Michigan Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
Distracted driving has become a dangerous epidemic on Michigan roads. Many motorists may think that their response time is not affected by multitasking behind the wheel. However, the annual increase in preventable car accidents proves that this is not the case. Many people suffer injuries from distracted driving accidents, and those victims deserve compensation. Working with an experienced Michigan distracted driving accident lawyer can give victims a much better chance of a successful auto accident claim.
During a Michigan car accident investigation, officers look for signs of distracted driving at the crash scene. At Lipton Law, our experienced personal injury lawyers aggressively pursue compensation for victims injured by inattentive drivers. We make it our mission to get answers and justice in car accident cases in Southfield and the surrounding area. To schedule your free case evaluation with a Michigan distracted driving accident lawyer, call our law firm today at 248-557-1688.
What Is Distracted Driving?
According to the NHTSA, distracted driving is “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” This can include doing anything on your cell phone, listening to loud music, adjusting your car’s climate control, changing the radio station, and especially sending text messages. Cellphone use has become one of the more serious forms of distracted driving in recent years. This is because texting while driving not only takes your eyes off the road for long periods of time, but also because it is a distraction on multiple levels. Victims of distracted driving accidents often suffer from serious injuries, which is why filing a claim is so important.
Michigan Distracted Driving Statistics
There are a few important statistics when it comes to distracted driving cases in Michigan. These statistics primarily show a worsening trend when it comes to distracted driving as the cause of many motor vehicle accidents.
- Across the United States, car accident cases involving a distracted driver have increased by around 11% over the last five years. In Michigan, that increase is much higher at 27%.
- In 2020 alone, 2394 distracted driving crashes occurred in Michigan. This is up 27% from 1888 crashes in 2016.
- In Michigan, fatal car crash cases that involved a distracted driver have increased by 88% from 2016 to 2020.
- Nearly 2400 motor vehicle crashes occurred in 2020 in Michigan that involved the use of cell phones.
Can I Sue a Distracted Driver for a Car Accident?
Yes. If you sustained devastating injuries in an accident caused by driver distractions, you can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. We highly recommend working with an experienced personal injury law firm for your claim, as it can be difficult to handle an insurance company and lawsuit on your own. You deserve full and fair compensation from the negligent driver who caused your injuries. Experienced legal counsel is essential in any car accident case involving injuries.
Types of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving occurs when drivers operate vehicles while struggling with visual, manual, or cognitive distractions. Visual distractions happen when drivers take their eyes off the road. Manual distractions require motorists to take their hands off the wheel. Cognitive distractions force drivers to take their minds off driving. Alone or in combination, these combinations have deadly results.
Texting on a cellphone while driving involves all three forms of distraction. That’s why, in Michigan, the texting ban is a primary offense, meaning law enforcement officers do not need another reason aside from texting to issue a citation. Distractions from texting could lead to a rear-end accident, especially when a traffic light is near.
Distracted drivers can also cause accidents when a motorist participates in these activities while driving.
- Watching a video
- Eating or drinking
- Applying makeup
- Talking to passengers
- Reading maps or guidebooks
- Changing the radio or music from your phone
- Using a GPS
- Personal grooming, such as brushing your hair
Keep in mind that there are three basic forms of distracted driving, which we list below.
Visual distracted driving involves taking your eyes off the road. Anything that takes the driver’s eyes away from the road is considered a visual distraction. This can include looking at something outside the car window, looking at a cell phone screen, or even looking at passengers.
Manual distracted driving involves a driver taking their hands off the steering wheel. A manual distraction slows one’s reaction time by making it more difficult to respond to unexpected changes on the road. Examples include taking your hands off the wheel for texting, taking a sip of your drink, or reaching over to fiddle with the radio.
Cognitive distracted driving involves taking a driver’s attention off of driving. When a distracted driver fails to keep their mind and attention on driving, this leaves them vulnerable in the event of an auto accident. Many drivers don’t even realize they’re distracted until it is too late. Cognitive distraction examples include thinking about how to respond when texting while driving, daydreaming, singing a song, or conversing with a passenger.
Michigan Cell Phone Laws 2022
Important updates to laws regarding cell phones and driving have recently been implemented in Michigan. In January of 2022, HB 4277 passed through the Michigan House of Representatives, and it now awaits a vote in the Senate. The bill would prohibit all forms of cell phone use while driving, except for hands-free mode. It essentially restricts what a driver may not do with electronic devices while driving.
HB 4278, which also passed through the House, applies one point to drivers’ licenses for a second violation of the Cell Phone Law. It also applies two points for third and subsequent violations.
HB 4279, which also passed through the House, amends Kelsey’s Law. The amendment states that all teenage drivers are banned from any form of cell phone use while driving, whether it is hands-free or not. HB 4277 and HB 4278 would also apply to teen drivers.
