In 2020, more than five hundred lives were lost on Maryland’s streets and highways. Thousands more were injured. The reality is that anyone on the road faces risks. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you should arrange at once to speak with a Baltimore car accident attorney.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic accidents and serious injuries in Maryland and in every other state. If you are injured by a distracted driver, what are your legal rights? What steps can and should you take? Can you be compensated for your lost wages and medical expenses?
Keep reading, and these questions will be answered in this brief discussion of distracted driving, your rights, and the law in Maryland. You will also learn why you may need the advice and services of a Maryland personal injury attorney and what that attorney will do on your behalf.
Motorists driving in Maryland should not even think about “multitasking” while driving. Anything that might distract a driver for even a moment could be disastrous. Moving 60 miles per hour, a vehicle travels over 100 yards – the length of a football field – in under four seconds.
Texting while driving, according to figures from the National Safety Council, is the cause of more than 1.5 million traffic collisions each year in this nation. Writing, sending, and reading texts while you drive is a misdemeanor in Maryland. The penalties for a conviction may include:
Driving requires instant reactions and continual, moment-by-moment driving choices and decisions. Distracted driving represents a genuine and considerable risk to drivers, their passengers, and pedestrians, and it includes much more than talking and texting on cell phones.
Distractions for drivers may also be caused by audio devices, other passengers (especially children and pets), GPS devices, eating, drinking (anything), grooming – almost anything that takes a driver’s attention other than driving may cause a potentially dangerous distraction.
Adjusting a GPS device or a music device, tending to your pets or your children, grooming, or eating can distract a driver just long enough to cause a tragedy.
Nobody’s perfect, so probably all of us could drive just a bit more safely. No one needs to eat, drink, groom, read, or watch videos while driving. Ignore your cell phone or simply turn it off, wear your safety belt, and if you plan on driving, avoid alcohol before you get behind the wheel.
After any traffic accident, your top priority is summoning medical help and determining if anyone else needs medical attention. The next priority is calling the local police. After the police arrive, ask how and when you can obtain a printed copy of their accident report.
Obtain the following details from the other driver: name, address, contact information, driver’s license and license tag numbers, and complete insurance company contact information.
If the other driver is hostile, intoxicated, or too incapacitated to help you, ask the officers to help you obtain the contact information you need. Take photographs if you can. In fact, you can’t take too many photographs of the crash site, damage to the vehicles, and your injuries.
If any eyewitnesses saw the collision, ask them for their names and a way to contact them. Photographs and the statements of total strangers may become powerfully persuasive evidence if you decide to seek compensation for your injuries.
If you are involved in a distracted driving accident, do not admit to any fault or sign any insurance papers before you speak to a Baltimore personal injury lawyer about your legal rights, options, and obligations.
If you have been injured by a distracted driver in or near the Baltimore area – or anywhere in Maryland – after you have been treated and examined by a medical provider, schedule a consultation at once – with no cost or obligation – with a Baltimore car accident attorney.
Your attorney will explain your legal rights as the victim of a distracted driver. If you proceed with legal action, your attorney will negotiate aggressively and effectively with the other driver’s attorney and insurance company for the compensation you are entitled to by Maryland law.
If you are injured by a distracted driver, have a complete medical examination conducted immediately. An immediate exam will uncover any latent or hard-to detect injury, and it will create the medical documentation that you will need if you pursue a personal injury claim.
Distracted drivers can cause catastrophic injuries. If you sustain a brain injury, a spinal cord injury, or another catastrophic injury in an accident with a distracted driver, you will need the maximum available compensation – and an attorney who knows how to obtain it for you.
After a distracted motorist injures you, his or her automobile insurance company may offer you much less than your claim is actually worth. Let your lawyer – a trained and experienced negotiator – do the talking and negotiating to reach a more generous settlement on your behalf.
In fact, if a representative of the other driver’s auto insurance company contacts you, you will need to refer that call to your personal injury attorney, which means you will need that attorney’s services as quickly as possible after your accident and injury.
A Maryland personal injury attorney routinely negotiates insurance settlements and understands the negotiating tactics of the insurance companies. Most personal injury claims that arise from distracted driving accidents are resolved by the lawyers for both sides privately and out-of-court.
However, if private negotiations with the other driver’s insurance company do not produce a reasonable settlement offer, your lawyer may recommend taking your case to trial, explaining to a jury what actually happened, and asking that jury to order the payment of your compensation.
In private negotiations or in the courtroom, the right Baltimore personal injury lawyer will fight aggressively and effectively for the justice you need and for the compensation you are entitled to if you have been injured in Maryland by a distracted driver.