Distracted driving claims thousands of lives in the United States every year and causes even more injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is any activity that takes a motorist’s attention away from driving. While texting or talking on the phone are most well-known, eating, drinking and fiddling with the radio are also distractions. Even talking to other people in the vehicle can divert your attention. You may have engaged in some of these behaviors without incident in the past. However, if you get injured because of another driver’s negligence, you may be wondering about your options. In this post, we’ll look at how Alabama handles distracted driving and how an Alabama car crash lawyer can help you to get compensation.
Distracted Driving Under Alabama Laws
A wide range of behaviors falls under the label of distracted driving. However, most aren’t considered illegal. The law only addresses texting while driving. This has been prohibited since 2012. It is illegal for drivers to write or send texts or emails when behind the wheel. However, they can enter a number or name to make a phone call. Drivers can also use hands-free devices to communicate unless they’re under the age of 18.
As you can see, these laws aren’t particularly strict. Furthermore, the penalties for violating them are low. If a driver is found guilty of texting and driving, they only have to pay $25 if it’s their first offense. The fine goes up to $50 for a second offense and $75 for third and subsequent offenses. It’s not surprising that drivers continue to engage in dangerous practices on Montgomery’s roads and endanger the lives of others. The NHTSA says sending or even reading a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for five seconds.
If you want to get compensation from a distracted driver, you will need to prove they were negligent. An Alabama car crash lawyer can help you to recover damages for your injuries and other losses.
Proving A Driver Was Distracted
There are several types of evidence which you may be able to use to support your claim. If you saw the driver using a phone, your attorney may be able to subpoena their phone records. Alternatively, an eyewitness may have seen them texting while they drove. If the driver was applying makeup, eating or arguing, you may need physical evidence or testimony from another individual.
It is important to get as much evidence from the scene as possible before it is cleared. This means you should take photos and videos from varying angles, so your attorney has something to work with. Depending on how serious the accident was, your attorney may call on an accident reconstruction professional or another expert witness.
Police reports and footage from traffic cameras can also help your case. The police report will include statements from the other parties involved as well as any eyewitnesses. It may provide evidence of distracted driving that your attorney can include in your claim. It may even reveal that the driver was cited for a traffic offense. Meanwhile, traffic cameras may have recorded the driver talking on the phone or engaging in another dangerous practice. Your attorney may be able to use the footage to prove the driver was distracted.
Steps to Take After a Distracted Driving Accident
Your Alabama car crash lawyer will play a major role in your case. However, you can also help to protect your right to get compensation. The first thing you should do after your crash is to seek medical attention. Not only will this rule out serious injury, but it puts it on record that you sought treatment. You will need medical reports to support your claim that you suffered injuries. When you delay seeing a doctor, you jeopardize your ability to get compensation. After you get medical treatment, you need to contact an attorney.
Call an Alabama Car Crash Lawyer at The Vance Law Firm Today for Legal Assistance
If you suffered serious injuries in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you must retain legal counsel. Our Alabama accident law office will give you the advice and representation you deserve. We will fight on your behalf to ensure you get a fair outcome. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll review your case and advise you about your legal options. There’s no reason to try to handle the situation alone.