Were you hurt in a car accident in Stamford? Do you suspect that the driver who caused the crash was distracted at the time of the accident? If so, the experienced car accident attorneys of Wocl Leydon want to help you hold the driver accountable for their careless and negligent actions. We are ready to investigate the true cause of the crash and help you seek compensation for your losses.
Cell phones and electronic mobile devices cannot be used while operating a motor vehicle in Connecticut. This restriction applies even when a driver is stopped in traffic or at a traffic light.
Cell phones are only one kind of distraction, however. Many other types of distractions can take a driver’s eyes and mind off the road leading to catastrophic results.
Wocl Leydon has offices in Stamford. An experienced member of our team will review your case and help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call us or complete an online contact form to set up a free consultation.
Common Types of Distracted Driving Accidents in Stamford
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, the three main types of distraction include:
- Visual — A distraction that takes your eyes off the road.
- Manual — A distraction that takes your hands off the steering wheel.
- Cognitive — A distraction that takes your mind off of driving
Texting while driving is the most common example of distracted driving, and one of the most dangerous types of distractions because it involved all three of the kinds of distractions listed above and can cause devastating accidents like head on collisions, rear ending, and t-bones at an intersection. Cell phones are from being the only kinds of distractions though.
Other common distractions that can lead to drivers causing crashes include:
- Applying makeup, shaving, and other personal grooming
- Tending to pets
- Eating, drinking, and smoking
- Adjusting the stereo
- Using GPS navigation systems
- Various distractions caused by passengers
Distracted Driving Laws and Penalties in Stamford
Connecticut state law establishes that a driver 18 years of age or older must have a hands-free accessory in order to legally use a cell phone while driving. A violation is punishable by a fine of $150 for a first offense, $300 for a second offense, and $500 for a third or subsequent offense.
Any driver who is 16 or 17 years of age is prohibited from using a cell phone, even with hands-free accessories. Certain exceptions to these laws do exist.
Drivers of any age are permitted to use cell phones in emergencies. Drivers who are 18 years of age or older who are peace officers, firefighters, or ambulance drivers can also use cell phones while performing official duties.
When a motorist is ticketed for distracted driving, the citation could be used as evidence of negligence in your injury case. Even if the driver is never charged or found not guilty, they can still be held civilly liable in your separate legal action.
Liability for Crashes Caused by Distracted Drivers in Stamford
When a driver causes a crash because they were distracted, it is usually a matter of negligence. In some cases, the negligent driver may even admit they were distracted. Make a note of these kinds of comments.
If a driver was distracted by their cell phone, a personal injury attorney could subpoena that driver’s phone records. If the phone records show that a phone was being used at the time of a crash, it is compelling evidence used to prove the driver’s negligence.
In other types of distracted driving cases, evidence of distractions may be more difficult to obtain. Witness testimony can usually be compelling.
A negligent driver can be held accountable for all damages arising from a distracted driving crash. The costs are typically covered by the negligent driver’s insurance company, which will aggressively try to minimize or avoid liability altogether.
Compensation You Could Recover after a Distracted Driving Accident
Distracted driving crashes can cause extremely severe injuries including head injuries, whiplash, back and neck injuries, and much more. Victims may face an entire lifetime of recovery and rehabilitation, not to mention missed work, pain, and emotional trauma.
Many distracted driving crashes are ultimately resolved through settlements. When a settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer may file a lawsuit to try the case in court. If that action is successful, you could be awarded compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are often a combination of economic damages and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages are calculable losses like:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Property damage
Noneconomic damages are more subjective, usually for losses such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Contact Wocl Leydon If You Have Been Injured in a Distracted Driving Accident in Stamford
Distracted driving cases can often seem straightforward but then turn quickly complex. Even though a driver may have admitted their negligence to you, the insurance company may outright deny this was ever said.
Insurers will always look for ways to pin the blame on victims, usually disregarding the negligence of their clients to try to argue a victim somehow contributed to or caused their crash. In other cases, insurance companies may quickly offer victims lump-sum settlements to resolve their cases quickly and cheaply.
Do not be fooled. Anything an insurance company first offers you is very likely well short of what you are entitled to. Make sure that you demand everything you need and deserve.