Distracted Driver Accident Attorneys in Maryland
Holding Distracted Drivers Accountable for Texting & Cellphone Use
Have you suffered considerable losses in a devastating car accident because another motorist took their eyes off the road? It doesn’t matter whether they committed only a “small” mistake—they should compensate you for all resulting damages, including medical bills and lost wages.
At Alpert Schreyer Poe, LLC, we have helped many clients win significant monetary settlements and verdicts in their injury claims. If you’re looking for experienced, aggressive Maryland distracted driving accident attorneys who can help to secure your financial stability for the future, look no further.
Call us today at (301) 812-4777 for a free, confidential consultation.
What Are Maryland’s Cell Phone Laws?
Distracted driving occurs in many forms and causes thousands of fatalities and hundreds of thousands of injuries every year. One form of distracted driving is using a cell phone while driving.
In order to decrease the number of cell phone accidents in Maryland, the state enforces the following laws:
- Hand-held cell phone ban for ALL drivers (including school bus drivers);
- Text messaging ban for ALL drivers; and
- Complete cell phone usage ban for young/provisional drivers (including hands-free phones).
If a driver is in violation of any of these laws and causes an accident, victims will likely be able to recover compensation for their crash-related losses.
What Is Jake’s Law?
When a person allows himself or herself to become distracted, they are making a choice, just like when a person chooses to get behind the wheel after they’ve had a few drinks. Eating and drinking, grooming, turning around and talking to passengers, and texting while driving all have the potential to cause serious injury to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists.
Up until October 1, 2014, in Maryland, distracted drivers that caused accidents simply had to pay fines in accordance with the laws of the time. This is no longer the case. Thanks to Jake’s Law, named after a child killed by a distracted driver back in 2011, distracted drivers in Maryland today could face tough penalties, including a jail sentence of up to a year, a fine of up to $5,000 and 12 points against their license. Supporters of Jake’s Law hope the bill’s recent passage will serve as a distracted driving deterrence for drivers throughout the state.
While many people learn of the potential penalties of distracted driving and refrain from distracting activities whenever possible, the law does not deter many others. Drivers continue to look at their phones and take their eyes and focus away from the act of driving. While an arrest and criminal penalties may punish a driver, they do little to compensate victims injured by the distracted driver. Instead, injured victims should discuss how to take necessary legal action with an experienced personal injury lawyer right away.
Distracted Driving Injuries & Losses
Distracted drivers often do not have the opportunity to slow down or stop before a collision, as they usually have no idea that a crash is about to happen. For this reason, the injuries resulting from distracted driving accidents can be severe and the losses extensive.
The following are some common car accident injuries involved in cases we handle:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury
- Skull and bone fractures
- Neck and back injuries
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
These injuries can result in serious losses, including:
- Medical bills for emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgeries, physical therapy, future care, and more
- Past and future lost income if a victim cannot work
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Permanent disabilities or disfigurement
The value of car accident claims can vary substantially depending on the nature and severity of the accident-related injuries.
Holding Distracted Drivers Liable
Many drivers make the choice to be distracted while driving. To hold them accountable for their actions, the injured victims of distracted drivers must proactively decide to file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, as is their right. If you or loved one suffered injuries in a car crash caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for your losses. At Alpert Schreyer Poe, our Maryland distracted driving accident attorneys know that distracted driving accidents are preventable and are committed to helping their clients obtain maximum compensation for their injuries.
The first step in standing up for a distracted driving accident victim is often to file an insurance claim with the negligent driver’s auto insurance. Drivers in Maryland are required to have a minimum amount of liability insurance to cover injuries they cause in crashes. However, insurance companies are usually not very forthcoming when it comes to offering accident victims the amount they deserve. It is always wise to have an experienced car accident lawyer handling your claim.
