CHICAGO DISTRACTED DRIVING ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
Chicago Using Phone While Driving Lawyers
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving, such as phone calls, eating, drinking, conversations, changing your music or navigation system — anything that diverts your attention away from the task of safe driving. Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous of the listed diversions. At 55 mph, taking your eyes off the road for even 5 seconds means driving the length of a football field without looking at the road. Driving and texting is not a safe practice, yet 3,142 people died from distracted driving in 2019. Having a Chicago distracted driving accident attorney is crucial to receiving the compensation you deserve.
At Curcio Law Offices, our Chicago car accident lawyers pride ourselves on practicing legal advocacy for our clients. We understand the difficult situation you’re in, and our top priority is taking the stress of a legal battle off your shoulders. You get to focus on recovery while we fight for compensation for your injuries. If you suffered harm because of texting and driving, you need a distracted driving accident attorney with Curcio Law Offices. To schedule your free initial consultation, please call 312-321-1111 today, or fill out our online intake form.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distractions include anything that diverts your focus away from driving. Distracted driving includes sending a text message, conversing on the phone, using a navigation system, and eating while driving. Any of these distractions might put you, your passengers, and other drivers in danger. Three main types of distractions exist.
- Visual: taking your eyes off of the road
- Manual: physically taking your hands off the steering wheel
- Cognitive Distraction: taking your mind away from driving
Examples of Distracted Driving
- Adjusting your music, stereo, or car climate
- Using navigation devices, apps, or systems
- Eating or drinking
- Listening to or paying attention to passengers
- Looking away from the road to see the aftermath of an accident
- Tending to your pets in the vehicle
- Engaging in personal grooming (applying makeup, brushing your hair, etc.)
- Fatigued driving
Why Is Texting and Driving Dangerous in Illinois?
Cell phones nowadays are capable of much more than just making phone calls. They may be used for messaging, photography, entertainment, navigation, and pretty much anything else. Texting while driving is one of the most hazardous forms of distracted driving because it demands so much of your attention. You’re looking at your phone, thinking about what you’re about to write, and taking your hand off the wheel to accomplish it.
Some drivers believe that because cell phones are such an important part of their life, they may text while driving. Humans, however, aren’t wired to multitask to that extent. Nobody is “good” at texting and driving at the same time, and individuals pay the price with their lives as a result of their choices.
It takes an average of five seconds to look at your phone to read or react to a text message. You could have driven the length of a football field without glancing at the road if you were driving at 55 miles per hour. It doesn’t matter if you look up frequently throughout that period or if you’ve come to a complete stop at a red light; after you’ve checked your phone, it takes around three seconds for your mind to refocus. There isn’t enough time to text while driving.
Can I Sue a Driver Who Hit Me While Texting?
What if a distracted driver collides with your vehicle? You have alternatives under Illinois law. Despite the fact that the criminal punishment they incur is minimal, you can still sue them and get compensation. This compensation can be granted regardless of whether they are found guilty or not, and it can make a significant difference in terms of paying for your medical costs and damages. If the other motorist was texting, you have a far better chance of winning your case legally. This is for a variety of reasons.
- You must prove that they caused the accident, either by their conduct or their carelessness, in order to win your lawsuit. Texting while driving is a clear sign of irresponsibility.
- Distracted driving is not legal in Illinois, despite the fact that it is a relatively minor offense. If the other driver is convicted of any offense, even if it is small, it is significant proof that they are to blame.
- If the matter gets to trial, the jury will almost certainly be made up of other drivers. Many of them have strong sentiments about drivers who are distracted by their phones instead of paying attention.
That implies that drivers who talk on their phones while driving are not only more likely to cause an accident, but they may also be more likely to lose in trial or have to pay a higher settlement amount. To have the best chance possible of winning your case, contact a distracted driving accident attorney as soon as possible.
Types of Texting While Driving Accident Injuries
Some of the most common injuries sustained in texting while driving accidents include the following.
- Airbag-related injuries
- Broken bones
- Burn injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Tinnitus or hearing loss after car accidents
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
- Ejections from the vehicle
- Seat belt injuries, such as seat belt syndrome
- Spinal cord injuries
- Partial or complete paralysis
- Traumatic brain injury
- Wrist injuries
It’s also not unusual for people to text while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 20% of teen drivers and 10% of parents confess to having lengthy text conversations in the car, with several texts exchanged.
If you’ve been in a car accident with a texting driver, get medical help right away, even if you’re not sure if you’ve been badly hurt. Internal injuries and some signs of head or brain damage may not appear right away, therefore, it’s critical to evaluate and treat any injuries right once. Then, speak with your Chicago distracted driving accident attorney as soon as you can.
