Distracted driving is becoming an increasingly prevalent issue in Minneapolis, with 11% of fatal car accidents being linked to the dangerous activity. Moreover, since 2016, there have been over 39,000 vehicle accidents in the city, highlighting the severity of the issue.
This article will explore the impact of distracted driving on car accident claims in Minneapolis, and what victims can do to protect their rights after an accident. It will begin by examining the different types of distracted driving, and the consequences of engaging in the activity.
Furthermore, the article will explain how liability is established in distracted driving car accident claims, and how these claims can affect compensation for the victim. Finally, it will discuss how legal assistance can strengthen a distracted driving accident claim.
Distracted Driving: Understanding the Different Types and Consequences
Distracted driving is a serious concern in the Minneapolis area. It involves any behavior that takes a driver’s attention away from their primary task of driving, such as visual, manual, cognitive, and combination distractions.
Distracted driving can lead to dangerous situations on the road, and is a factor in over 39,000 vehicle accidents in Minnesota since 2016.
Laws in Minneapolis prohibit the use of wireless communications devices while driving, and punishments for violations can include fines and felony charges.
Types of Distracted Driving Behaviors
Various behaviors can be considered distracted driving, including external and internal distractions, visual, manual, cognitive, and combination distractions.
External distractions include anything outside of a vehicle that draws a driver’s attention away from their primary driving tasks. Examples include looking at billboards, reading signs, and admiring scenery.
Internal distractions include anything inside of a car that distracts a driver from driving properly, such as adjusting the radio, interacting with passengers, or eating.
Visual distractions occur when a driver looks at anything other than the road. This includes checking a GPS or using a cell phone.
Manual distractions occur when a driver takes their hands off the steering wheel for any reason, such as to send a text or take a selfie.
Cognitive distractions occur when a driver becomes distracted by thoughts, such as when daydreaming or having a conversation with other passengers. Digital devices often incorporate simultaneous manual, visual, and cognitive distractions.
Visual, manual, and cognitive distractions all hinder a driver’s ability to pay attention to the road.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving on Road Safety
The consequences of neglecting the road while behind the wheel can be devastating, with dire implications for both individuals and society.
Distracted driving has been established as a major cause of motor vehicle accidents, and it affects people in all 50 states.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on a cell phone, eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, using a navigation system, or watching a video.
Distracted driving is particularly dangerous because it reduces the driver’s reaction time, impairs the ability to make decisions, and reduces the driver’s awareness of their surroundings.
In Minnesota, distracted driving has been a factor in over 39,000 vehicle accidents since 2016, and is responsible for 11% of vehicle-related fatalities.
The state has laws that prohibit reckless and careless driving, which includes penalties for violating the hands-free law.
In addition, the NHTSA compares distracted driving to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and has made eliminating distracted driving a top priority on its Most Wanted list.
As such, it is important for drivers to be aware of the dangers of distracted driving and follow the laws set in place to help keep the roads safe.
Distracted Driving Laws in Minneapolis
In Minneapolis, driving while distracted is prohibited by a variety of laws that aim to keep drivers safe on the roads. Minnesota has laws that prohibit reckless or careless driving, and newer laws relate specifically to actions while using digital devices. Minnesota’s hands-free law prohibits drivers from holding a wireless communications device while driving or engaging in a cellular phone call, among other things. Penalties for violating Minnesota’s hands-free law include fines and felony charges for harming or killing someone while violating the law. Additionally, nearly every state has a law controlling cell phone use while driving.
The National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) goal to eliminate distracted driving appears regularly on their Most Wanted list. The NTSB recommends banning drivers from using all personal electronic devices, enforcing existing laws, educating the public, and encouraging fleet owners to prohibit cell phone use. They also compare distracted driving to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Furthermore, the National Safety Council (NSC) research has demonstrated that it’s not usually a digital device that causes distraction, but rather a combination of manual, visual, and cognitive distractions that take focus away from the road.
Establishing Liability in Distracted Driving Car Accident Claims
When it comes to distracted driving car accident claims, collecting evidence to prove that the defendant was driving while distracted is essential for establishing liability.
It is also important to understand the role of comparative negligence, which is a principle used to determine the degree of fault of each party involved in the accident.
Additionally, it is important to be aware of the various tactics used by insurance companies to limit their liability and minimize the compensation they are required to provide to the injured party.
