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What to do If You’ve Been Injured in a Distracted Driving Crash
Call the Police/911 & Seek Medical Attention
After any car wreck, first, make sure there is no additional danger. Then call 911. Calling 911 will alert first responders to your location so that injured accident victims can receive medical treatment. Let them know how the accident happened. It is very important to seek medical attention after a distracted driving accident to determine if you have been hurt. The adrenaline from a crash can hide injuries. It can sometimes take hours or even days before pain sets in.
Document the Incident
Immediately after an incident, if you are able, document and gather general crash information including the other driver’s license and insurance information and the police report number. Take pictures of both vehicles and the crash scene. Let the police know if you saw the other driver using their cellphone before the wreck.
Call Your Insurance Company
Once you are safe and have seen a medical provider, you should contact your insurance company to set up a claim. You will most likely be contacted by the at-fault driver’s insurance company as well. Do not provide a statement or sign any authorizations. Talk to an attorney first.
Call a Colorado Distracted Driving Lawyer
As soon as you are able, contact a distracted driving accident lawyer in Colorado. Valuable evidence can be lost or destroyed if you don’t act quickly. In some cases, experts will be needed to investigate the crash. An attorney will help guide you through this process and make sure important evidence is preserved.
Work with a Colorado distracted driving accident lawyer you can trust.
CO Trial Lawyers is devoted to our clients who have been injured by distracted drivers. We will make sure your rights are protected every step of the way. Our lawyers will guide you through medical issues and the insurance claims process. If a settlement is not possible, we are ready to take your case to trial. Don’t settle for less, contact one of the best Denver distracted driving lawyers today.
Frequently Asked Distracted Driving Questions
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving means doing anything that takes your full attention from the road. There are three main categories of distracted driving: manual, visual and cognitive. Manual distraction includes trying to do something else besides driving. This can include reaching for something in the glove box, changing a station on the radio, or anything else that requires you to focus your attention on a manual task that is not controlling your vehicle. Visual distraction is when you take your vision off of the road. This can be to look at a text message or email, to look for something that you dropped, or to check on a passenger in the backseat. Anytime your vision is elsewhere, even for a split second, you are visually distracted. The last category of distracted driving is a cognitive distraction. Believe it or not, our brains can only perform one task at a time. What we think of as multitasking is actually switching between tasks rapidly. When you are not completely mentally focused on driving, you are cognitively distracted. This can slow your reaction time or literally make you blind to unexpected hazards that are in your field of vision.
Some distracted driving involves all three types of distractions. E.g., your phone rings while it is in your pocket so you reach for it (manual distracted driving), which requires you to take your eyes off the road (visually distracted driving), all while thinking about what you will say to the person who is calling you (cognitive distracted driving).
How dangerous is distracted driving?
Distracted driving causes wrecks, injuries, and even deaths. Driver distractions have joined alcohol intoxication and speeding as leading causes of deadly and serious injury crashes. According to the National Safety Council, 21 percent of all crashes involved talking on cell phones. A minimum of 3 percent of crashes are estimated to involve texting. Despite these statistics, people continue to use their devices while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that at any point during the day, 9 percent of drivers are using their cell phones.
Texting while driving is a serious safety risk. More than 33 percent of people admit to reading or sending a text or email while driving even though everyone knows that it is dangerous. Even the act of talking on a cell phone while driving dramatically increases the risk of being in a motor vehicle incident.
The risks of texting and cellphone use while driving is now well known. Distracted drivers who continue to engage in cellphone use are putting themselves and others at risk of serious harm or danger. However, deaths and injuries because of distracted driving are preventable. We can protect ourselves and our families by holding distracted drivers accountable for their choices.
Is it safe to use hands-free devices while driving?
No. Using a hands-free device is still distracted driving. A hands-free device is usually either a blue-tooth headset or a direct connection with your vehicle’s audio system. Most hands-free devices allow voice-activated phone calls. Many people make the mistake of believing that hands-free devices are a solution to distracted driving auto crashes. It is correct that hands-free devices take away two of the types of distracted driving addressed above, manual distraction and visual distraction. However, they do not eliminate cognitive distraction and are therefore still dangerous. Studies have shown that hands-free devices are not any safer than holding a cellphone to talk. The reason is that hands-free devices do not eliminate cognitive distractions. Phone calls, and the associated risks, typically last for a relatively longer time than a text message. Also, people are less likely to realize that they are cognitively distracted when talking on the phone.
A study performed by the University of Utah showed that drivers using cell phones had slower reaction times than drivers who were impaired by alcohol at a .08 blood alcohol concentration, which is the presumptive legal intoxication limit in many jurisdictions. Braking time was also significantly delayed for drivers using hands-free and handheld phones.
Should I talk to insurance after a distracted driving accident?
