Texting and driving are some of the most dangerous driver habits of the 21st century. In spite of statistics and research highlighting the extreme risks of texting and driving, drivers – particularly young drivers – use their cell phones behind the wheel at higher rates than ever. In 2018, distracted driving claimed 2,841 lives. Texting is one of the worst forms of distracted driving, as it takes the driver’s hands, eyes, and mind off the driving task. If a driver caused your accident while texting, come to the Kansas City texting and driving accident lawyers of Wendt Law Firm P.C. for a free legal consultation. The law may entitle you to damage recovery.
During the car accident claims process in Kansas City, you will need to go head-to-head with an auto insurance company for financial compensation – either yours or that of the at-fault driver. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to force an auto insurer to pay you fairly for a serious injury claim. Insurance companies want to maximize their profits, not your payout. The best way to improve your chances of a fair settlement is to hire an attorney to represent you. An attorney can go up against the insurance company for you, negotiating for a full settlement while you focus on healing. If the insurance company refuses to be reasonable, your lawyer can take your texting and driving case to trial instead.
According to an in-depth study on traffic accidents in the Kansas City region, distracted driving kills an average of 33 people in the area every year. It causes serious injuries to an average of 366 more. Distracted driving is a serious issue that plagues the streets of Kansas and Missouri. These statistics refer to all forms of distraction, not just texting. However, texting is a significant contributor to distracted driving crashes. So significant, in fact, that both states have passed texting and driving laws:
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reading one text takes your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. Driving at 55 miles per hour, this is the equivalent of traveling the length of a football field blindfolded. This puts into perspective how dangerous texting and driving is and how quickly it can result in a deadly car accident. Drivers who cause accidents while texting may be guilty of negligence, even if the activity is technically legal. Texting and driving create an unreasonable risk of harm to drivers and others on the roadway.
As young drivers get their first taste of freedom, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement and forget what they learned during their driving lessons. Teenagers today are more tuned into technology than any other generation before them. On average, teens can spend up to 10-12 hours of screen time per day. Because technology is a huge part of the teenage experience, new and less inexperienced drivers may have a harder time putting their phones down while behind the wheel. Texting and driving can result in several types of accidents, including:
Distracted drivers often cause rear-end collisions due to the driver looking down at a cell phone instead of the road. Drivers are more likely to use their phones in slow stop-and-go traffic, where rear-end collisions are the most common. While some rear-end collisions occur at low speeds in heavy traffic and cause only minor damages, others are high-speed accidents that cause serious injuries. Other common types of texting and driving accidents include wrong-way accidents, intersection and T-bone accidents, crosswalk collisions, head-on collisions, and turning accidents. All car accident types have the power to cause severe personal injuries.
As one of the more preventable types of car accidents, texting and driving is completely avoidable. In addition to putting the phone away from the driver physically, there are also apps that prevent the phone from functioning while the car is in motion. Texting while driving can lead to a number of injuries to every person involved, including the driver, passenger, and pedestrian/bystander. Injuries that can come from texting and driving include:
At Wendt Law Firm P.C., our car accident lawyers have experience with all types of auto collisions and personal injuries. We can help you seek justice and maximum compensation after a texting and driving car accident regardless of your specific diagnosis. Collect copies of your medical records, treatment plans and x-rays before coming to see us. We can review your injury-related documents for a more comprehensive evaluation of what your case is worth.
Before you can file a claim to damages against someone for texting and driving, you must understand whether you live in a fault or no-fault state. Kansas is a no-fault state, while Missouri is a fault state. In Kansas, you will not have to prove that the other driver was texting and driving to receive insurance benefits. Your own insurance company will have to pay you benefits whether or not the other driver was at fault.
A no-fault claim can be easier to win, but it may result in less compensation than a fault claim based on the limits of your personal injury protection insurance. You may only file a fault-based claim against the distracted driver in Kansas if you have serious injuries, such as those that will affect you for life. In Missouri, on the other hand, the fault-based insurance law always gives you the right to hold the distracted driver responsible.
If you live in Kansas City, Missouri, you will bring an insurance claim against the person who was texting and driving at the time of your collision. It will be up to that driver’s insurance company to pay for your damages. To win a fault-based insurance settlement, you or your lawyer may have to prove the other driver’s fault for the crash. Hiring an attorney to represent you could make it easier to win this type of claim.
After a car accident in Kansas City, don’t be surprised if the other driver doesn’t admit fault. This is a typical reaction and one that insurance companies and attorneys recommend. An investigation of the crash can assign fault and liability after the fact using phone records, eyewitness statements, and accident recreations. Retaining a trusted team of Kansas City personal injury attorneys can put these resources within your reach and increase the odds of proving another driver was texting at the time of your collision. Contact Wendt Law Firm P.C., for a free case evaluation in KC.