Collecting Evidence to Prove Distracted Driving
Collecting evidence to prove distracted driving can be a complex task, as law enforcement agencies often have difficulty demonstrating that a driver was using a cell phone or other digital device at the time of the accident. To this end, there are several steps victims of distracted driving can take to help build a case to prove liability:
- Gathering Evidence:
- Witnesses: Witnesses may be able to provide firsthand testimony and can be invaluable in proving that the other driver was distracted.
- Cell Phone Records: Cell phone records can provide evidence that the at-fault driver was using their phone at the time of the accident.
- Submitting Evidence:
- Police Reports: Police reports can provide additional evidence and support victims claims of distracted driving.
- Expert Witnesses: Expert witnesses can provide an objective analysis of the evidence and provide additional testimony to support a claim of distracted driving.
Victims of distracted driving who are able to provide a sufficient amount of evidence of distracted driving are more likely to be successful in their claim. It is therefore important to take the necessary steps to collect evidence and build a strong case.
Understanding the Role of Comparative Negligence
Comprehending the role of comparative negligence is essential when seeking compensation for damages caused by a distracted driver.
Comparative negligence is a legal concept in which the court assigns a percentage of fault to each of the parties involved in an accident.
In Minnesota, a party may recover damages in a civil lawsuit even if they are found to be partially at fault for the accident.
The amount of damages awarded may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to the claimant.
For example, if the claimant is found to be 20% at fault, then they will only receive 80% of the damages they might have received if they had no fault.
It is important to note, however, that if the claimants fault is found to be greater than 50%, then they will not be able to receive any damages.
It is therefore important to understand the role of comparative negligence when pursuing a civil lawsuit for damages caused by a distracted driver.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help the claimant understand their legal rights and responsibilities when filing a claim against a distracted driver.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
When dealing with insurance companies after a distracted driving accident, it is important to be aware of the potential pitfalls and strategies to ensure a successful claim.
Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and they may be inclined to minimize the amount of compensation they provide to the victim of a distracted driving accident.
As such, it is important to have all necessary documentation to prove the extent of the damages caused by the accident. This includes medical bills, photos of the accident scene, and witness statements.
The insurance company may also attempt to attribute blame to the victim of the accident in order to limit the amount of compensation they are obligated to provide. This is known as comparative negligence.
In order to determine liability in such cases, it is important to have legal representation to ensure a fair outcome. An experienced attorney can help the victim of a distracted driving accident to negotiate with the insurance company and get the compensation they deserve.
The Impact of Distracted Driving on Compensation
In car accident claims, victims of distracted driving can pursue compensation for a variety of damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The amount of compensation that is recoverable in these cases depends on the severity of the injuries and the degree of fault of the distracted driver.
In some cases, a victim’s own negligence may reduce the amount of compensation they can receive in a settlement, as contributory negligence laws may apply.
Types of Damages Recoverable in Car Accident Claims
Understanding the types of damages recoverable in car accident claims is essential for Minneapolis drivers involved in distracted driving incidents. Generally, damages are categorized as either economic or non-economic and can be recovered through a civil lawsuit. Economic damages are typically associated with out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, and lost wages. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are more subjective and include emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship, among other things.
|Economic Damage||Non-Economic Damage|
|Out-of-pocket expenses||Emotional distress|
|Medical bills||Pain and suffering|
|Lost wages||Loss of companionship|
|Property damage||Loss of enjoyment of life|
|Loss of future earnings||Loss of consortium|
How Distracted Driving Affects Compensation Amounts
Negligence related to distracted driving can significantly affect the amount of compensation available to those involved in vehicle-related incidents. This may be in the form of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Furthermore, the amount of compensation is often determined by the extent of the damage, the severity of the injury, and the length of recovery.
Injuries resulting from distracted driving can range from minor abrasions to catastrophic injury or death. The amount of compensation that a claimant can receive depends on the degree of negligence and the amount of damages suffered. For instance, a victim of a distracted driver who has suffered long-term or permanent disability may be entitled to more compensation than someone who has sustained minor injuries.
Additionally, the amount of compensation can also be affected by the negligence of both the plaintiff and the defendant. If the plaintiff is partially at fault, they may only be able to receive a portion of the total compensation amount. Conversely, if the defendant is found to be entirely at fault, they may be required to pay the full amount of damages.
Moreover, the amount of compensation may be affected by the amount of insurance coverage held by the at-fault driver. If the at-fault driver has insufficient insurance coverage, the plaintiff may be unable to recover the full amount of damages. This highlights the importance of having adequate coverage for all drivers, as it can help to protect against unexpected financial losses.
