If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident involving a distracted driver in Fort Worth, TX, you might be entitled to compensation. The Fort Worth car accident lawyers at Stephens Law Firm, PLLC will help you fight to get every dollar you deserve.
For more than 22 years, we’ve been standing up for car accident victims just like you. Our detailed and aggressive tactics have helped us recover substantial settlements and jury awards on their behalves. Let us do our best to do the same for you, too.
Our Fort Worth law firm offers a free consultation, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us online or by phone today.
What is Distracted Driving?
When you think of distracted driving, you probably imagine someone talking on the phone or reading a text message. In reality, however, distracted driving can involve so much more than that. In fact, there are three main types of distractions: visual, cognitive, and manual.
Visual Distractions: A visual distraction causes a driver to divert their eyes from the road. Rather than paying attention to the traffic around them, they literally turn their eyes to look at something else. Examples of visual distractions include:
- Looking at a GPS navigation system
- Turning around to look at a child in the backseat, and
- Reading a text message, checking social media, or dialing a cell phone.
Cognitive Distractions: A cognitive distraction causes a driver’s mind to drift from the task at hand – driving safely. When cognitively distracted, a driver might be looking at the road. However, they’re not really paying attention. Examples of cognitive distractions include:
- Thinking about all of the things you have to do when you get home
- Having a conversation with a passenger in the backseat or someone on the phone, even if using a hands-free device
- Replaying an argument over and over in your head, and
- Daydreaming about a vacation.
Manual Distractions: Manual distractions involve drivers taking their hands off of the steering wheel. Examples of manual distractions include:
- Reaching for something that fell on the floor
- Eating or drinking
- Applying makeup, and
- Typing a text message or dialing a phone.
Did you know that using a cell phone while driving can actually fall into all three categories? That’s perhaps why it’s one of the most dangerous ways a driver can be distracted behind the wheel.
Is Distracted Driving Really That Common?
Yes. The National Safety Council estimates that distracted driving causes more than 1.6 million car accidents across the United States every year. That’s 4,383 distracted driving accidents every single day. While some of these accidents might be minor fender benders, a lot aren’t. According to the CDC, distracted driving injures at least 1,000 people and kills another 9 every day. So, nearly one out of every four distracted driving accidents is quite serious.
Distracted Driving Has Become a Huge Problem in Texas
Driving while distracted isn’t just a problem nationwide. It’s become a serious issue in Texas, including the metro area around Dallas/Fort Worth. In 2018, 18 percent of all car accidents in the state were attributed to distracted driving practices.
In total, there were more than 100,000 distracted driving crashes. Those crashes caused more than 2,800 injuries and at least 444 deaths. Statistics show that 22 of those fatal crashes – and 24 deaths in total – happened in Tarrant County.
It’s Illegal to Text and Drive in Fort Worth, Texas
When a driver texts, they usually take their eyes off of the road for at least 5 seconds. Unfortunately, it only takes three seconds for an accident to occur once you’ve become distracted. That’s why texting, in particular, is so dangerous. That’s also why Texas law has outlawed the practice since 2017.
That’s right, if you live in Fort Worth, it’s illegal to text and drive. You can still talk on the phone, play music, or use its mapping service with a hands-free device. However, anything that requires you to physically touch and manipulate the device is off-limits. Texting and driving is a misdemeanor that can cost you hundreds of dollars in fines. If a driver causes serious injury or death while texting, they can face up to a year behind bars and be required to pay as much as $4,000 in fines.
If you were injured in an auto accident with a driver who was texting, the fact that they’re given a ticket or charged with a crime can be used to your advantage. The path to a financial recovery can become much easier. It’s important to have a qualified Fort Worth personal injury lawyer on your side to help you through the process.
How Our Fort Worth Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers Can Help You
Don’t expect the distracted driver to come out and admit that they weren’t paying attention at the time of your collision. Unfortunately, their failure to take responsibility for their negligence can make things more complicated for you. On the bright side, you don’t have to worry about navigating a complicated injury claim on your own. Stephens Law Firm, PLLC will be right there by your side every step of the way.
As our Fort Worth car accident attorneys handle your case, we will:
- Find Evidence to Prove the Driver Was Distracted: As part of our investigation into your accident, we’ll work diligently to uncover any evidence to prove or suggest the other driver was distracted. This might include cell phone records, red light camera pictures, photos or video footage from nearby surveillance cameras, or eyewitness testimony. If we can prove the driver wasn’t paying attention, we can help you hold them accountable.
- Determine Who Else Might Be Responsible: Accidents don’t always happen for one singular reason. Even if you think your accident only happened because the other driver was distracted, that might not be the case. Our team knows how important it is to identify all causes and contributing factors. In doing so, we can determine who – other than the distracted driver – might be to blame for your injuries.
- Minimize Allegations That You Share Blame: In an effort to limit liability, the other driver or their insurance company might try to point fingers and blame you for the crash. They might even say that you were distracted. These tactics could really hurt your chances of recovering a meaningful financial award. Our attorneys will do everything to counter these arguments and downplay your role (if any) in the accident.
Our award-winning Fort Worth personal injury attorneys will work tirelessly to negotiate a fair settlement offer. However, we’ll never take the threat of going to trial off the table. Our lawyers have secured some of the highest jury verdicts in state and national history. Insurance companies and other lawyers in the area know this and will likely do everything to avoid a head-to-head battle in court. This can be a huge asset as we attempt to recover a significant financial award for you.
What Damages Can I Get If I Was Injured By a Distracted Driver in Fort Worth?
When a driver is distracted, their ability to react to normal traffic patterns and unexpected events is limited. As a result, accidents involving distracted drivers can be quite devastating. Injuries can be catastrophic, if not fatal. When a distracted driver causes an accident, our team knows that they must be held fully accountable for the harm they’ve inflicted. We will work diligently to make sure that happens.
Stephens Law Firm, PLLC will carefully assess your case to determine which damages you might be entitled to recover through a personal injury lawsuit or claim. This could include money for:
- Medical devices
- Medical equipment
- Property damage
- Lost wages and income
- Reduced earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Disfigurement, and more.
Following a fatal distracted driving accident in Fort Worth, family members could be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death case. Our team is available to help you navigate these challenging times – 24/7/365.
Time Limit For Filing a Lawsuit After a Fort Worth Distracted Driving Accident
When you get into a distracted driving car accident in Fort Worth, you will have a limited period of time to assert your rights and ask for compensation. In most cases, the statute of limitations that applies to these types of cases is two years. You will not be able to recover any money if you don’t file a claim on time.
Call Our Fort Worth Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers Today
At Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, we know that an accident can change the course of your life forever. Let us help you fight to secure compensation that can help to keep you financially secure for years to come. Our Fort Worth law firm offers a free initial case assessment, so call today.