Roanoke Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
It probably comes as no surprise to learn that driver inattention is one of the leading causes of car accidents across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted drivers kill eight people every day. Not all victims are in vehicles either. In 2018, one in five drivers killed in distracted driving accidents were outside of a car, such as walking or riding their bikes. If you or someone you love were injured in a distracted driving accident, you need to speak to the Roanoke distracted driving car accident attorneys at MichieHamlett Law Firm.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is anything that takes a driver’s attention away from driving. Texting and driving is one of the most common examples of distracted driving, but it’s not the only cause. Drivers are distracted when checking the GPS, changing the radio station, eating, looking at a passenger, having a conversation, etc. There are three main types of distractions:
- Visual: Visual is when you take your eyes off the road
- Manual: Manual distraction is when you remove your hands from the wheel
- Cognitive: Cognitive is when you take your mind off driving
According to the CDC, young adult drivers between 20 and 29 years old make up 25% of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes. Drivers between 15 and 19 years old were even more likely to be distracted than those 20 and over. Distracted driving is a growing problem that both states and the federal government are trying to address. The NHTSA calculates that texting and driving can increase your risk of an accident by 23 times. Texting is so dangerous since it involves visual, manual, and cognitive distractions.
Effective January 1, 2021, Virginia is enforcing a new law that makes it illegal to hold a personal communications device while driving. Violating this law once will result in a fine of $125. Second and subsequent violations will result in $250 penalties. According to Drive Smart VA, the Virginia DMA reports that at least 15% of all fatal crashes in 2018 were related to some type of distraction.
Proving Liability in a Distracted Driving Accident
Proving liability is paramount for securing compensation for a distracted driving accident in Virginia. Virginia is one of the only states left that follows the contributory theory of negligence. That means that if you are even one percent at fault, you will be barred from any recovery. Insurance companies will be looking for any piece of evidence that shows you might have been distracted too. If they can prove you were distracted as well, you would receive no compensation for your injuries — even if your distraction didn’t contribute to the cause of the accident.
When you retain the skilled legal team at MichieHamlett, we will conduct a complete independent investigation. If necessary, we will retain experts like an accident reconstructionist who can prepare a report that confirms that the accident occurred the way you said it did.
Contact a Roanoke Distracted Driving Car Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in an accident due to a distracted driver, let our Roanoke distracted driving car accident lawyers help. Contact MichieHamlett Law Firm today to schedule an initial consultation.