Who Is at Risk of Texting While Driving?
Everyone on the road is affected by texting and driving, however, some age groups are at more risk due to the dangerous habits of texting while driving. Those between the ages of 15 and 19 are the most vulnerable to the dangers of texting while driving. When mobile phone distractions in the car are present, teen drivers are at the greatest danger.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did a survey to track teenagers’ hazardous activities. They discovered why texting while driving is so harmful.
- 39% of students in high school send a text while driving at least once a month
- No matter the GPA, texting while driving is equally common among all types of students
- Students who text while driving are also more likely to drive without wearing a seatbelt, and even drive while under the influence.
That same study includes even more disturbing information.
- 25% of those who died due to distracted driving accidents were between the ages of 20 and 29
- 7% of fatalities from distracted driving in 2018 were teens from 15-19 years old
- Those drivers ages 16-24 use their phones more than other age groups.
How to Avoid Texting While Driving
Below, we include several ways to reduce your or your teen’s temptation to text while driving.
- Silence your cell phone. If you’re tempted to grab your phone while driving because it’s ringing or vibrating, resist the impulse by turning the volume and vibration off altogether. You can’t be enticed by what you can’t hear.
- Put the phone out of sight and out of reach. Turning off the volume and vibrate function may not be enough for some serious texters. They could still be tempted to pick up the phone “just in case” they’ve received a text message. This problem can be solved by keeping the phone out of reach and sight. Place your handbag in the back seat, where it will be out of reach.
- If the call is important, pull over. If you really need to send a message, pull over to the side of the road and then text or call. Finding a safe location to pull over does not take long.
- Lead by example. Parents can’t expect their teens to follow the rules that they themselves don’t follow. Show your child how to safely drive from place to place, and refrain from even touching your phone while behind the wheel.
- For parents, consider an app to monitor your child’s driving. Apps exist to ensure that you or your child won’t feel tempted to access your phone while driving. Try them out and see how well they work for you.
- Understand the consequences. When it comes to enforcing this crucial driving regulation, you must be firm. If your child is caught texting while driving, the punishments must be severe and fast. Allowing it to go unnoticed and not making it a huge issue might result in your kid being involved in a catastrophic accident.
Illinois Cellphone Laws
While driving a car in Illinois, it is illegal to use hand-held telephones, text, or utilize any electronic communications. Persons aged 19 and up are permitted to use hands-free devices or Bluetooth technology.
Even using hands-free electronics while driving is considered a distraction and may be hazardous. It is suggested that you pull over to the side of the road before making a phone conversation, even if you have hands-free technology.
Illinois drivers may make a call without the use of hands-free technology in the following situations.
- Times of emergency or crisis
- Parked on the highway shoulder
- While the vehicle is stopped and in neutral or park due to a traffic obstruction
Recoverable Damages in Car Accident Cases
In a lawsuit, “damages” refers to the monetary compensation a plaintiff may be granted. A court awards damages to make an injured party “whole” or to return him or her to his or her position before the accident.
If you petition the court to award you damages in a motor vehicle accident case, you’re generally asking them to make the other driver—who you feel was at fault for the accident—or another possibly responsible person pay these damages to you. A Chicago auto accident attorney can help with this.
Potentially Recoverable Damages
- Property damage: The automobile collision most likely caused damage to your vehicle. These losses would be used to pay for the vehicle’s restoration or replacement. If you had any other items in the automobile that were damaged, the costs of such items may be included in this award.
- Medical expenses: The court may require the defendant to reimburse your medical expenses if you have proof of them. If you expect to have to pay for more operations, treatments, therapies, or medications in the future, the court may calculate an estimated cost.
- Lost earnings: The court may order you to be paid for lost wages if your injuries prevented you from working. If you are unable to return to work in the future, you may be eligible to recover your lost income. We can help you calculate lost wages.
- Pain and suffering: This includes any physical pain and discomfort you had during and after the event, as well as emotional or psychological distress, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Loss of consortium: This is a legal phrase for losing physical companionship from a partner or spouse. You may be entitled to these damages if you or a passenger in your car was hurt in a way that harmed your relationship.
- Loss of enjoyment: You may discover that your injuries make it more difficult to engage in the activities you used to love or to carry on with your daily routine. If you are unable to participate in daily activities or pastimes that you used to love, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
Call a Distracted Driving Accident Attorney Today
At Curcio Law Offices, we’re here to advocate on your behalf, whether that’s in or out of the courtroom. If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, rely on our Chicago personal injury attorneys at Curcio Law Offices to find out if cellphone use played a factor. We will pursue maximum compensation for you. Call 312-321-1111 or contact us online and schedule a free consultation today.