Potential Reduction in Settlement Due to Contributory Negligence
Contributory negligence may reduce the settlement amount for a claimant in a vehicle-related incident. This concept is based on the idea that any person who is partially responsible for the cause of an accident is liable for the damages incurred. The degree of fault is based on the amount of negligence displayed in the incident. For example, if a claimant is found to be 25 percent responsible for a car accident, then they may only be able to collect 75 percent of the damages.
In the state of Minnesota, the doctrine of contributory negligence applies when it comes to distracted driving. If a driver was found to be using a cell phone, eating, or talking while driving, and this was the primary cause of the accident, then they may be liable for the resulting damages. If a claimant is found to have been distracted in any way, then their settlement amount may be reduced.
It is important for claimants to be aware of this fact prior to filing a claim.
Seek Legal Assistance to Strengthen Your Distracted Driving Accident Claim
Consulting with a Minneapolis car accident attorney is a crucial first step for victims of distracted driving accidents to take in order to ensure the best possible outcome for their case.
An experienced attorney can help build a strong case against the at-fault driver by gathering evidence, such as witness testimonies, police reports, and medical records, to prove liability.
Furthermore, an attorney can help navigate the settlement negotiation and court proceedings to help victims maximize their compensation and obtain the best possible settlement.
Consult with a Minneapolis Car Accident Attorney
Injured victims of distracted driving in Minneapolis may benefit from consulting with a car accident attorney to understand their legal rights and potential for financial compensation. With the complexity of Minnesotaâ€™s distracted driving laws, a qualified attorney can provide guidance on how to best approach a case and protect a victimâ€™s legal rights. An experienced car accident attorney can research the facts of the accident, determine who is at fault, and negotiate for a settlement with insurance companies or litigate in court, if needed.
|Fear||An accident caused by a distracted driver can be a traumatic experience.|
|Anger||A victim may feel angry when they realize they were injured due to someone else’s careless behavior.|
|Confusion||A victim may be unsure of what their legal options are and how to proceed with a claim.|
|Hope||A qualified car accident attorney can provide legal representation and help a victim seek justice.|
|Relief||With experienced legal counsel, a victim can be confident that their case is in good hands.|
Building a Strong Case Against the At-Fault Driver
A successful case against the at-fault driver requires the victim to build a strong evidence base with the help of an experienced car accident attorney. The evidence must show that the at-fault driver was distracted while driving and that their negligence or carelessness resulted in the accident.
Here are four steps to building a strong case against the at-fault driver:
- Obtain a copy of the accident report and any available video footage from the scene.
- Gather witness statements and contact information of those who can corroborate the evidence.
- Collect all available medical records that document any physical injuries sustained due to the accident.
- Have an experienced car accident attorney review all evidence and determine the best course of action.
An experienced car accident attorney can help victims build a strong case against the at-fault driver and recover the compensation they deserve. They can provide legal advice and handle all negotiations with the insurance companies on the victim’s behalf.
Navigating Settlement Negotiations and Court Proceedings
Navigating settlement negotiations and court proceedings can be a complex process for those seeking restitution after a vehicular incident. Those who were involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver can benefit from seeking legal advice from an experienced accident attorney.
A lawyer can provide legal advice and help claimants build a strong case against the at-fault driver. They will also be able to guide claimants through the settlement negotiations and court proceedings.
In order to negotiate a fair settlement, claimants must have a thorough understanding of the laws applicable to their case. A lawyer can help claimants understand the legal implications of their case and advise them on the best course of action.
They can also help claimants navigate the negotiation process and ensure they are receiving a fair settlement. If the case ends up in court, a lawyer can represent the claimant and ensure their rights are protected.
A lawyer can provide the necessary legal guidance to help claimants successfully resolve their case.
The issue of distracted driving is a serious one that has caused countless accidents in Minneapolis.
Establishing liability in distracted driving car accident claims can be difficult, however victims who can demonstrate that the other driver was distracted can gain access to compensation for their losses.
It is important to seek legal assistance to strengthen a distracted driving accident claim, as a skilled lawyer can ensure that victims receive the full amount of compensation they deserve for their losses.
Ultimately, it is up to all drivers to practice safe driving habits and avoid using digital devices while behind the wheel.If you encounter a car accident caused by distracted driving and get injured, contact 1-800-ASK-GARY for dependable advice from experienced medical and legal professionals. A proficient car accident attorney will help you navigate the following steps and secure the compensation you are entitled to.