Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in St. Louis, MO
Advocating for those injured in crashes with distracted and texting drivers
Operating a car or truck requires all of a driver’s attention. Any type of distraction that causes their attention to stray away from traffic conditions or what’s right in front of them on the road can set the stage for a serious collision or accident. And, with the myriad ways one can be distracted today – infotainment systems in their vehicle, text messaging, social media, and cell phones – the potential for accidents is higher than ever.
If you are injured by the actions of a distracted driver, a St. Louis personal injury attorney at The Hayden Law Firm can help. We look out for your best interests and work to secure the compensation you are owed for your injuries and losses. We have the dedication and the experience it takes to win. Contact us today for a free, no-risk consultation. We serve the greater St. Louis area and Illinois.
How common is distracted driving in Missouri?
Distracted driving, or any activity that takes attention away from the road, can be deadly. According to the CDC, about eight people are killed each day in car crashes involving distracted drivers. They also report that in a one-year period, over 2,800 people were killed and 400,000 injured in distracted driving accidents. Approximately one out of every five of these fatalities were people not even in vehicles, but pedestrians, cyclists, or otherwise outside of a vehicle.
In 2019 in Missouri, there were 19,243 distracted driving crashes, causing 7,634 injuries and 87 fatalities.
The exact cause for each of these accidents may be unknown, but one of the most common reasons is texting and driving. Anyone — car, truck, or bus driver — who fails to pay attention to the road should be held liable for any harm they cause.
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What are some examples of distracted driving?
Anything that takes your eyes or mind off the road – even for a second – is considered distracted driving. Following are just a few examples:
- Texting on a phone
- Talking on the phone
- Changing music stations or adjusting knobs
- Checking maps or GPS
- Taking photos
- Checking email or social media sites
- Eating or drinking
- Grooming (makeup, brushing teeth, shaving, etc.)
- Talking to other passengers in the vehicle
- Watching a video
- Not watching the road
What are the distracted driving laws in Missouri?
In general, Missouri law dictates that anyone behind the wheel should drive with a reasonable standard of care — not just for themselves but for the protection of everyone. Fortunately, there are some distracted driving laws in effect in Missouri, but they generally apply to texting and driving for young people only.
Drivers under the age of 21 are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle while reading or writing a text on a hand-held device. This means that young drivers and people of all ages are still free to talk on a handheld device while driving.
Missouri’s statute of limitations allows personal injury victims to sue a negligent party for damages up to five years after a truck accident, motorcycle accident, or car accident occurred. However, do not delay in reaching out to The Hayden Law Firm if you believe distracted driving played a role in your accident. The sooner you start your case, the sooner you can secure financial compensation.
What are the texting and driving laws in Missouri?
Missouri remains one of only a few states without a complete ban on texting and driving. Even so, the laws only apply to specific groups and are comparatively lax.
- Commercial driversare prohibited from operating their commercial vehicle while using a cellphone for phone calls or to send, read, or write a text message.
- Drivers who are 21 years old or youngerare prohibited from operating their motor vehicle while sending, reading, or writing a text message on their cell phone.
Young drivers are still allowed to talk on their phones while driving, which can create a precarious situation for people of all ages. For example, with teens being less experienced drivers due to their lack of years on the road, adding phone distractions into the mix can be a deadly combination. In 2018 alone, eight percent of fatal car crashes that involved a young person aged 15 to 19 years old were caused by the teen being distracted at the time of the crash.
What are the three types of distracted driving?
The term “distracted driving” can cover a wide range of activities behind the wheel like eating, drinking, applying makeup, or anything else in which a person is not paying attention to the road.
- Manual– Taking one or both hands off the wheel
- Visual– Taking your eyes off the road
- Cognitive– Taking your mind off of driving
Put simply, when someone is distracted for even a few seconds, their hands are not on the wheel, their eyes are not on the road, and their mind is distracted long enough to cover the length of an entire football field. This is much too long to be thinking about anything other than driving. Overall, texting and driving increases the risk of crash or near-crash by 23 times.
If you were the victim of a car accident in which someone made the decision to take their eyes and mind off the road and, therefore, put your life at risk, you may be entitled to file a claim to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
How can a St. Louis distracted driving accident attorney help me?
Proving the other driver was distracted and, therefore, negligent in a personal injury case often comes down to preparedness and thorough investigation. This is why you need a distracted driving injury lawyer on your side from The Hayden Law Firm who can utilize a wide range of investigative avenues, including:
- Conducting witness testimonies. We get in contact with anyone who might have seen what happened, including passengers in your car, the other driver’s passengers, people in other vehicles, pedestrians in the vicinity of the crash, etc.
- Determining an “electronic trail” at the time of the accident. Cell phone records may not capture all browsing activity, but email messaging, instant messaging apps, web browsing, social media platforms, and other activities leave an electronic trail. For example, if the individual made a social media post at or near the time of the crash, that information might be publicly timestamped online.
- Gathering camera recordings or surveillance footage. With things like cell phone footage, traffic cameras, and security surveillance from nearby businesses being commonplace in today’s modern world, distracted drivers may be caught in the act more than you think. We are able to travel out to the accident site and look for possible sources of photography or video footage.
- Obtaining the police report. Police officers sometimes include notes about distracted driving in their official report. For example, it is not uncommon to find the at-fault driver’s admission of texting and driving in the police report.
- Obtaining vehicle data. Many new vehicles have sophisticated software, like a “black box,” that monitors certain things, such as how fast the car might’ve been going or even whether the driver was adjusting the car’s controls at the time of the accident.
- Reconstructing the accident. We may hire an accident reconstructionist who will investigate your car accident and create a compelling demonstration of how it might’ve happened, including debris, tire marks, or other forensic evidence that could suggest driver distraction.
- Subpoenaing cell phone records. It’s possible to subpoena time/date records that show that the person was talking on the phone or sending a text message at the time of the accident.
We use the most technologically-advanced industry best practices to provide outstanding legal services. Only an experienced attorney can not only use these tools, but effectively argue your case in front of large insurance companies and juries, if necessary.
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Distracted driving crash lawyer in St. Louis
Unexpected accidents and injuries can change your life forever, weighing you down with medical bills and unnecessary pain and suffering. At The Hayden Law Firm, an experienced distracted driving injury attorney can help you seek compensation for your losses. Please call our offices at 314-480-3100 or fill out our contact form for a free, no-risk consultation. We are based in St. Louis, Missouri, but our firm proudly serves clients throughout Missouri and Illinois.