Get Justice for Your Distracted Driving Injuries
With a proven track record of success, our dedicated distracted driving attorney Alabama is committed to providing exceptional legal services for victims of distracted driving accidents. If you or your loved one has been involved in a distracted driving accident in Alabama, you’ve come to the right place.
Don’t let a distracted driving accident dictate your future. Take action now and contact Petro Accident and Injury Attorneys for a consultation. Our trusted Alabama personal injury lawyer is here to support you during this challenging time. Together, we can hold negligent drivers accountable and ensure you receive the justice you deserve. Call us today, and let us fight for your rights.
Alabama Distracted Driving Laws
Many states, including Alabama, have implemented legislation to combat distracted driving. Drivers in Alabama are not permitted to text or use a wireless telecommunication device while driving, according to Alabama Code Section 32-5A-350. It is also illegal for drivers under the age of 18 to use a mobile phone while driving, even if the device is hands-free.
Driving Laws by Age
Novice drivers between 16 and 17 are prohibited from using handheld devices while driving. However, for individuals over the age 18, the use of cellphones is not entirely restricted by Alabama law.
Penalties for Distracted Driving
Alabama’s distracted driving laws are classified as “primary.” This grants police officers the authority to pull over drivers solely by observing texting or phone usage while driving. Violators of this law are subject to a fine and the addition of two points to their driving licenses.
- $25 fine for the first offense
- $50 fine for second-time offenders
- $75 fine for third and subsequent offenses
Moreover, individuals who text and drive can also be held civilly liable for any damages they cause according to state law.
What Constitutes Distracted Driving?
Numerous cases of distracted driving accidents involve drivers who engage in conversations or text messages on their cell phones while driving. However, it’s essential to understand that distracted driving includes more than just cell phone usage.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as any situation where a driver diverts their attention from the road and the essential tasks required for safe driving. Some examples of distractions include:
- Engaging in conversations with passengers
- Consuming food, beverages, smoking, or vaping
- Adjusting vehicle controls or operating radios
- Grooming oneself while driving
- Dealing with pets inside the vehicle
- Getting distracted by objects or events outside the vehicle
What are the types of distraction while driving?
There are three types of distractions that makes distracted driving dangerous: manual distraction, visual distraction, and cognitive distraction.
Manual distraction occurs when a driver engages in activities requiring them to physically remove their hands from the steering wheel or hinder their ability to reach the brake pedal. Examples of manual distractions include:
- Typing a text message or dialing a phone number on a mobile device
- Consuming food, beverages, or unwrapping packages
- Brushing hair or applying cosmetics
- Removing a water bottle or other obstructions from blocking access to the steering wheel or brake pedal
These distractions leave a driver unable to react swiftly to sudden hazards or dangers, which significantly raise the chances of both single-vehicle and multi-vehicle accidents.
Visual distractions occur when a driver directs their eyes away from the road instead of focusing on observing traffic patterns and identifying potential hazards. Rather than maintaining a forward gaze, the driver’s attention is drawn toward something else. Some examples of visual distractions include:
- Reading a text message or attempting to quickly send a text on a handheld device
- Glancing down at the floorboard to retrieve something that was dropped
- Turning around to look at passengers or children seated in the backseat
- Focusing on a GPS device instead of on the road
When a driver diverts their attention away from the road, the risk of a collision significantly rises.
Cognitive distractions occur when a driver’s attention and focus are not entirely dedicated to the road. While their eyes may be on the road, their thoughts are elsewhere. Examples of cognitive distractions include:
- Engaging in deep conversations or arguments with a passenger in the car
- Being preoccupied by a recent call from their spouse, co-worker, their child’s school, etc
- Mentally rehearsing a work presentation, interview, or other similar activities
Merely looking at the road does not guarantee that a driver is entirely attentive. This can pose a significant danger to themselves, their passengers, and everyone else in the vicinity. The use of a cell phone while driving can contribute to all three types of distractions, making it one of the most dangerous activities while operating a vehicle.
What to do after a distracted driving accident in Alabama
Being involved in a distracted driving accident can be a traumatic experience, but it’s crucial to stay calm and take the appropriate steps to protect yourself and your legal rights. In Alabama, where distracted driving poses a significant risk on the roads, knowing what to do immediately following an accident is essential.
