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Hit by a Distracted Driver in South Carolina?
Distracted driving accidents are rising in the Charleston area. Drivers who do not focus their attention on the road put other drivers and passengers at serious risk. According to the CDC, distracted driving comes with three main types:
- Visual distraction: Taking your eyes off the road ahead.
- Manual distraction: Taking your hands off the steering wheel.
- Cognitive distraction: When your mind is busy with concerns other than driving.
The CDC reports that eight people die daily due to the actions of a distracted driver, with more than a thousand injured. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident with a distracted driver, you must protect your right to the compensation you deserve. Enlist legal representation from a qualified, experienced Charleston car accident attorney who is very familiar with the insurance industry from Allen Law.
As a smaller client-focused firm, we treat clients as real people — not file numbers”
- Julian Allen
Types of Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving takes many forms. It is what occurs when a driver engages in actions that reduce the ability to drive safely. These actions include:
- Texting while driving
- Taking phone calls while driving
- Eating in the vehicle
- Adjusting in-vehicle systems
- Conversations with passengers
- Using a navigation system
Why is Texting While Driving Illegal in South Carolina?
Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous types of distracted driving, as it involves all three types of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive. State lawmakers made texting while driving illegal in June of 2014 (SC Code Section 56-5-3890.) You cannot legally use a cell phone (or another digital device) to compose, send, or read a text message while operating a vehicle unless you use a hands-free system. If a person is proven to have been texting while driving, causing injury or death, the driver may be facing charges of reckless vehicular homicide. A claim or lawsuit can be filed to pursue compensatory damages.
Even with such extreme legal consequences, it is not unusual to see a driver who you suspect is texting, as the vehicle may be slowing and speeding and drifting out of the correct lane of traffic. These actions can lead to a severe injury to an innocent driver or passenger when struck from behind or sideswiped as the distracted driver veers out of the correct lane of traffic.
Proving Distracted Driving in Court
After a serious or fatal accident, it may be necessary to prove that a vehicle operator was texting while driving. With the help of an attorney, the cell phone records can be subpoenaed to determine if the driver was sending texts while driving. Witnesses at the scene may have observed the driver texting, or the driver may admit it to a law enforcement officer who arrives on the scene.
When it is established that the driver was texting while operating the vehicle, this information can be a critical point in the success of an injury claim or lawsuit filed in civil court or a claim to the driver’s auto insurance company to pursue full compensation. This type of negligent driving can leave innocent people with serious or catastrophic injuries, and the responsible driver must be held accountable.
After a Distracted Driver Accident – What to Do.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a distracted or reckless driver, take these steps to protect your right to the compensation you deserve:
- Call 911 for emergency services if any person was injured.
- If the driver leaves the scene, take a photo of the vehicle if you can, so law enforcement can attempt to identify the person through the vehicle type, color, license plate number, and other information.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles, any skid marks on the roadway if possible.
- Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses to the accident.
- Get a full medical evaluation and tell the doctor that you were involved in a vehicle accident, to ensure this information is entered in your medical record.
- Contact a skilled car accident attorney to discuss what happened, and the extent of your injuries.
- Do not take any calls from the responsible driver’s auto insurance company without first speaking with a lawyer.
A Lawyer You Can Trust: Allen Law
At Allen Law, we take our duty to our clients very seriously. When representing the injured in a car accident case, you can expect one-on-one service. Attorney Allen formerly served as a defense lawyer for the insurance industry and has a great depth of understanding of how the “other side” will attempt to reduce the value of a claim. Only a limited number of serious, high-value cases are taken on, allowing us to provide counsel at the highest level.
Contact us today at (843) 882-5005 for free initial case consultation with no time limit. We represent the injured on a contingency fee basis – no legal fees unless we successfully recover compensation in your case.
- Texting and Driving: A Deadly Combination for Your Teen
- Distracted Driving - NHTSA
- Distracted Driving - IIHS