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What is Distracted Driving?

Most people know that it’s against the law to text and drive. When texting and driving, the driver is distracted and can easily cause a car accident. But is texting and driving the only dangerous form of distraction? Definitely not. Here are some forms of distracted driving that aren’t necessarily illegal, but can be just as hazardous.

1. Eating and Driving

Many people eat while they drive, simply because they don’t have time to stop for a meal. However, eating and driving can be particularly distracting, no matter what you’re eating. Looking down for a second to wipe up a spill can be enough to rear end someone who stopped suddenly, or to run a stop light that just turned red.

2. Putting on Makeup and Driving

Often, women running late to work or an appointment will attempt to put their makeup on in the car. This can be a definite distraction and keeps you from paying full attention to the road and your surroundings. If you’re putting on mascara and looking in the rear-view mirror, you’re certainly not aware of the traffic in front of you.

3. Adjusting the Radio or the Temperature Controls

Naturally, drivers are going to want to adjust the radio while they’re in the car, or they’ll need to adjust the temperature controls. Drivers should learn their dashboards by feel, so they don’t need to look away from the road while making adjustments to the radio or the heating and air conditioning. Cars that have radio and temperature controls in the steering wheel make this task easier and less distracting.

4. Driving Fatigued

Driving especially fatigued is not all that different from driving while intoxicated. Your reaction time is reduced, your attention span is short, and you may not be able to see the road and the cars around you clearly. Avoid driving fatigued whenever possible.

Were You Injured by a Distracted Driver? Here’s Who to Call

If you were involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, the burden of proof can be significant. You must be able to prove that the driver was doing one or more things that would be considered reasonably distracting while driving and that distraction caused the accident. Contact the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson today to speak with a car accident lawyer to learn more about bringing forward an accident claim against a distracted driver.

What Will a Car Accident Claim Cover?

If you or someone you love were hurt in a car accident, you’re likely facing astronomical expenses ranging from medical bills and lost wages to vehicle repairs and more. If you bring a car accident claim forward, you may be able to recover some or all of those damages. Here’s what you need to know about what a car accident claim could cover.

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses are one of the easiest things to calculate for a car accident claim because the amount of compensation here is finite. This means the exact cost of medical care is what will be included in the total compensation award.

Vehicle Damage

Vehicle damage, like medical expenses, are also finite. You’ll obtain an estimate of what it would cost for your vehicle to be repaired (and in some cases more than one estimate), and this is the amount that will be included in the settlement.

Lost Wages

Lost wages are a little more difficult to calculate because you have to think about more than just how many hours of work the injured individual missed. For example, you’ll want to include any benefits or bonuses they may have been entitled to if they were working during that period of time and paid time off or vacation pay they would have accrued.

Wrongful Death Expenses

In the event that a loved one died in a car accident, there will be more expenses to cover, including funeral expenses, lost wages and future wages, and loss of consortium. The latter can be more difficult to calculate, since it is hard to say how much someone would have been contributing to the family in the future if they had not passed in the crash.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering can be included in a car accident claim, but is also difficult to calculate. Attorneys use certain formulas to arrive at a number, although it is generally hard to assign a dollar value to how much pain someone has suffered after an accident.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages can be awarded in cases of extreme negligence and are designed to “punish” the careless person and prevent the behavior from occurring again.

At the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson, we have significant experience working with families after car accidents and can help you get the full and fair compensation you deserve after being injured. Call us today for a consultation at (626) 792-1900.

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