In recent years, distracted driving accidents have increased. When drivers focus on cell phones, eating, or daydreaming, they put others at risk of serious injuries. At-fault drivers cause thousands of South Carolina drivers to suffer serious injuries each year. You may be entitled to compensation if you’ve been seriously injured in a distracted driving accident. The attorneys at Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA, have a proven track record of successfully obtaining the total amount of compensation they need and deserve. Contact Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA, today to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal rights.
Distracted Driving Practices That Can Cause Accidents
Distracted driving includes talking on the phone and texting while driving. However, many more activities can take a driver’s attention away from driving. Any non-driving activity can potentially take the driver’s attention away from driving, including:
- Talking to passengers, including children in the back seat
- Eating and drinking
- Putting on makeup or other grooming activities
- Reading, including GPS maps
- Using a navigation system or GPS
- Watching videos
- Staring out the window and daydreaming
- “Rubbernecking” or looking at a roadside accident or incident
- Searching for change or a dropped object
- Impaired field of vision due to vehicle cargo
- Changing the radio station
Distracted Driving Laws in South Carolina
South Carolina recently implemented legislation that makes driving while using a cell phone a statutory offense. Specifically, when drivers become distracted by texting while driving, they can receive fines and points on their driver’s licenses. Pursuing a civil claim for compensation against a distracted driver is a separate process from a distracted driver facing criminal penalties. However, this legislation can make it easier for victims of distracted driving to prove that the driver who caused the accident was acting in an inherently dangerous way.
The legal doctrine of negligence per se makes it easier for plaintiffs to recover compensation when the at-fault driver was engaged in illegal activity because it’s inherently dangerous. There is also a recent law that makes driving while holding a phone in one’s hand an inherently dangerous act.
Distracted driving victims shouldn’t suffer the financial burden of their injuries. Instead, the negligent driver who caused the accident through distracted driving is financially responsible for the victim’s damages. Victims of distracted driving can’t pursue compensation through an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. They can also pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. In both cases, the victim will need to prove liability. Specifically, the victim must prove that the distracted driver’s negligence caused the car accident that resulted in his or her injuries.
At Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA, we will investigate your case and compile evidence to identify the liable party or parties and prove that they caused the collision. We can also handle your insurance claim and all the negotiation with the insurance adjuster. When necessary, we can determine if and when a lawsuit may be necessary and serve as advocates throughout the entire case.
Compensation Available in a Distracted Driving Case
Distracted driving accidents can occur anywhere and at any speed. As a result, the injuries and damages victims experience differ on a case-by-case basis. The value of your case depends on multiple factors, including the severity of your injuries and the conditions that led to the car accident.
When you work with Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA, you can rest assured that we will carefully investigate your case and help you estimate the total amount of your past, current, and future damages. Distracted driving accident victims in South Carolina can pursue compensation for all of the following:
- The medical treatment you received and the other care you will need in the future
- The income you could not collect while you were away from work healing
- The pain and suffering you’ve experienced because of your injuries
- Compensation for disability and disfigurement
- Property damage, such as a totaled vehicle
We work with financial and medical experts to learn more about how your specific injuries will impact you in the future. After we estimate the value of your claim, we will begin negotiating aggressively with the insurance company or defendant for the best outcome possible.
Punitive Damages May Be Available
If you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver in South Carolina, you might be able to recover punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are damages in addition to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other economic and non-economic damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the at-fault party and deter others from engaging in distracted driving.
When the defendant violates a statutory offense, such as driving while texting or watching videos, this can be evidence that the defendant’s conduct was willful and wanton enough to justify punitive damages.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits Due to Distracted Driving
This list doesn’t represent all of the compensation you could collect. For example, if your loved one died in a distracted driving accident, you can pursue compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. The empathetic and compassionate attorneys at Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA, will work with your family to arrive at an accurate case value before we begin pursuing a settlement or court award. Your family could be entitled to the compensation mentioned above as well as compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of consortium, and your loved one’s loss of income.
Discuss Your Distracted Driving Injury Case with a South Carolina Attorney
Victims of motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers have the right to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. If you or your loved one has been seriously injured by a distracted driver, speaking to an attorney as soon as possible can help you tremendously. Early investigation to preserve evidence can help your case significantly. Contact Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA, to learn more about how we can protect your rights and pursue the best outcome possible.