Our Richmond Car Accident Lawyers Represent the Rights of Individuals Injured by Distracted Drivers
Distracted driving is one of the greatest threats on the road today. Instead of focusing their eyes on the road, too many drivers are looking elsewhere—at their phones, at their passengers, at themselves in the mirror, or any number of other potential distractions. As a result, these drivers often plow into pedestrians or other drivers on the road, causing serious and sometimes fatal injuries.
If you or a loved one was injured by a distracted driver, Virginia law might entitle you to financial compensation for any losses you have sustained, including medical expenses, property damage, lost quality of life, physical and emotional pain and suffering, or lost income.
Types of Distracted Driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted drivers injure more than 1,000 people daily. Even worse, about nine die.
Common examples of distracted driving include:
- Reading or sending a text
- Talking on the phone
- Talking to a passenger in the car
- Reaching for something
- Adjusting the car stereo
- Attending to a GPS device
- Grooming, such as applying lipstick or combing hair
All it takes is for drivers to look away for a split second and they can crash into pedestrians or other vehicles. Fortunately, in most cases, the law entitles people whom distracted drivers injured to compensation for their injuries and other losses.
Financial Compensation for Injured Victims
Accident victims injured by distracted drivers can receive compensation in the form of monetary damages for their injuries. For example, you can receive damages for:
Reimbursement of medical expenses. After an accident you might need extensive medical treatments. You can receive monetary damages to reimburse you for:
- Transportation to the hospital
- Hospital stays
- Doctor’s visits
- Prescription drugs
- Equipment such as wheelchairs, crutches, canes, etc.
- Physical rehabilitation
- Therapy or psychological counseling
Hold onto bills and receipts so that your personal injury lawyer can calculate the amount you spent out of pocket on your medical care.
If you suffered particularly catastrophic injuries, you might need continuing medical care for years into the future. If so, you can receive compensation to cover this future medical care as well.
Replacement of lost wages. If your injury prevents you from returning to work, you can typically receive compensation. Find proof of your current income, such as a recent paystub or proof of self-employment income. Severe injuries might prevent you from returning to your old job—or to any job. If so, you might qualify to receive lost future earnings.
Non-economic damages. Accident victims can also receive compensation for certain non-economic damages. These are harder to calculate, because you do not have a receipt or bill attached to them. Nevertheless, you have suffered real injuries for which Virginia allows you to receive compensation. For example, you can receive monetary compensation for:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Disfigurement or deformity
At Emroch & Kilduff, our attorneys can help estimate the amount you will receive. Pain and suffering damages cannot make you whole, but money is the best that the court system can provide.
The above damages are only some of the damages for which you might qualify. Not all injured victims will receive all of the above compensation. And the amount of insurance the other driver has may limit what you receive. To find out how much compensation your accident might entitle you to, meet with a Richmond, Virginia, lawyer as soon as possible for a free consultation.
Evidence is Key
To win your case against a distracted driver, you will need evidence that shows the driver engaged in risky behavior. At Emroch & Kilduff, we are skilled at uncovering evidence that a driver did not pay sufficient attention when colliding with you.
For example, we can subpoena cell phone records to show the driver was talking on the phone or sending a text at the moment of your collision. We might also find surveillance video of the crash that shows the driver looking at a phone or otherwise distracted. Also, we can ask drivers and their passengers questions under oath to uncover negligence on the part of the driver.
To strengthen your case, we can help you fully document your own observations before and after the collision. For example, you might have seen the driver looking at a phone before hitting you. Or the driver might have admitted to not paying attention after the crash. Write down anything you remember, since your lawyer can use it to establish the driver’s responsibility for your injuries.
Never Accept a Settlement Before Talking to an Attorney
Few distracted driving cases contest liability, meaning that the only issue to resolve is the amount of money that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay to the victim. These cases are typically resolved through a settlement, which is in an out-of-court agreement in which the victim receives money and agrees to release the insurance company and at-fault driver from any further liability.
While accepting a settlement may seem like the easiest way to cover your losses, understand that insurance companies often make unreasonably low settlement offers to unrepresented victims, hoping that they simply accept them and move on. For this reason, always speak to a lawyer before accepting a settlement offer from an insurance company.
Contact a Richmond, Virginia, Accident Lawyer Today
Injured victims need compensation to help them rebuild their lives. At Emroch & Kilduff, we pride ourselves on our expertise in handling car accidents caused by distracted drivers. Our lawyers will fully investigate your case and obtain the evidence necessary to reach a favorable resolution. We also negotiate with aggressive insurance adjusters so that you can focus on getting well. Call us today for a free consultation at (804) 358-1568 or fill out our online contact form.