Below is a comprehensive overview of the steps to take after a distracted driving accident in Alabama.
The safety of yourself and others involved should be your top priority. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location away from traffic to prevent further accidents or injuries. Turn on your hazard lights and, if necessary, use cones or warning triangles to alert oncoming traffic.
Check for Injuries and Seek Medical Attention
Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If anyone requires immediate medical attention, call 911 or ask a bystander to do so. Even if you don’t feel injured, it’s still crucial to seek medical attention.
Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and a medical professional can assess your condition and document any injuries for future reference.
Contact Law Enforcement
Report the accident to the police, providing them with accurate and detailed information about the incident. The police will document the accident, gather statements from involved parties and witnesses, and create an official report. This report can be vital when pursuing a legal claim later on.
If it is safe to do so, gather evidence at the accident scene. Take photographs or videos of the vehicles involved, the damage sustained, skid marks, traffic signs, and any visible injuries. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved.
Additionally, try to collect contact information from any witnesses who may have seen the accident.
Avoid Admitting Fault or Making Statements
Refrain from admitting fault or making any statements that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt. Even if you believe you may have contributed to the accident, fault determination can be complex, and it is best left to the investigation and legal processes.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. Provide them with accurate details about the incident and cooperate fully with their investigation. However, be cautious when discussing the accident with the insurance adjuster and avoid making speculative or definitive statements about the fault.
Consult With a Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
Seek legal representation from our skilled distracted driving accident attorney in Alabama. We can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and help you navigate insurance claims and potential legal action. We will analyze the details of your case, gather evidence, and develop a strong legal strategy on your behalf.
Preserving evidence is crucial for building a strong case. Keep all relevant documents, such as medical records, vehicle repair receipts, and insurance correspondence. Preserve any physical evidence, such as damaged vehicle parts or personal belongings affected by the accident. This evidence will support your claim and help establish the extent of damages suffered.
Consider Rehabilitation and Emotional Support
Recovering from a distracted driving accident involves not only physical healing but also emotional recovery. Seek any necessary medical treatment, rehabilitation, or therapy to aid in your physical and emotional healing. Reach out to support networks, such as family, friends, or support groups, to help cope with the emotional toll of the accident.
Filing a Distracted Driving Claim in Alabama
Who Can Be Held Liable for My Distracted Driving Accident Injuries?
In a distracted driving accident, liability for injuries can extend to various parties depending on the circumstances of the case. Here are some potentially liable parties:
The primary party held responsible for a distracted driving accident is the driver who was engaged in the distracting activity. Whether it’s texting, talking on the phone, eating, or any other form of distraction, drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely and without distractions.
If the distracted driver was operating a vehicle in the course of their employment at the time of the accident, their employer may be held liable under certain circumstances. This concept is known as “vicarious liability” or “employer liability.”
In situations where the distracted driver was operating a vehicle owned by someone else, the vehicle owner may be held liable under certain circumstances. If the owner knew or should have known about the driver’s propensity for distracted driving or negligently entrusted their vehicle to an irresponsible driver, they can be held responsible for the accident and resulting injuries.
In some cases, a defect in the vehicle’s design or manufacturing may have contributed to the accident or exacerbated the injuries. If a defect, such as a faulty brake system or malfunctioning electronics, caused the distracted driving accident or worsened its consequences, the vehicle manufacturer may be held liable for the resulting injuries.
In rare cases, liability may extend to government entities responsible for roadway maintenance and safety. If a distracted driving accident occurred due to a hazardous road condition, such as inadequate signage, poorly maintained roads, or malfunctioning traffic signals, the government entity tasked with road maintenance and safety may be held liable for the injuries.
Until when can I file a distracted driving claim?
If you’re filing an injury claim…
In Alabama, you have a two-year window from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. While this sounds like a lot of time, remember that it takes time to gather evidence and prepare a compelling case that supports your claim.
If you’re filing a wrongful death claim…
If a loved one passes away in a distracted driving accident in Alabama, you have the same two-year period from the date of their death to take legal action for wrongful death.
If you plan on filing a personal injury claim for an accident, reach out to an Alabama distracted driving lawyer immediately to ensure that you get the compensation you are entitled to.
What do I need to prove in my distracted driving case?
In Alabama, a distracted driving injury claim typically involves proving the following elements:
- Duty of Care. The first element to establish is that the defendant owed a duty of care to others on the road. In Alabama, all drivers have a legal responsibility to operate their vehicles safely and without distractions.
