecting you and your settlement from these dishonorable tactics.
BDIW Fights for Your Interests
BDIW has a long history of representing Stillwater’s residents. Our team has over 65 years of combined successful experience. Contact us today to speak to a skilled Stillwater distracted driving accident attorney who will use that experience to fight for you. Your consultation is completely free, and you will not pay us until we successfully secure your settlement.
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