Texting and Driving Accidents Are Prevalent in Nevada
Our Personal Injury Lawyer Helps Wrongfully Injured Victims Recover
Texting and driving has come to the forefront of policy advocacy for many lawmakers and for good reason. Thousands of people suffer serious injuries each year due to collisions caused by drivers who were paying attention to their phone instead of the road. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that close to 3,000 people are killed every year in accidents caused by distracted drivers and 416,000 are injured. This means that about 10 percent of fatal car accidents are related to distracted driving. Texting and driving accidents commonly result in expensive damages such as medical bills, lost wages and potentially the wrongful death of a family member. However, a Reno car accident attorney can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve for such injuries and damages.
Founder and principal personal injury attorney, Eric Stovall, has been practicing personal injury law since 1987. As a former licensed insurance agent who ran his own independent agency, he understands the system and can provide invaluable insight into the workings of insurance companies and how they handle personal injury cases. As a result, he has obtained several significant verdicts and settlements for victims of personal injury and insurance bad faith. For almost three decades, Eric has dedicated his legal career to helping wrongfully injured victims receive justice.
Is Texting While Driving Illegal in Nevada?
Nevada is one of 46 states that has completely banned texting and driving, in addition to Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. As a result, cell phone use while driving is a primary offense in Nevada. This means that law enforcement officers can stop drivers and issue tickets just for cell phone use (talking, texting etc.) while driving. Unlike other states, this is true in Nevada even if the driver has not committed any other traffic offenses.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the average distracted driver takes his or her eyes off of the road for five seconds at a time. In that time, a car traveling 55 mph can travel the length of a football field. Therefore, drivers who text behind the wheel are doing more than just breaking the law — they are also willfully partaking in an act that is known to cause serious injuries and death. When motorists choose not to give their full attention to the road and are responsible for texting and driving accidents, they can, will and must be held liable in a court of law for the life-changing harm they cause.
Are There Different Types of Distracted Driving?
In this day and age, there are several ways that a motor vehicle driver can be distracted while driving. For easier categorization, driving distractions fall into three categories:
- Cognitive distractions. These distractions occur when a driver lets his or her mind wander while behind the wheel. Examples of cognitive distractions include daydreaming, being preoccupied with personal or work-related issues and even listening to podcasts or audiobooks. Any distraction that takes your mental focus away from driving could be considered a cognitive distraction.
- Visual distractions. These distractions occur when the driver’s eyes leave the road, even for a split second. The most obvious visual distraction is electronic device use. However, other visual distractions that are present on the road, such as turning to look as you pass a car crash, can lead to distracted driving injuries.
- Manual distractions. These distractions occur when a driver’s hands leave the wheel. Some seemingly benign manual distractions include eating or drinking while driving, applying makeup, changing the radio station or reaching into a purse or briefcase. However, during the short time it takes you to complete these tasks, an accident can easily occur.
Texting while driving is a particularly dangerous behavior because it falls under all three categories of distracted driving. It can be hard to prove that the other driver was using their phone at the time of the accident, but an experienced car accident lawyer knows how to obtain phone bills and other relevant documentation that will help prove the guilty party’s liability.
Should I Accept the Offer From the Insurance Company?
After a distracted driving accident, you will likely soon receive a call from the opposing party’s insurance company. This may occur before you have been able to seek out legal counsel. Know that what you say (or do not say) to the insurance representative can dramatically affect the outcome of your case.
When you receive a phone call from the opposing party’s insurance, remain calm and polite. Ask for the person’s contact information, the company he or she works for and his or her role at the company. Give the representative your name, address and phone number but nothing else. Do not discuss your injuries with the representative and do not give any details relating to the accident. If asked for a statement, politely decline and say that you will be seeking legal representation before moving further. Take notes while on the call and prepare to discuss them with your Reno personal injury attorney.
The driver’s insurance company may attempt to get you to accept a settlement payment that is far less than the financial costs of the accident. At the end of the day, that is the insurance company’s goal: to minimize liability and payouts. By pushing quick settlements, insurance companies save themselves time and money. Do not accept the insurance company’s settlement offer without first seeking legal guidance from a professional car accident attorney.
If you do give a statement and describe your injuries, not only will the insurance company use your words against you during settlement negotiations and/or trials, but you may end up causing yourself future financial strain. For example, car accidents often leave injuries that are not apparent right away. This means that giving a statement or accepting an early settlement offer might leave you with long-lasting pain and suffering without adequate compensation. Do not let an aggressive insurance representative take advantage of you during the difficult time after your car accident. Allow an experienced car accident attorney to negotiate on your behalf in order to ensure that you are being protected.
Injured by a Distracted Driver in Reno? Our Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Reno accident lawyer Eric A. Stovall worked in the insurance industry for many years. He knows what tactics adjusters may use to discredit your claim and limit the amount of compensation you deserve. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, such as texting and driving, then Eric will fight aggressively to protect your legal rights. Through legal action, you may be able to secure monetary damages for your vehicle repair and medical expenses — in addition to any emotional pain or lost wages — that you suffered due to the accident.
Our law firm understands the struggles that families face following texting and driving accidents, which is why we operate on contingency fees. This means that if we decide to represent you, we will cover all upfront legal costs of your personal injury claim. If we are unsuccessful in recovering for you, you owe us nothing.
Eric offers free attorney consultations for clients injured in distracted driving accidents. You can reach our offices at (775) 337-1444 or you can fill out our online contact form to schedule yours today.