- Breach of Duty. It must be demonstrated that the defendant breached their duty of care by engaging in a distracting activity while driving. This could include texting, talking on the phone, eating, grooming, or any other activity that diverts their attention from the road.
- Causation. It must be shown that the defendant’s distracted driving was the direct cause of the accident. This requires proving that the distraction directly contributed to the negligent actions that led to the collision or contributed significantly to its severity.
- Damages. It is necessary to establish that you suffered actual damages as a result of the distracted driving accident. This can include physical injuries, property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other losses resulting from the accident.
What evidence do I need for my injury claim?
When you choose the knowledgeable distracted driving attorney Alabama at Petro Accident and Injury Attorneys to handle your case, we will promptly initiate the process of gathering facts. This entails conducting a thorough investigation into the details and circumstances that resulted in your accident.
We will seek out evidence that can shed light on whether the other driver was engaged in texting or any other form of distraction. Examples of evidence that can help establish this include:
- The absence of brake or skid marks indicating a failure to attempt to stop the vehicle
- Discovery of a phone located in the front seat or on the floorboard
- Presence of spilled food or drink in the driver’s lap or seat
- Records showing recent cell phone usage or social media activity at the time of the crash
- Testimonies from witnesses who observed the driver’s behavior during the incident
How much compensation can I get for my accident injuries?
Compensation obtained from a successful distracted driving accident injury case can offer the necessary resources for a more comprehensive recovery from the crash. Through a successful insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, you have the potential to receive financial compensation to alleviate losses associated with the accident, such as:
- Expenses related to hospital bills and medical treatments required for your crash injuries
- Compensation for income lost during the period you were unable to work due to your crash injuries
- Projected losses in future earning capacity, especially if you sustain permanent injuries
- Compensation for pain, suffering, loss of quality of life, and other subjective losses resulting from the injuries
- Reimbursement for incidental expenses, such as out-of-pocket travel costs for doctor’s appointments
Why Do I Need a Distracted Driving Attorney in Alabama?
To secure compensation from a distracted driver after an accident, it is essential to establish evidence that demonstrates their distraction while driving and how it directly caused the accident.
This is where our qualified Alabama distracted driving lawyers at Petro Accident and Injury Attorneys can assist you. We are dedicated to supporting your distracted driving accident case in Alabama by:
Conducting a Thorough Investigation
Our skilled legal team will diligently investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident, gathering evidence to establish the driver’s distraction and its contribution to the crash. This may involve analyzing phone records, eyewitness testimonies, and other relevant evidence.
Building a Strong Case
With our deep understanding of handling distracted driving cases, we will leverage our knowledge and experience to build a solid legal strategy tailored to the specific details of your case. We will compile the necessary evidence, such as accident reports, medical records, and expert opinions, to demonstrate the driver’s negligence and liability.
Negotiating With Insurance Companies
Our competent distracted driving attorney Alabama will engage in negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf, advocating for fair compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages.
We will strive to maximize your settlement and ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.
Representing You in Court
If a fair settlement cannot be reached, our dedicated legal team is prepared to represent you in court. We will present your case persuasively, utilizing our legal experience and compelling evidence to seek the compensation you deserve.
Work With Our Experienced Alabama Distracted Driving Attorney Today
Distracted driving accidents can have devastating consequences, but holding the responsible parties accountable and seeking rightful compensation can help victims rebuild their lives. Identifying liable parties in these cases requires a thorough investigation, and seeking legal assistance is crucial to navigating the complex legal process.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving accident in Alabama, turn to Petro Accident and Injury Attorneys for right legal representation. Our dedicated team of personal injury attorneys has a proven track record of success in handling distracted driving accident cases.
Our knowledgeable distracted driving attorney Alabama understands the intricacies of Alabama’s laws and regulations and can skillfully advocate for your rights. Don’t face the aftermath of a distracted driving accident alone. Contact Petro Accident and Injury Attorneys today for a consultation.
We also have experience handling car accidents, truck accidents, drugged driving accidents, and motorcycle accidents. Let our compassionate legal team guide you through the legal process, provide support, and fight relentlessly for your rights. Together, we can pursue justice and help you move forward after a personal injury in Alabama.