Distracted drivers put all others who share the roads with them at risk. Pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicle drivers often sustain severe injuries and other long-term consequences when hit by distracted drivers.
When another person’s distraction or negligence hurts you, the at-fault party owes you compensation. To get the settlement you deserve and need to move toward physical, emotional, and financial recovery, connect with a distracted driving accident attorney in Tulsa from Boettcher, Divenny, Ingle, and Wicker (BDIW).
A Tulsa Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Will Investigate Thoroughly
Distracted driving causes serious accidents, but the behavior itself is not always easy to prove. A distracted driving accident lawyer in Tulsa will know how to investigate your case and compile the evidence needed to prove the distracted driver is responsible for your injuries.
Potential Sources of Evidence
Your attorney will access a photo or video evidence. While witnesses may provide some footage, your attorney will know how to access traffic or security images or video as well. These images may show the driver texting, looking at a screen, eating, or even grooming while driving. Such distractions are common contributors to accidents.
An experienced Tulsa distracted driving accident attorney will also investigate the scene and easily enlist help from accident reconstructionists or other experts to get a clearer picture of what happened. For example, the accident scene may be devoid of skid marks, indicating the at-fault driver was too distracted to make even a sudden attempt at braking.
Cell phone data and social media activity are also sources of evidence. Your attorney will acquire cell phone records to determine if the driver was speaking or texting at the time of the incident and can scour social media feeds to see if the driver was posting or commenting.
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Forms of Distracted Driving
Any activity that takes a driver’s focus away from operating their vehicle is a distraction. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) separates distracted driving behaviors into three categories:
- Visual distractions take the driver’s eyes off the road. Looking at screens, scenery, traffic routes, or the person in the passenger seat are all examples of visual distractions
- Manual distractions take the driver’s hands off the steering wheel. Eating, grabbing a drink from a water bottle, or reaching down or behind to find a dropped item are all manual distractions
- Cognitive distractions take the driver’s mind or focus off of operating the vehicle. Engaging in a heated argument or just daydreaming are cognitive distractions
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recognizes texting as one of the most dangerous distractions as it fits all three categories. Texting takes drivers’ eyes off the road for at least five full seconds. If the vehicle is moving at 55 miles per hour, texting while driving is equivalent to driving a football field’s distance with closed eyes.
Penalties for Distracted Driving in Tulsa
Texting and driving is illegal in Tulsa and the entire state of Oklahoma under the Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Burch Act of 2015. Law enforcement can pull texting drivers over and issue a citation and fine even if there has been no other traffic violation.
Adult drivers cannot be cited for hands-free or hands-on phone calls unless they commit another violation or are involved in an accident. However, these activities are illegal for teenage drivers and operators of commercial vehicles or public transportation.
Oklahoma Code 47-11-901(b) requires drivers to refrain from distracted driving and keep their full attention on the road. However, except for texting, drivers cannot be cited for distracted driving alone. They must be observed committing a traffic violation or putting others in danger through their behavior.
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Pursuing a Distracted Driving Accident Injury Settlement
Distracted drivers who harm others can face civil penalties through personal injury lawsuits. For victims, a substantial settlement helps recoup financial losses and provides a sense of justice.
Accident injuries range from temporary to permanent to catastrophic. Your Tulsa distracted driving accident lawyer from BDIW will consult with medical experts to assess the severity of your injuries and their consequences and calculate an amount to cover your costs and future care needs.
You will miss work, at least temporarily, while recovering from your injuries, and lost time at work typically means lost or reduced pay. Injuries causing permanent disability may leave you out of work permanently or force you to find more accommodating, possibly less lucrative, employment opportunities. Your lawyer will evaluate all income and work-related benefits you have lost because of the accident and seek recovery from those losses.
Reduced Quality of Life
The accident can bring significant quality-of-life losses. Your physical pain and changed abilities may make you depressed, anxious, or lonely, especially if you cannot interact with others as you once did. You may need help getting through the tasks of everyday living and caring for yourself.
The distracted driver whose negligence caused these massive and unfortunate changes to your life and overall well-being must be held accountable. Your compassionate distracted driving attorney in Tulsa will consider all relevant factors when evaluating your situation and represent your non-tangible losses in the settlement demand.
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When to Call a Tulsa Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
It is best to connect with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. A prompt connection gives your attorney time to investigate your accident, collect evidence proving the distracted driver’s fault, and file your claim with Oklahoma’s two-year legal deadline. If you miss that deadline, you lose the opportunity to collect a settlement.
A prompt partnership with a Tulsa distracted driving accident lawyer also protects you from becoming re-victimized by insurance companies who do not have your best interests in mind. Adjusters often purposefully “misinterpret” victims’ words into admissions of fault, intimidate them into accepting low settlements, or cast unfair blame on them by misrepresenting accident details to avoid making large payouts.
When you have an attorney speaking on your behalf and handling these communications, you do not risk falling prey to these tactics.
We Will Fight for What You Deserve
After being injured by a distracted driver, you should be able to focus on your recuperation. Let us navigate the legal process and insurance negotiations. Visit our contact page and schedule a free consultation with a skilled, caring attorney. A Tulsa distracted driving accident attorney from BDIW will take care of your case so you can take care of yourself.
We look forward to hearing from you and helping you move toward recovery.
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