Distracted driving is among the top causes of car accidents in Connecticut, and the Bridgeport area is no exception. While it has always been possible for drivers to be distracted while driving, the dramatic increase in smartphone use behind the wheel has led to even more collisions as people talk, text, and check social media, among other activities.
The University of Connecticut reported that there were 7,472 distracted driving crashes in Connecticut in a single recent year, accounting for 7 percent of total crashes, 4 percent of fatal accidents, and 9 percent of injury crashes. According to UConn, 38 percent of drivers involved in such crashes were distracted by something within the vehicle other than a passenger or electronic device, such as a pet, personal grooming, or eating.
Distractions come in many different forms, and any distraction can be enough to cause a car crash. Distracted drivers are negligent drivers, and they can be held liable for all of the damages caused in these types of accidents.
Did you suffer serious injuries or was your loved one killed in a distracted driving accident in Connecticut? The Bridgeport distracted driving lawyers of Wocl Leydon, LLC are here to help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.
We have the experience you need on your side, and the skill to make sure that your case is handled the right way. Our consultations with a Bridgeport car accident lawyer are always free, so call us or fill out an online contact form to schedule a case evaluation with our team today.
Common Distractions While Driving in Bridgeport
While smartphones, GPS systems, and touchscreen dashboards are some of the most common in-vehicle distractions that cause many accidents today, other distractions can lead to collisions, including:
- Grooming or applying makeup
- Tending to pets
- Interacting with other passengers
Taking your eyes off the road for even a split second could turn into a tragic event. Drivers must remember to focus on the road and the task at hand and should take steps to eliminate distractions while they are driving.
Distracted Driving Laws in Connecticut
Connecticut General Statute § 14-296aa(b) establishes that a person cannot operate a motor vehicle while using a cell phone or mobile electronic device. The punishment for a first offense is a fine of $150, a second offense is fined $300, and any subsequent violation is fined $500.
Drivers who are 18 years of age or older must have hands-free accessories in order to use cell phones or mobile devices while driving legally. Drivers who are 16 or 17 years of age are prohibited from using any cell phone or mobile device while driving, regardless of hands-free accessories or other safety features.
Certain exceptions to Connecticut’s cell phone laws exist, however. For example, a person is permitted to use a cell phone or mobile device in emergency situations to contact emergency responders while driving. Drivers 18 years of age and older who are peace officers, firefighters or ambulance drivers are allowed to use cell phones and mobile devices in the performance of their official duties.
Common Types of Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving in Bridgeport
Distracted drivers often cause rear-end accidents, usually because their inattention prevented them from braking in time to avoid a collision. Even at low speeds, rear-end collisions can cause serious injuries, or could be fatal.
Some of the other kinds of crashes that distracted drivers cause include:
- Head-on collisions
- Side-impact collisions
- Intersection accidents
- Multi-vehicle collisions
- Hit-and-run accidents
Following an accident, it is critical to call police and emergency medical services to the scene immediately. It is vital that you seek medical attention even if you do not think at first that you’ve been severely hurt. The symptoms of some very serious injuries may not appear until after the accident, so seek a thorough medical evaluation as soon as possible.
Liability and Compensation in Distracted Driving Crashes
A driver who was distracted behind the wheel failed in their duty to operate the vehicle responsibly, so they could be held liable for the injuries others suffer in the event of a crash.
Insurance companies for distracted drivers are rarely quick to admit that their insureds were at fault. In many cases, insurers will still try to find other ways in which a victim may have contributed to or caused their accident.
In general, a distracted driver’s insurance company can be responsible for paying all of a victim’s related losses. A settlement will usually provide for all of a victim’s past, present, and future needs.
When a distracted driving case is taken to trial, a jury could award a victim compensatory damages. Compensatory damages refer to a combination of economic and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages are calculable costs victims have incurred or will incur, such as medical bills, lost income, and property damage. Noneconomic damages are much more subjective and involve awards such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.
Why You Should Contact Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers at Wocl Leydon for Help in Bridgeport
When you hire Wocl Leydon, LLC, our aggressive trial attorneys can immediately begin an independent investigation of your crash to determine the cause and secure important evidence. If a driver was distracted by their cell phone, we may subpoena the phone records to prove their negligence.
If you sustained severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a distracted driving accident in Bridgeport or surrounding areas of Connecticut, contact us as soon as possible. Our firm has been helping accident victims for nearly three decades, and we’re ready to fight for you and your family.
We can work to negotiate a fair and full settlement to your case or file a lawsuit if the insurance company refuses to settle for a reasonable amount. We are here to give you a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case. Call us or contact us online now.