Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys in Maryland
Legal Support for Car Crash Victims in Prince Georges, Charles, Calvert & Anne Arundel
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Distracted driving has become one of the main causes of car accidents, the largest contributor being texting and driving. When you decide to send a text, email, or check social media while driving, you are not only putting your passengers and yourself at risk but you’re also putting others on the road in danger. Despite the fact that Maryland prohibits the use of a handheld phones and devices while driving, countless drivers still do it and unfortunately cause accidents.
At Potter Burnett Law, our Maryland distracted driving accident attorneys are committed to protecting the victims of car crashes caused by the negligence of others. If you believe distracted driving contributed to your injuries, we can get to work on your case and hold the driver responsible. Get the personalized legal support you need today—call us.
What is Distracted Driving?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving involves any activity that takes a driver’s attention from the road and prevents safe, focused driving. Texting is the most common and well-known type of distracted driving. Taking just a few seconds to read a text is more than enough time to get into a serious accident and cause injuries and fatalities—it’s often mentioned that taking your eyes off the road for 5 seconds at 55mph is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
In 2018 alone, more than 2,800 people were killed and around 400,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers. Distracted driving can cause severe injuries, especially when the driver is going at full speed and is unable to slow down in time before causing a collision. Common injuries associated with distracted driving accidents include whiplash, broken bones, spinal cord and neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, abrasions, and more.
What Are Common Types of Distractions?
Generally, distracted driving is categorized into three main types. The types of distracted driving may include:
- Visual distractions: This includes anything that takes your eyes off the road. Some examples of visual distractions include watching videos, looking at one’s map or GPS system, or reading a text. Visual distractions are particularly dangerous because they impair your ability to be aware of your surroundings and detect potential hazards on the road.
- Cognitive distractions: This type of distraction is less straightforward because it involves diverting your attention from the road even though your eyes are still focused ahead, and your hands may still be on the steering wheel. A cognitive distraction is one that causes a driver’s mind to wander, such as having conversations with others, listening to the radio, and using hands-free calling devices. A driver may have a full view of their surroundings, but a cognitive distraction can prevent them from fully processing what’s happening in front of them.
- Physical distractions: These distractions require drivers to physically take their hands off the wheel, preventing them from steering their vehicle quickly in case of an emergency. Some examples of physical distractions include texting while driving, eating or drinking, adjusting the radio or air conditioning, and rummaging through one’s personal belongings.
How Common Are Distracted Driving Accidents in Maryland?
In 2018, more than 2,800 people died in car accidents because of distracted driving. These people included drivers, passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians who were hurt because someone was not paying attention to the road.
Every year in Maryland, more than 180 people are killed and over 27,000 people are injured because of distracted driving. Between 2013 and 2017, there were over 56,000 car crashes caused by Maryland distracted drivers. That is a lot of accidents that could have been prevented if people had their eyes on the road instead of looking at their phones or doing other things.
Distracted Driving Accounts for What Percentage of Crashes?
Distracted driving is one of the main causes of car accidents. It is estimated that it causes around 14-17% of all motor vehicle crashes in the United States. This means that if people would pay more attention to the road instead of their phones or other distractions, there would be fewer accidents nationwide.
These unfortunate statistics mean you could be facing multiple distracted driving accidents within your lifetime. If any of those incidents result in a significant injury, will you be prepared?
What Are My Legal Options After a Distracted Driving Crash?
If you or a loved one were injured in a distracted driving accident caused by someone else's negligence, there are several legal options available to you. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to:
- Filing a Claim with the At-Fault Party's Insurance: In some cases, victims of distracted driving accidents may be able to pursue compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company by filing an insurance claim.
- Filing a Personal Injury Claim: If both parties fail to come to an agreement or if there is disagreement over who was actually at fault for the accident, victims may need to file a personal injury claim in order to receive compensatory damages.
- Filing With Your Own Insurance: Victims of distracted driving accidents can also seek compensation through their own auto insurance provider by filing an uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) policy claim.
These types of claims allow victims to recover compensation for the damages they’ve suffered, including past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
At Potter Burnett Law our experienced Maryland distracted driving accident attorneys strive to help victims fight for their legal rights. We understand the physical and emotional toll an accident brings—which is why we are dedicated to helping you build a strong case, negotiate with insurance companies, and secure compensation for your losses.
How Long Do I Have to File a Distracted Driving Claim?
In Maryland, victims of distracted driving accidents have a limited amount of time to file a claim for the damages they suffered. According to state law, car crash victims must generally file their claim within three years from the date of injury or else risk losing out on their legal right to pursue compensation. This is known as the statute of limitations, which sets a deadline for when you can take legal action against another party involved in an accident. It's important to keep in mind that the different circumstances of a case may shorten or extend the statutes of limitations—so it’s best to consult with an experienced distracted driving injury attorney as soon as an accident occurs.
How Our Team Can Help
If you’ve been the victim of an accident with a distracted driver, you’re likely facing a lot of expenses. Injuries can cost thousands of dollars in medical bills when things like surgeries, hospitalization, and medications are involved. Your car is also likely damaged and may require repairs or replacements.
Our lawyers work directly with clients to determine the extent of their losses, so we know how much compensation to go after on your behalf. By gathering evidence to prove the accident was the distracted driver’s fault, we can secure what you need to cover your damages.
Damages we’ve recovered for clients include:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Loss of wages and future earning capacity
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
You deserve to be treated fairly after a traumatizing car accident. Call us for compassionate and effective legal representation.
If you or a loved one is involved in an automobile collision due to distracted driving, you can rely on the Maryland team at Potter Burnett Law to make sure your claim is taken care of. Call us at (301) 820-7820 for a free case evaluation.
In 1996, a Clarksburg man was in a motor vehicle accident while driving his 1987 Ford F-150 pickup.
Debbie Potter secured a $5,900,000 settlement of a premises liability case in 2023.
Our client suffered a comminuted fracture of his arm when a commercial vehicle pulled out in front of him on the highway.
Baltimore mother and daughter rear-ended on route 301 in Virginia. Physical therapy treatment only.
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