Maryland Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
The phenomenon of texting and driving has highlighted the risks of distracted driving in recent years. While there are many forms of distracted driving, smartphones have undoubtedly made the situation worse. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2018, 2,841 people died in distracted driving crashes in the United States. Of course, many thousands more suffered injuries.
When it comes to texting behind the wheel, studies indicate that for drivers traveling 55 miles per hour, sending or reading one text will cause them to lose focus for five seconds. In that time, they will travel about the length of a football field. Five seconds might sound like a short amount of time, but on the road, it is more than long enough to lead to potentially deadly wrecks.
If you were injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver, you are probably frustrated over the fact that another person’s negligence caused you harm. In these cases, you are not without options. A good first step is to contact a dedicated car crash attorney.
At Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP, we know that it is important for our clients to obtain compensation after car crash injuries. The damages that an injured person recovers can help minimize the financial burden of the crash. If a distracted driver caused your injuries, then you owe it to yourself and your family to get the compensation to which you are entitled. Call us today at 410-769-5400 to speak with an experienced Maryland car accident attorney.
Distracted Driving Laws in Maryland
In Maryland, it is illegal to drive while using a handheld phone. The law prohibits the operator of a car from using phones to text for any purpose that involves them holding the device. The state made phone use while driving a primary offense in 2013, which means that police can pull a person over for using his or her phone even in the absence of any other driving infraction.
While drivers can be fined for using their phones even if they do no actual damage, the penalties increase when a person causes a crash. In the case of deadly collisions, the distracted driver can face prison time.
Proving Negligence in a Distracted Driving Case
Car crash injury cases are based on the concept of negligence. Typically, to prove a claim based on negligence, the injured person must show that the other individual owed him or her a duty, breached that duty, and that the breach led to the plaintiff’s injuries. When a person violates a statute or breaks the law, this can serve as evidence of “negligence per se.” Effectively, negligence per se cases allow the plaintiff an easier path to proving that the defendant was negligent.
In Maryland, because using a phone while driving is illegal, a driver who was using a phone while operating his or her car and caused a crash could be viewed as negligent per se. All that the plaintiff would need to show in these cases is that the defendant violated a statute and that the violation was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. It does not even matter if the defendant was aware of the law that he or she broke.
If a distracted driver injured you, you likely have a claim against that person. Contact an attorney to learn how to proceed.
Filing a Claim Against A Distracted Driver in Maryland
Maryland follows “contributory negligence” rules, which means that if the plaintiff was even slightly at fault for his or her injuries, then he or she will be barred from recovering from another at-fault individual. If you were injured and are wondering how this might impact your potential claim, it is best to contact a Maryland car crash attorney. Every case is different, but your attorney will be able to give you a better understanding of your options.
It is a good idea to call an attorney sooner rather than later. Plaintiffs must file their claims within three years of the date of an injury. Any claim filed after this window of time will likely be denied. If you wait until the last minute, you could make it more challenging to develop a strategy and negotiate a potential settlement of your claim.
Hiring a Maryland Car Crash Attorney
If you were injured in a car crash caused by a distracted driver, contact a Maryland car crash attorney right away. Not only will your attorney be able to help you navigate the court system, but he or she will also field calls from insurers to prevent anyone from pressuring you to take a smaller settlement shortly after the crash. Attorneys are powerful advocates who will make sure that your rights are protected.
Call Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP today at 410-769-5400 to learn how our experienced Maryland personal injury attorneys can help you recover compensation.