In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported more than 6,700,000 motor vehicle accidents across the United States, including nearly 2,000,000 that led to injuries and over 33,000 fatal collisions. That year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revealed that almost one in 10 accidents between 2010 and 2018 involved a distracted driver, and they led to 2,800 fatalities and 400,000 injuries. Distracted driving occurs most commonly among young drivers aged 16 to 24.
Distracted driving accidents have become more common with the prevalence of cell phones, and Pennsylvania responded by enacting a law prohibiting texting while driving.
If you or someone you love suffered a severe or fatal injury in a collision in the Pittsburgh, PA area, a New Castle distracted driving accident lawyer can help you determine if you have a case and pursue compensation from the liable driver. Contact our legal team today at (412) 661-1400 to discuss your case with someone at Berger and Green.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
Cell phone use may account for many distracted driving accidents, but the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) lists many other types of distractions that can take drivers’ attention off the road, such as:
- Eating and drinking
- Adjusting the radio
- Talking on the phone
- Interacting with passengers
- Searching for something in the car
- Personal grooming
According to AAA, even minor distractions can lead to serious accidents, as drivers can miss critical events and objects on the road. This puts the driver and others on the road around them at risk of suffering injuries or worse in a collision. Three types of distracted driving exist:
- Hands off the wheel
- Eyes off the road
- Mind off driving
One or more of these distractions can occur simultaneously, which increases the odds of an accident. AAA reports that taking your eyes off the road for more than two seconds doubles your risk of a collision.
For a free legal consultation with a distracted driving accidents lawyer serving New Castle, call (412) 661-1400
You May Qualify for Compensation in Your Distracted Driving Accident Case
Pennsylvania is a no-fault auto insurance state, which means that a driver’s insurance company covers that policy holder’s medical bills after an accident, regardless of who caused the accident. This policy pays for medical expenses up to the limit outlined in the policy. In Pennsylvania, insurers offer two types of coverage policies: full tort and limited tort. The Auto Insurance Guide from the Pennsylvania Insurance Department offers a quick overview of these details and or insurance in the state.
If a driver chooses to purchase limited tort coverage, this coverage limits the compensation they can sue for in an accident. Pain and suffering are not typically covered under this type of policy. There may be exceptions to these restrictions, outlined here in 75 PA C.S.A. §1705.
Full tort coverage, on the other hand, means you can seek a payout for losses beyond your economic losses, and claim your non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. A New Castle distracted driving accident lawyer can help you determine how much insurance coverage is available to you, seek fair recovery from the insurance company, and file a claim for additional damages, if necessary.
Depending on the type of insurance coverage you have and the extent of your damages, you may qualify for compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering
Navigating insurance claims and evaluating damages after an accident can present a challenge, but our lawyers can help you through the processes. Contact Berger and Green today at (412) 661-1400 to discuss your options with our legal team.
New Castle Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Near Me (412) 661-1400
Types of Evidence that Can Help You Prove Liability
Insurance companies do not like to cut into their profits, so they might try to avoid large settlements by undervaluing the victim’s losses or trying to blame them for the accident. Our lawyers know how to handle insurance adjusters, and we can help you avoid them by gathering evidence to support your claim. These items may include:
- Proof of injuries
- Photos from the accident scene
- Police reports
- Cell phone records
- Eyewitness testimonies
If an insurance adjuster contacted you with a settlement offer, you have a right to reject it and hire a New Castle, PA lawyer who can assist you with your distracted driving accident claim.
Pennsylvania Statutes of Limitations on Distracted Driving Accident Claims
Even if you qualify for financial awards in your case, 42 PA C.S.A. §5524 limits the amount of time you have to file your claim. Typically, victims can file personal injury claims against the at-fault party in their case for up to two years after the date of the accident, and the personal representative of a victim’s estate can usually file a wrongful death suit within two years of their loved one’s passing. However, exceptions apply in some cases, and if you miss the deadline to file, you generally forfeit your opportunity to pursue legal action.
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How a New Castle Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help You
While victims may find small accident claims easy to handle on their own, those involving serious injuries or fatalities often involve complex processes that can make achieving complete financial recovery difficult. Our lawyers can assist you with your distracted driving claim from beginning to end by:
- Investigating the details of your case
- Establishing liability
- Assessing your damages
- Determining the insurance company responsible for your damages
- Dealing with insurance adjusters for you
- Pursuing just compensation on your behalf
We will also provide you with legal support throughout the process by giving you regular updates on the progress of your case and addressing any concerns you may have.
Contact Berger and Green Today
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a New Castle, PA distracted driving accident, our lawyers will fight for adequate financial recovery for your damages. We offer free case evaluations, and you do not owe us any fees unless we achieve compensation in your favor. Call the legal team at Berger and Green today at (412) 661-1400 to get started on your case.