Did you know that car crashes have been rising in Connecticut and nationwide in recent years? Many highway safety officials believe that distracted driving is a major factor in the increase. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving took 3,142 lives in 2019 alone. Many more people were seriously injured in distracted driving crashes—and those numbers are likely a significant undercount as distracted driving too often goes unreported.
This raises an important question: How do you protect your rights after a crash with a distracted driver? You should be proactive. Distracted driving is dangerous driving. With a prompt, thorough investigation, injured victims can secure the evidence that they need to prove fault and establish liability. Here, our Manchester car accident lawyer explains the key things that you should know about your rights and options if you were hurt in a collision with a distracted driver in Connecticut.
Distracted Driving is Negligent Driving
To safely operate a motor vehicle in Connecticut, a person’s full focus and attention should be on the road. Distracted driving is any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road. It is a form of negligent driving and can lead to serious accidents that result in serious injuries and even fatalities. Some of the most common examples of distracted driving in Manchester include:
- Texting while driving;
- Talking on the phone while driving;
- Eating and/or drinking while driving;
- Applying makeup while driving;
- Reading a book while driving;
- Watching videos while driving; and
- Reaching for objects while driving
How to Prove the Other Driver Was Unlawfully Distracted
In the introduction we explained that highway safety officials believe that distracted driving is systematically underreported. Why? It can be difficult to prove distracted driving—and unfortunately distracted drivers do not always own up to their negligence. A comprehensive investigation of a suspected distracted driving crash is a must. Our Manchester, CT car accident lawyer can help. Evidence that can be used to prove distracted driving includes:
- Cell Phone Records: If the driver was talking or texting on the phone, cell phone records can be used to prove distracted driving.
- Witness Testimony: Eyewitnesses who saw the driver engaging in distracting activities can provide testimony in court.
- Admissions Against Interest: The other driver may say something—accidentally or otherwise—that suggests that they were distracted while between the wheel.
- Police Reports: Police officers who responded to the scene of the accident can include observations of distracted driving in their reports.
- Video Footage: If there were any traffic cameras or dash cameras that captured the accident, they can be used as evidence of distracted driving.
Connecticut Uses a Comparative Negligence System of Liability
Connecticut is a fault-based motor vehicle accident state that operates under a comparative negligence legal system (CT Gen Stat § 52-572(h)). If you are injured in a car accident in Manchester caused by a distracted driver, you can still recover compensation even if you were partially at fault for the crash. That being said, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. As an example, if you were found to be 20 percent at fault for the accident and your damages were $10,000, you would only be able to recover $8,000.
Recovering Compensation for a Distracted Driving Accident in Manchester
Following a distracted driving crash in Manchester, it is imperative that you are able to secure the full and fair financial compensation needed to pay bills and support your loved ones. Insurance companies are primarily interested in their own bottom line—not what is best for injured victims and their families. Our Manchester, CT car accident attorneys fight hard to help our clients maximize their settlement or trial verdict. Damages may include:
- Vehicle repairs or vehicle replacement;
- Emergency medical treatment;
- Hospital bills and other health care costs;
- Lost wages and loss of earning power;
- Pain and suffering & mental distress;
- Long-term disability and permanent disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death damages.
Set Up a Free Consultation With a Manchester, CT Car Crash Lawyer Today
At Tehrani Law Group, LLC, our Manchester car crash attorney provides aggressive, reliable legal representation to people who need help the most. We are on your side—not the side of the big insurance companies. Contact our personal injury team today for a free review of your case. We handle auto accident injury claims in Manchester and throughout all of Hartford County.