You should not talk to an insurance company or sign any documents after being injured in an auto crash before you talk to a Denver car accident attorney. From sending low settlement checks to demanding blanket authorizations for all of your protected medical records, the insurance companies know what they are doing. Insurance companies try to minimize the amount of money they have to pay you for the actions of their insured driver who caused you injuries. Make sure you talk to a motor vehicle crash lawyer before talking to the insurance company.
What is the Colorado statute of limitations for distracted driving?
The statute of limitations for bodily injuries arising out of a motor vehicle collision in Colorado is generally three years from the date of the accident. However, there might be additionally available claims with shorter statutes of limitations. Claims for negligent entrustment or negligent maintenance could have a two-year statute of limitations. Dram shop claims against an establishment that served a negligent driver alcohol might have a one-year statute of limitations. It’s important to contact a Denver distracted driving attorney as soon as possible to make sure these important deadlines aren’t missed.
Why do drivers choose to drive while distracted?
Most people are aware that distracted driving causes auto incidents. In fact, only alcohol-impaired driving is rated as a more serious problem. Yet drivers continue to text and use cell phones well driving. 17 percent of people admit to engaging in this behavior very often. Perhaps it is because people do not understand how their cognitive abilities are actually affected that causes people to continue this dangerous behavior. Most drivers believe that they are safer while using hands-free devices. Until distracted drivers are held accountable for their actions by distracted driving auto accident lawyers, the problem will continue. We can protect ourselves and our community by holding distracted drivers responsible for their actions.
How can I prevent distracted driving?
Changing distracted driving behavior is a shared responsibility for all of us, including our lawmakers, drivers, and device manufacturers. First, change your own behavior. Do not try to multitask while on the road. Do not use a phone while driving. Keep your eyes on the road around you. The only thing you should be paying attention to while driving is the road and traffic around you. If you drive while distracted, please consider how this can put others at risk of serious harm and even death.
An experienced distracted driving auto accident attorney can investigate whether cell phone usage was a factor in your motor vehicle accident. If it was, then your attorney can hold the at-fault driver responsible for their reckless conduct. Sometimes this includes claims for punitive damages to punish the bad conduct. If you are injured in a distracted driving auto collision, you should contact one of the best Denver distracted driving auto accident attorneys today.
How can a Colorado distracted driving attorney help me?
A distracted driving lawyer will help you navigate the maze of complicated laws and hold the wrongdoers accountable for your damages. This includes taking steps to preserve important evidence that can help maximize your recovery and prove the elements of your case. Videos and incident reports can disappear, and witness information can be lost. A wrongful death lawyer will send out a preservation letter to make sure the at-fault party preserves any important information. If they fail to do so, they may be subject to adverse instruction if the slip and fall case goes to trial.
The evolution of Colorado’s distracted driving laws can be a confusing web of statutes and case law that many attorneys and judges are unable to agree on. If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of someone’s carelessness or recklessness on the road, contact a Colorado distracted driving accident lawyer today to protect your rights. In most cases, the injuries could have been prevented with common sense and a little caution. We can reduce these losses and make our communities safer for our families and friends by holding negligent parties accountable for their actions. Don’t settle for less, call CO Trial Lawyers today for a free distracted driving accident case evaluation.
Although car accidents and other injuries are the leading cause of death in the United States, the majority of us have been calling the problem by the wrong name our entire lives.
Advocacy organizations and those who support this movement have come to the conclusion that it is incorrect to refer to a crash or collision as an accident. They claim that millions of people are being misled into thinking that fatalities from auto accidents can’t be prevented or avoided because they are inevitable accidents. At CO Trial Lawyers, we believe it’s important to use the correct terminology to describe injuries, crashes and the negligent conduct of at-fault parties. When people refer to anything as an “accident,” there is an implication that no one—not even a negligent driver—is to blame for the outcome. Using the phrase “accident” implies that the results are outside the realm of human control. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Crashes are the predictable result of specific human actions. Usually, these actions are ignoring safety rules that are designed to protect us all from serious injuries or death. Since the causes of “crashes,” “collisions” or “incidents” can be identified, we can hold negligent people accountable, and we can take actions to avoid similar injuries in the future. Changing the ways that we think and talk about crashes makes everyone safer.
Calling it a crash instead of an accident protects careless or negligent drivers from escaping accountability.
While this website may sometime still use the term “accident,” we want to be clear on the distinction. We will also be striving to update our pages and will refrain from using the term moving forward.
When discussing a car wreck, it is crucial that we convey that these occur for a reason, especially when distraction, inattention, and other avoidable behaviors are at the core of a crash.
Find Your Distracted Driving Lawyer with CO Trial Lawyers
CO Trial Lawyers has significant experience representing individuals and families in a multitude of personal injury litigations and trials. We represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, slip & fall accidents, insurance bad faith claims, and much more. We hold all negligent parties accountable for their actions and always strive to get the best results and outcomes for your case. We choose to take on a limited number of cases, allowing us to provide the highest quality services for all the clients we represent.