Does Michigan Have a Texting While Driving Law?
Yes. The Michigan law that applies to a texting driver prohibits all drivers from texting while operating any motor vehicle. This applies to every driver, regardless of age, gender, vehicle type, or license type. Penalties for violations of this law involve a first offense fine of $100, and $200 fines for second or subsequent offenses. HB 4277, HB 4278, and HB 4279 aim to impose harsher penalties for distracted drivers.
How Do You Prove Fault in a Distracted Driving Accident?
In all personal injury claims, it is imperative to be able to prove that the at-fault driver was distracted and negligent at the time of the car accident. Accident victims have the burden of proof in these cases, which means they must present evidence that shows the negligence of the other driver. Below, we list different types of evidence that can be used to show that the at-fault driver was distracted when the car accident occurred.
- Admissions of guilt: It is possible that a distracted driver may admit to their guilt in the situation. This is a powerful piece of evidence, but it does not lead to an open and shut case. The distracted driver may choose to recant their admission later, or their admission may be considered hearsay, which is not admissible in court.
- Police reports: These are also strong pieces of evidence, but they don’t always make or break a case. Police reports often note if officers suspect a distracted driver was responsible for the car accident.
- Eyewitness testimony: Any witnesses at the scene can provide crucial testimony after an accident. They may have seen the negligent driver engaging in one of many common distractions at the time of the accident.
- Expert testimony: Expert witnesses are generally reserved for cases that go to trial, but their testimony can prove crucial. Their specialized knowledge and skills can help strengthen your existing evidence and narrative, as well as give credibility to your case.
- Physical evidence: As with any car accident, physical evidence is a must-have. It can come from both inside and outside of the responsible driver’s vehicle. Examples of physical evidence include skid marks on the road, loud music from the radio, tire marks outside the road lines, and much more.
Potential Damages in Distracted Driving Car Accident Cases
After any type of car accident, victims can receive compensation for the losses they suffered. These can be both monetary and non-monetary in nature. Below, we list common examples of compensation for distracted driving car accident victims.
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost income and lost earning capacity
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Disability or disfigurement
- Property damage to your vehicle (If under a certain amount, you can file a claim under the Michigan mini tort law.)
- Other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident
What to Do After a Distracted Driving Accident
Immediately after the accident, there are a few crucial steps you should take in order to give your case the best possible chance at success.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you don’t see or feel any injuries right away, it is highly possible that you sustained injuries without realizing it. The adrenaline from a crash can mask the pain for hours after an accident, so be sure to see a doctor as soon as possible.
- Call the police. This accomplishes a couple of things for you. First, it is often required by states to call the police after any car accident, whether or not an injury occurred. Second, this gives you a relevant police report for the accident, which is a crucial piece of evidence.
- Gather witness contact information. Gather the names and contact information of as many witnesses as possible so that your attorney can contact them.
- Take photos and videos of the scene. This simply acts as more evidence to support your claim. The pictures and videos should show the whole scene, the damage to both vehicles, any marks on the road, the condition of the road, the weather conditions, and any other details that you see.
- Contact a Michigan car accident lawyer. It’s almost never a good idea to attempt negotiating with a profit-driven insurance company on your own. Working with an attorney will allow you to focus on your recovery while they focus on your case.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Distracted Driving in Michigan?
In the state of Michigan, car accident victims have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim against the driver responsible for the crash. This applies to all wrongful death and bodily injury claims. Although you have the full three years to begin your claim, we highly recommend filing as soon as possible. This ensures that your evidence stays fresh and that your witness testimony does not lose its credibility over time.
How Can a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Help Me?
It isn’t a requirement to have an attorney help with your distracted driving claim. However, working with an experienced lawyer can greatly increase your chances of securing a recovery. After all, that’s what attorneys do. We have the specialized knowledge and experience necessary to advocate for full and fair compensation on your behalf. We will examine the facts of your case during your free consultation, gather evidence to support your claim, and litigate your case in court if necessary. Additionally, we operate on a contingency fee basis at Lipton Law. This means that we don’t accept a cent unless we secure a recovery for you. This fee promise ensures that we don’t add to the financial strain that our clients are already facing after their accidents.
Michigan Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
At Lipton Law, our attorneys have the legal experience and knowledge to hold distracted drivers liable for the injuries and other losses you and your family have suffered. We are committed to helping you obtain compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages. We handle many different types of car accidents, including t-bone accidents, rollover accidents, and much more. Don’t let a distracted driver impact your life forever. Contact Lipton Law to speak with a compassionate attorney.
Our law firm is dedicated to protecting the legal rights of injured Michigan citizens. If a negligent driver caused you injury due to one of the distractions mentioned above, you may have a case. To find out how we can help give you the edge you need in a distracted driving case, contact us online or call us today at 248-557-1688 for a free consultation.