Were You Hurt by a Distracted Driver?
Our Houston accident attorneys will fight hard for you
Every driver has certain legal responsibilities behind the wheel, and one of the most basic responsibilities is to give your full attention to the road. Unfortunately, some motorists fail to do so, and they can cause serious harm to others. If you’ve been hit by a distracted driver, you have rights under Texas law. The Houston distracted driving accident lawyers at Smith & Hassler, Attorneys at Law will protect those rights.
Car accidents caused by distracted drivers can have life-altering consequences. It’s not just medical bills: your career, your quality of life, and your future are all affected. Don’t go up against an insurance company alone. Schedule your free consultation with Smith & Hassler today.
The three types of distracted driving
Broadly speaking, distracted driving is anything that diverts your full attention from the task of safely operating your vehicle. More specifically, there are three types of distractions behind the wheel:
- Visual distraction: taking your eyes off the road.
- Manual distraction: taking your hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive distraction: taking your mind off the task of driving.
Texting while driving is an especially dangerous form of distracted driving because it combines all three types of distraction. A texting driver is looking at a phone screen, not the road, has at least one hand off the wheel to hold the phone, and is thinking about reading and composing messages instead of focusing on driving. However, texting is certainly not the only form of distraction behind the wheel. Motorists may cause accidents while:
- Changing the radio station
- Adjusting the radio volume, heat, or air conditioning
- Programming or using a GPS device
- Talking to passengers
- Eating and drinking
- Personal grooming
- Looking for something in the cab
- Adjusting a seatbelt
- Getting lost in thought or preoccupied with strong emotions
There is no way to eliminate every possible distraction behind the wheel, but motorists do have both a legal and ethical obligation to keep their attention on the road while driving. Distracted drivers have a choice; if there’s something else they have to do, they can find a safe place to park or pull over instead of trying to multitask. When they make dangerous choices, other road users can be seriously hurt.
Distracted driving is most commonly a factor in rear-end accidents, as it’s easy for an inattentive motorist to overlook brake lights or rear-end someone stopped at a red light or stop sign. However, distraction can be a contributing factor to any type of car accident; it’s easy for a distracted driver to run a red light and T-bone someone, or even drift into the oncoming lane and cause a head-on collision. Vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, are especially at risk because it’s easier for a distracted driver to overlook smaller and quieter vehicles. It only takes a moment of inattention to cause a wreck that can alter someone’s life forever.
We fight to hold distracted drivers accountable
In Texas, texting while driving is explicitly illegal, and while other types of distracted driving are not specifically against the law, they violate the general duty of care to operate a vehicle safely. Nevertheless, distracted driving remains common, and the only way to stop it is to hold distracted drivers accountable. That’s where we come in. We will thoroughly investigate your accident, talk to witnesses, analyze the at-fault driver’s statements, and find the evidence proving that negligence was the cause of your crash. We’ll also build a strong case for the full amount of damages (financial compensation) you deserve for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and everything else you’ve lost as a result of the wreck.
This isn’t an easy process. The insurance companies will do everything they can to reduce or deny your claim. They may downplay your injuries or even claim you’re faking, especially if the crash happened at a low speed. They use pressure tactics and manipulation to try to get injured people to take “lowball” settlement offers. We know how to counter their tactics, and we have a strong reputation and a record of winning results. When the insurance companies see you’re represented by Smith & Hassler, they come to the table.
Usually, we can get the insurance company to make a fair offer, but if they don’t, it may become necessary to file a lawsuit, or have a case decided by a jury. Throughout the process, we will make sure you know what to expect while handling the day-to-day, so you can focus on healing. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t owe us a cent unless and until we win your case. It’s that simple.
Get a Houston distracted driving attorney who knows how to win
Remember, you need to act quickly. The statute of limitations (legal time limit) for most injury claims in Texas is two years from the date of the accident, but it’s in your interest to talk to a lawyer much sooner than that. Depending on the circumstances, there may be other deadlines that apply to your case. Just as importantly, we need time to investigate and gather evidence before it disappears, and the sooner we get involved, the sooner we can start dealing with the insurance company on your behalf.
Distracted driving accidents change lives, but victims have recourse under Texas law. If you’ve been hurt, you don’t have to face the road ahead on your own. Contact us today for a free consultation with a Houston distracted driving accident lawyer at Smith & Hassler.