Distracted Driving Crashes in Gaithersburg, Maryland
As cell phones have risen in popularity, so have concerns over how they are impacting drivers. Texting and driving has become almost synonymous with distracted driving, even though many other behaviors fall under the umbrella of distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving led to 2,841 deaths in 2018. Thousands dead should highlight the severity of the problem. In some cases, non-fatal injuries also have devastating lifelong impacts.
Texting is, in fact, one of the worst forms of distracted driving. To put the problem in perspective, drivers will lose their focus for five seconds every time they read or send one text. While five seconds might not feel like a very long time, a car can travel a lot of territory in that period. At 55 miles per hour, the distance a car will cover is nearly that of a football field. Imagine driving that far with your eyes closed, and the problem should become obvious.
It can be frustrating to suffer injuries because another driver was engaging in dangerous behavior like texting and driving. The fact that the harm caused was so preventable can lead to feelings of anger and sadness. If you were injured in a collision caused by a distracted driver, it is important to know that you have options and that you do not have to face the situation alone. Calling a lawyer is a good step to take. An experienced car crash attorney will be able to help you understand your legal options for filing a claim.
At Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP, our team of dedicated Gaithersburg car accident attorneys is here to help. We know that a car crash victim can suffer physically, emotionally, and financially due to an accident. If a distracted driver caused you harm, you could be entitled to recover compensation. Call us today at 301-670-7030 to speak to an experienced Gaithersburg, Maryland car crash attorney.
Negligence Laws in Gaithersburg, Maryland
In Maryland, the courts follow what is called “contributory negligence,” rather than “comparative negligence.” These two approaches to negligence claims are ways that courts handle fault when an injured person is in part responsible for his or her injuries. Comparative negligence is considered more friendly to plaintiffs because it allows an injured person who caused his or her injuries to collect a share of compensation from another person who was more at fault. In states with a comparative negligence policy, the injured person can collect a discounted sum to reflect his or her negligence. With contributory negligence, the injured person will not recover compensation if he or she is partially responsible for his or her injuries.
While this policy can make it more challenging for people in Maryland to recover, there are many cases where people can collect compensation. It is also worth noting that failing to use a seatbelt or a motorcycle helmet cannot be used as evidence of contributory negligence.
In the case of a distracted driver, the injury victim may be an even better chance to recover.
Negligence Per Se in Gaithersburg, Maryland Car Crash Claims
In cases where a person breaks a safety-related law, the individual may be considered negligent “per se.” Essentially, this means that the plaintiff need not prove that the driver’s conduct was negligent because the fact that the defendant broke the law will be enough for the court to find the person negligent.
In Maryland, driving while using a handheld phone is against the law. A driver who causes a crash while texting or otherwise using their phone will be violating a safety-related law. The court can presume the driver was negligent, which would make the injured person’s case easier to prove.
As of 2013, using a phone while driving became a primary offense in Maryland, meaning that police can pull a driver over for using their phone even if the motorist is not otherwise violating the law. The legal penalties for causing a crash while using a phone can be severe. In deadly crashes, the driver may face imprisonment.
If you suffered an injury because of a distracted motorist, you will likely have a claim against that person. Contact a Gaithersburg, Maryland car accident attorney to discuss your case and your legal options.
Hiring an Attorney in Gaithersburg, Maryland
Car crash injuries can be life-altering. If you were hurt by a driver who was distracted, you have the right to recover compensation. Hiring an attorney will mean that you have a legal advocate who will be there working and fighting for your interests. The damages you can recover from a personal injury lawsuit will not make the accident and injuries disappear. Still, they can help you support yourself and your family while you work on recovering.
Call Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP today at 301-670-7030 to discuss your legal options with an experienced attorney.