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Salt Lake City Distracted Driving Accident Attorney

While most American drivers are aware of the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, too few realize that distracted driving can be as dangerous. “Distracted driving” can apply to various possible situations, and all of them involve negligence. When a driver is distracted, he or she is unable to meet the duty of care the law requires of all drivers to adhere to the rules of the road and drive safely.

A Fielding Law Salt Lake City car accident lawyer has experience handling all types of personal injury claims involving car accidents, and we want Salt Lake City residents to know what to expect from a lawsuit against a distracted driver who causes injuries and other damages.

Types of Distracted Driving:

  • Visual distraction

    • describes any situation in which a driver’s eyes drift away from the road ahead and safe operation of the vehicle. When drivers stop looking at the road to look at a cell phone, a GPS display, or a roadside event like police activity or an accident, they endanger the drivers around them and may not be able to stop in time to prevent a collision with another car.
  • Manual distraction

    • describes when drivers use their hands for things other than driving. This may include smoking, eating, changing the stereo or climate control settings, using a phone, or anything else that requires drivers to remove their hands from the wheel and gear shift.
  • Cognitive distraction

    • applies to any time a driver is mentally preoccupied with things other than driving. A driver may be mulling over an important issue, processing a stressful day at work, or have some other pending issue that causes him or her to stop paying close enough attention to the road. A daydreaming or cognitively distracted driver may not notice a road hazard or change in traffic fast enough to take appropriate action.

Texting while driving is arguably the most dangerous form of distracted driving because it encompasses all three of these types of distraction. Using a cell phone requires the use of at least one hand, and the texting driver is looking at and paying attention to the text conversation, not the road.

Proving Negligence and Securing Compensation

Proving negligence in a distracted driving lawsuit is sometimes straightforward if witnesses or clear evidence from traffic cameras confirm the defendant was indeed distracted at the time of the accident. The plaintiff will need to show a court that the defendant was negligent by establishing four facts:

  • Duty

    • Every driver has a duty of care to other drivers to drive responsibly.
  • Breach

    • The plaintiff must show the court how the defendant breached his or her duty of care. This essentially means proving the defendant was distracted at the time of the accident.
  • Causation

    • The plaintiff must then go on to prove his or her damages are the results of the defendant’s breach of duty and not some other cause.
  • Damage

    • Finally, the plaintiff may only sue if he or she suffered loss. If the plaintiff was not injured or incurred no economic losses, he or she has no claim.

Distracted driving cases may seem straightforward at first, but proving negligence in these cases can be tricky without the right attorney. The team at Fielding Law is here to provide our Salt Lake City clients with comprehensive legal representation in all case types. Reach out our  Salt Lake City personal injury attorney to schedule a free consultation about your distracted driving case today.