Distracted Driving

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Washington DC Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer

Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., Washington DC distracted driving accident lawyer

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in Washington, DC, causing car accident victims to suffer serious injuries. If you or someone you love has been injured in a distracted driving accident, it is important to speak with a qualified Washington DC distracted driving accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Contact an experienced car accident lawyer with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today for a free consultation. We will guide you through the claims process and get you the compensation you deserve.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a person’s attention away from the task of driving. There are a number of things that can cause a driver to become distracted while behind the wheel.

Cell Phones

One of the most common is using a cell phone. The distraction caused by cell phone use rivals that of drunk driving. Every year 21% of fatal car crashes involving teenagers occur because of cell phone use.

man driving bus reaching to touch a gps device

Other Electronic Devices

Other electronic devices, such as GPS units, can also be a distraction. Drivers who are not familiar with the area they are driving in may constantly be looking at the GPS unit instead of the road, which can lead to an accident.

Inattention

Inattention is another common cause of distracted driving accidents. Drivers who are tired, distracted by something outside of the car, or simply not paying attention to the road are more likely to cause accidents.

Types of Distracted Driving

There are three main types of distracted driving: visual, manual, and cognitive.

Man in car looking down at a cell phone in his hand

Visual distractions

Visual distractions take a driver’s eyes off the road. This can include looking at a map, changing the radio station, or looking at passengers in the car.

Manual distractions

Manual distractions take a driver’s hands off the wheel. This can include eating, drinking, or smoking.

Cognitive distractions

Cognitive distractions take a driver’s mind off the road. This can include daydreaming, talking to passengers, or using a cell phone.

All three types of distracted driving can lead to accidents. If you have been involved in a car accident involving a distracted driver, it is important to speak with a Washington D.C. car accident lawyer as soon as possible to see if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Washington DC’s Distracted Driving Laws

Distracted driving is a serious problem in Washington D.C. and across the country. Washington DC law prohibits the use of cell phones while driving unless the device is equipped with a hands-free accessory. Drivers who cause an accident while distracted can be liable for any injuries or damage resulting from the accident.

If you have been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, it is important to speak with a Washington D.C. personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to see if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Man eating food in one hand with a drink in the other while driving

Drivers With Learner’s Permits

In Washington DC, Drivers with a learner’s permit are prohibited from all cell phone use, even if hands-free.

Texting and Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are some of the most dangerous crashes on our roads, and texting plays a role in many of them. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) prohibits commercial truck drivers from texting while driving.

However, this does not stop all truckers from doing it. If you have been involved in an accident with a trucker who was texting at the time of the crash, you may be able to hold them liable for your damages.

Restrictions for School Bus Drivers with Learner’s Permits

School bus drivers in Washington DC are not allowed to use any electronic device while driving, regardless of whether they have a hands-free device. In addition, school bus drivers with a learner’s permit are not allowed to drive with any passengers other than the instructor. Therefore, if you or your child has been involved in an accident with a school bus, it is important to speak with a Washington DC personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Exceptions to D.C.’s Distracted Driving Law

There are a few exceptions to the distracted driving law in Washington DC. Motorists using a hands-free device are not considered distracted drivers. In addition, drivers who use their cell phones for emergency purposes or in parked cars and vehicles pulled over on the road are free to use handheld devices.

Don't text and drive sign

Filing an Insurance Claim

If you have been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, you may be able to file an insurance claim to cover your damages. You will need to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident.

This can be difficult to do on your own, so it is important to speak with a Washington DC driving accident attorney as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer will be able to help you gather the evidence you need to prove that the other driver was at fault and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Contributory Negligence in Washington DC

Contributory negligence is a legal doctrine that can prevent an injured person from recovering damages if they are found to be even partially at fault for the accident.

In Washington D.C., the doctrine of contributory negligence is strict, in car accidents. If you were driving while distracted, (e.g. you were texting, or talking on your cellphone, while not using a hands-free device), you may be found to have partially contributed to the accident. In that event,  you may not be entitled to any compensation from the other driver.  However, your negligence still must be the cause of the collision. For example, if you were looking at your phone when you were rear-ended by another driver, it is unlikely you would be found to have contributed to the collision since your looking at the phone had nothing to do with the collision.  Even if you think you may have been distracted, or partially responsible, you should still contact an experienced Washington, DC car accident lawyer, to evaluate the facts of your case. 

Damages You Can Recover in a Distracted Driving Accident Claim in Washington DC

Man taking eyes off the road and a hand off the wheel to touch a cell phone

In a distracted driving accident claim, you may be able to recover compensatory damages, which are designed to reimburse you for your losses. These can include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

What Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Can Do For You

The Washington, D.C. car accident lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success helping car accident victims obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others.

Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a motor vehicle accident, gathering the evidence to establish liability and negligence.

Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has achieved more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States.

Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.

Recovering Damages for Distracted Driving Accidents

Many factors go into determining the value of your case. These include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our attorneys have experience evaluating cases just like yours to determine what they may be worth and will work hard to get you fair compensation for your injuries.

Here are a few of our case results:

a woman with a phone in hand with both hands off the wheel
  • $6 million for a client who suffered a brain injury after being involved in a rear-end collision.
  • $4.8 million for a severely injured client after another vehicle struck his motorcycle.
  • $1.9 million for a client who suffered a permanent back injury due to a car accident.
  • $1.5 million for a client who had to undergo multiple surgeries after a negligent motorist cut off his motorcycle.
  • $1 million settlement obtained on behalf of our 19-year-old client who was a passenger in a car in which the driver lost control, causing a collision. As a result, our client suffered extensive brain damage with cognitive impairment. He was in a coma for an extended period of time. Although he has regained consciousness, he is unable to care for himself. The law firm asked the Court to appoint him a guardian to care for him. The law firm is helping to establish a special needs trust so that the proceeds from the settlement will be protected against any medical liens.
  • $1 million settlement on behalf of a client who suffered a brain injury when the driver of the car in which he was a passenger lost control of his vehicle.

Contact an Accident Lawyer in Washington DC Today

If you are looking for the highest level representation available for your personal injury case, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600  or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.

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