Myrtle Beach Distracted Driving Lawyers
Every day, thousands of people are injured or killed in car accidents. In the United States, around nine people are killed and another 1000 are injured as a result of distracted driving each day. Additionally, 64% of all road accidents in the United States involve the use of a cell phone, and one in four accidents are a result of texting and driving.
Distracted driving has long been an issue when it comes to operating a motor vehicle. With the innovation in smartphone technology, the number of accidents resulting from distracted driving has increased, and the number will only continue to increase.
If you’ve been injured because someone else was driving while distracted, you may be entitled to compensation. A person who chooses to drive owes a duty to others on the road to act as a reasonable driver. The person’s failure to act reasonably may constitute negligence, and result in liability for your injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident where you suspect distracted driving was at play, call Law Office of William J. Luse today at (843) 839-4795. We will provide you with a case evaluation and steps on how to proceed in the best way.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
There are many reasons that you should consult with an attorney after you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a distracted driving accident. Distracted driving accidents are negligence cases. To hold someone responsible for a distracted driving accident that caused you injuries, you must prove four elements of the tort:
- Duty – You must show that the driver had a duty to keep you safe. This step is easy in a distracted driving case, as every driver has a responsibility to conduct themselves appropriately to ensure the safety of others on the road.
- Breach – You must show that the driver breached their duty to act reasonably. If you are able to prove that the other driver was distracted, this will fulfill this requirement.
- Causation – You must show that the driver’s breach directly caused your injuries. This can be shown using evidence from the crash site such as photographs, police reports, and witness statements.
- Injury – You must show that you have suffered significant damages as a result of the crash. This can be proven with medical records and bills.
Proving these four elements are essential for winning your case. A lawyer understands these elements and will know how to gather the necessary evidence to prove them. However, defendants and insurance companies may still try to minimize liability by offering some defense.
When it comes to negligence claims, the most common defense is comparative negligence. This is when a defendant shows that the plaintiff was at least partially at fault for their own injuries. South Carolina follows “modified” comparative negligence. This means that a plaintiff can recover compensation as long as they are 50% or less at fault for the accident. If the plaintiff is more than 50% at fault, then they will be unable to recover any compensation. Furthermore, a plaintiff will only be able to recover in proportion to the amount of fault they are assigned. This means that if you incur $100,000 worth of damages but are found 20% at fault for your own injuries, you will only be able to recover $80,000. Because of this, it is essential to get a lawyer in your corner so that you are assigned as little fault as possible.
Negligence cases can be complex. It may be difficult for you to navigate the civil court system while also trying to put together the facts and arguments for your case. A personal injury attorney will conduct investigations, collect evidence, and figure out the best path to ensure you get the money you deserve.
Many times, insurance companies will attempt to settle for way less than what is deserved. A skilled personal injury will speak with insurance companies on your behalf. They will investigate your case to understand what it is worth, and evaluate every offer that insurance makes to determine whether it is acceptable or not. They will try to negotiate to get you the full amount of compensation you deserve, and if insurance refuses to back down, they will be unafraid to take your case to court.
Why Choose Law Office of William J. Luse?
At Law Office of William J. Luse, we understand the toll a distracted driving accident can take on your life. From expensive medical bills to lost wages and mental anguish, we know that these matters are sensitive. That’s why we provide compassionate representation and treat our clients with dignity and respect.
When you’ve been injured in Myrtle Beach because of someone else’s distracted driving, the entire team at Law Office of William J. Luse will be there to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. We pride ourselves on our personalized service and open communication with our clients. This is just one of the reasons we were named among the Top 10 Attorneys in Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Personal Injury Lawyers.
While most cases do settle, we will still prepare your claim as if it is going to court. We are committed to providing diligent and competent representation, and ensuring that you are not taken advantage of during one of your greatest times of need.
At Law Office of William J. Luse, we will evaluate your case and provide you with information on the next steps you should take. We also take cases on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that you won’t owe us any payment until we win your case. We will cover all the upfront costs of your case ourselves, and only take a fraction of your final settlement. In the unlikely event that we are unable to recover any compensation, you will never owe us a penny.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention away from operating a motor vehicle and being aware of changes in traffic conditions. The most common types of activities that drivers are distracted with while driving include:
- Texting on, talking on, or otherwise operating a phone
- Setting or manipulating GPS or maps
- Eating or drinking
- Applying makeup and other grooming activities
- Playing with the radio, MP3 player, CD player, etc.
- Talking to other passengers in the car, including pets and children
Distracted driving comes in three forms: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distractions take a driver’s eyes off the road. Manual distractions take their hands off the wheel. Cognitive distractions take their focus and attention away from the act of driving. Some distractions, such as texting, can fall into all three categories at once. Every kind of distraction can be extremely dangerous.
Texting and Driving
With the rise in smart phone use in the past decade, the number of distracted driving accidents has risen. Texting while driving is arguably one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. When a driver takes his eyes off the road to read or send a text for five seconds, they can travel the length of a football field on the highway while distracted. In those five seconds, many things can happen including obstructions becoming present on the road, pedestrians or animals entering the roadway, lights changing, and other changes in traffic conditions.
South Carolina passed a law in 2014 that bans the act of texting while operating a car. While current laws do not prohibit the use of a phone while driving, even for managing GPS or maps, they do contain this texting ban. Right now, the state-wide penalty for violating the ban against texting and driving is $25.
What Compensation Can I Recover For My Injuries?
When you’ve been injured in a distracted driving accident, you may entitled to a number of types of recovery, including:
- Medical bills, past and future
- Property damage
- Lost wages, for work missed during your recovery
- Lost earning potential, if your injuries result in a long-lasting disability that affects your future ability to work
- Loss of services, companionship, and enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Furthermore, if your loved one passed away as a result of a distracted driving accident, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. Through this claim, you can recover compensation including medical expenses prior to their death, funeral and burial costs, lost financial support, lost emotional support, and more.
There is another type of recovery that a skilled attorney might be able to attain for you. Punitive damages are those intended to punish the wrongdoer. These are rare, reserved for cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious.
If You’ve Been Injured in an Accident Call Law Office of William J. Luse Today!
If you or a loved has been injured in a car accident resulting from the other driver’s distracted driving, you have rights to protect and compensation you deserve. Let the skilled team at Law Office of William J. Luse help ease your mind and get your life back on track. Don’t hesitate to contact a car accident attorney after you’ve been injured. With a case evaluation, and a no pay until you win guarantee, there is no risk to call us today at (843) 839-4795.