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Distracted Driver Accidents

Distracted driving is one of the foremost causes of vehicle accidents.  As well, it is widely acknowledged as being a top traffic safety problem.

Distracted drivers have been responsible for many Chicago-area vehicle accidents.  Nationwide, it is responsible for thousands of crash deaths each year.   According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019 9% of fatal crashes involved a distracted driver.
 
As well, it is widely acknowledged that, for many reasons, distracted driving is underreported.

There can be many different activities that can serve to distract a driver from being attentive to the driving situation.  Among these activities are the following: 
 
Texting and reading texts continues to be a leading cause of driver inattentiveness.  As seen in the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety 2020 Traffic Safety Culture Index, almost all (roughly 95%) of respondents view typing and reading texts and emails as extremely dangerous or very dangerous.   There are many reasons as to why these activities are detrimental to safe driving.   Texting is often frequent and prolonged.  As well, at higher speeds even a brief moment of taking one's eyes off the road can lead to a range of potential dangers.  While the driver is texting, or reading texts, many aspects of the driving situation can change.  At the same time, the driver's vehicle has traveled a significant distance.  While the driver's attention was diverted from the road, the driver's reaction time to any changing situation has been eroded.

Various surveys have shown that texting while driving continues to be a common activity.

Other phone use is also a major cause of driver distraction.  Making phone calls and talking on the phone can serve as distractions.  As well, for those with smartphones, accessing the internet can serve as another distraction.

Many newer vehicles have advanced entertainment systems as well as navigation systems.  Many of these systems can be complex to operate.  If a driver devotes too much attention to operating these systems while driving, it can create a dangerous driver distraction.

Talking - and especially arguing - with other vehicle occupants can be another activity that can lead to driver distraction.  Some drivers are more prone to be distracted by these types of conversations than others.  

Eating is another activity that can serve to take one's attention from driving.  Eating while driving can often involve not only as a distraction, but also as an activity that takes one's hands off of the steering wheel.

Types Of Injuries Resulting From Distracted Driver Crashes

As in any vehicle accident, the types of injuries resulting from such crashes can vary significantly both in type and severity.  When a driver is not fully attentive, any resulting crash can be of greater force because the driver has not had time to adequately brake, steer or otherwise take actions to try to avoid the collision.

Distracted driver crashes can lead to single-vehicle crashes, involving only the vehicle driven by the distracted driver.  It can also lead to various other type of vehicle accidents, involving two vehicles, multiple vehicles, and/or chain-reaction crashes.  Other road users such as motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians may be especially vulnerable to the negligent driving.  These other road users can be less visible during normal driving; to the distracted driver their presence can easily go unnoticed.

What To Do If Hurt By A Distracted Driver

If you have been hurt in an accident caused by a distracted driver, there are various steps you should take.  The "10 Steps You Should Follow After An Auto Accident" page discusses these steps.

Of particular importance is steps to take to safeguard your health.  As previously mentioned, vehicle accidents can cause a broad range of injuries.  While some of these injuries, such as bruises and minor abrasions, may be minor injuries, other injuries are far more serious and may be life-threatening in nature.  Among the most serious injuries - and those that may lead to life-threatening conditions - are severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI), penetrating injuries to the chest and abdominal regions, and severe burn trauma.
  
Given there is a broad range of injuries that can occur due to vehicle accidents - some of which may not be readily apparent - a thorough medical exam should be performed as soon as possible.  Often, paramedics will take the injured person to the hospital for such an exam. 
 
This comprehensive medical exam is intended to identify all accident injuries, both those that are apparent as well as those that may not (yet) be exhibiting symptoms.  Many serious injuries may not immediately exhibit symptoms.  Among the most serious injuries that don't immediately exhibit symptoms are severe traumatic brain injuries.

Once all injuries are identified, a proper medical treatment can be formulated and administered.  Among the common medical treatment includes emergency room testing and treatment; other testing, including blood tests, other tests such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans; hospitalization; surgeries; and occupational and physical rehabilitation.

Depending upon the type and extent of medical treatment, medical bills can be significant if not substantial.  As well, the injured person may experience various other types of financial issues, such as lost income due to an inability to work during the injury recovery period.

As well, there can be a range of other financial burdens, such as an ambulance bill; damage to one's vehicle; and other miscellaneous expenses.

Those injured during an accident that was not their fault often seek to get injury compensation through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit.  For fatal accidents, relevant parties can seek compensation through the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit.

The personal injury lawsuit can seek compensation for financial issues, such as medical bills and lost income, arising from the accident injuries.  As well, the lawsuit can seek compensation for other issues such as pain & suffering, loss of function, and other adversities caused by the accident.

The Elman Joseph Law Group has been handling Illinois personal injury lawsuits - especially those in the Chicago area - for over 25 years.  During this time the firm has established a reputation for its court trial performance.  Many notable settlements and court awards have been won for the firm's clients.

Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney, offers a free legal consultation for those that have been injured due to the actions of another person.  He can be reached at 773-392-8182.

The Elman Joseph Law Group handles all personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency basis...clients do not owe any legal fees unless and until they get money...   

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I hired Tony after a car accident in 2014. This entire experience has been handled with the utmost care and attention. One of the most valuable aspects of the working relationship was Tony's ability to explain this complicated legal process and set realistic expectations. I'm very happy with my settlement! Karen Becker
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Mr. Elman represented my wife and me after a car accident. A driver ran a red light hitting us, causing us to collide with 2 other cars. The Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC was very professional, courteous, thorough, and caring. The net result was 2 very fair settlements for my wife and me. Thanks Tony!!! Walt and Paula
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I hired Anthony (Tony) Elman after the car I was riding in was hit by a driver that fell asleep, crossed the median and flipped over onto our car. That driver was underinsured. Tony was responsive and his follow-through exemplary, resulting in two settlements. Cindy