Our attorney can do the following:
- Calculate the full amount of what you lost due to your accident
- Present evidence of fault if the insurance company challenges liability
- Communicate and negotiate with the insurance adjuster
- Ensure you never accept a settlement offer that is inadequate to cover your losses
Insurance companies have many tactics to convince unrepresented car accident victims to take less than they deserve. Our lawyers work to make sure that does not happen.
In some cases, an insurance company refuses to offer enough to cover your losses, and our lawyers can take further action and file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. We handle the entire litigation process, working continually to get you the settlement agreement you need. Our team does not hesitate to take a case to court when it is necessary to protect the rights of our clients.
The Numbers on Distracted Driving
To this day, too many people do not take the dangers of distracted driving seriously. They continue to allow themselves to become distracted because they don’t believe a short period of time, like five seconds, can do any harm, but the sad reality is that it can.
An info-based website created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) demonstrates the reality of driving while distracted across the U.S. through the following recent statistics:
- 20 percent of injury traffic crashes involved distracted driving
- 448,000 people suffered injuries in distracted driving crashes
- 5,474 people died in distracted driving accidents
- 995 people died in distracted driving crashes that involved cell phone use
- People younger than 20-years-old had the largest number of distracted drivers
Maryland Crash Statistics
To get a better idea of your personal risk of a distracted driving accident, let’s take a look at statistics regarding Maryland distracted driving crashes:
- People reported more than 52,700 distracted driving crashes in a single year in Maryland
- Those crashes resulted in just over 18,000 injuries to motorists, pedestrians, or bicyclists
- 166 people died as a result of distracted driving that same year
- Despite a decline in distracted driving crashes, they continue to be a public health issue in the State of Maryland
- Baltimore, Washington, and other metropolitan areas have the greatest numbers of distracted driving accidents, which include Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, and Howard Counties, Baltimore City, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties
- 58 percent of traffic crashes in Maryland involve at least one distracted driver
- 50 percent of distracted drivers who cause accidents are younger than 30 years old
- Males are more likely to drive while distracted, as well as significantly more likely to suffer injuries or fatalities in distracted driving crashes
- Distracted driving accidents happen more often during weekdays and between the hours of noon and 7 p.m.
Despite distracted driving prevention and education programs in Maryland, accidents and injuries continue to be a constant risk on the roads. At any moment, a distracted driver may impact your life in many ways. It is important to understand what causes distracted driving and what to do after a crash.
Common Driving Distractions
A distraction is anything that takes a person’s attention off of driving. The NHTSA divides distractions into three main categories: 1) visual, which involves taking one’s eyes off the road; 2) manual, which involves taking one’s hands off the steering wheel; and 3) cognitive, which involves taking one’s mind off the task of driving.
Common distractions that result in one or any combination of these three types include:
- Talking on a cell phone
- Talking to passengers
- Dealing with children and/or pets
- Watching a video
When we consider distracted driving in today’s day and age, we often think about texting, social media posting, taking selfies, checking email, browsing the internet, or any other text-based action on our smartphones. While these are all highly dangerous distractions, it is important to remember that not all distractions involve technology.
A young mother may have an upset child in the back seat and may keep looking back and handing toys to her child, trying to soothe him. The mother may mean well, but she also may not realize that she takes her eyes off the road every time she turns around, takes her hands off the wheel to hand him toys, and has her attention off of driving since she is so focused on her child. All of these distractions can result in a terrible crash and severe injuries to others.
When a driver is behind the wheel, they should do everything in their power to remain focused on the road and to avoid distraction. Even if a driver is not on their smartphone, they should still be fully responsible if they cause a crash due to other distractions.
Contact Alpert Scheyer Poe Today!
Every driver should know the risks of harm they create when they use a smartphone or engage in other distracting activities while driving. When someone’s negligence suddenly disrupts your life, it is important that you discuss your rights with a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At Alpert Schreyer Poe, we regularly represent clients injured in many types of crashes and those suffering from many types of injuries. If you would like to learn your options for taking legal action and seeking compensation, please do not hesitate to contact our firm.
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