Pontiac Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys
Holding Distracted Drivers Accountable
Distracted driving, including using a cellphone while operating a motor vehicle, is one of the most serious and prevalent dangers on our roads. Every year, thousands of people in the U.S. are killed due to distracted driving, and countless more are injured. Not only is distracted driving incredibly dangerous, but it is also illegal in some cases. Drivers who violate Michigan traffic laws or who act negligently behind the wheel can be held accountable for victims’ injuries and damages.
If you were injured or if your loved one was tragically killed by someone who was texting or otherwise distracted while driving, reach out to Bashore Green Law Group. Our distracted driving accident attorneys in Pontiac provide aggressive legal representation for those navigating the state’s no-fault car insurance system, as well as those suing at-fault parties for damages in court. We can help you understand your options and build a strong case to protect your rights.
What Is Considered “Distracted” Driving?
Whenever a driver is paying attention to something other than the task of driving, they are considered to be driving while distracted.
There are four main types of driving distractions:
- Visual Distractions: Visual distractions are activities or objects that take the driver’s eyes off the road, even for a few seconds.
- Manual Distractions: Anything that causes a driver to remove one or both hands from the steering wheel is a manual distraction.
- Cognitive Distractions: When a driver is simply not paying attention or is thinking about anything other than driving, they are cognitively distracted.
- Auditory Distractions: Auditory distractions include loud noises and sounds that divert a driver’s attention from the road ahead.
Many driving distractions fall into several categories. For example, texting while driving combines a visual distraction (looking at a cellphone) with a manual distraction (holding the cellphone to read or type a text message) with a cognitive distraction (thinking about the content of the text message, rather than the task of driving). These types of driving distractions are among the most dangerous, as affected drivers will experience reduced reaction times, decreased driving ability, and other negative effects.
What Are the Most Common Driving Distractions?
While we often think of cellphone use when we think of distracted driving, this is far from the only example of a driving distraction. In fact, anything that diverts a driver’s attention from the road is considered a driving distraction.
Some of the most common driving distractions include:
- Talking on a handheld cellphone
- Reading or sending emails
- Using a GPS or similar device
- Browsing the internet
- Using social media
- Taking photos or videos
- Adjusting vehicle controls
- Changing the radio station/music
- Eating or drinking
- Applying makeup or grooming
- Talking to passengers
- Attending to children or pets
- Reaching for something in the vehicle
- Looking at accidents, billboards, or other roadside objects
These and other driving distractions can have devastating effects, leading to severe accidents, catastrophic injuries, and deaths. In many cases, it is possible to hold negligent and distracted drivers legally responsible for the harm they cause to others.
If you were involved in an accident, and you believe the other driver was distracted at the time of the crash, reach out to our Pontiac distracted driving accident lawyers to learn how we can help you seek the justice you deserve.
Michigan Distracted Driving Laws
Michigan has enacted several laws to curb distracted driving and related accidents. Currently, these laws specifically pertain to cellphone use behind the wheel, though other forms of distracted driving may still be considered unlawful under the state’s negligence laws.
As of 2021, it is unlawful in the state of Michigan to:
- Read, type, or send a text message using a handheld device while operating a motor vehicle
- Talk on a handheld or hands-free cellphone while operating a motor vehicle on a level I or level II graduated license (i.e., under the age of 17 in most cases)
- Talk on a handheld cellphone while operating a commercial motor vehicle or school bus on a commercial driver’s license
Certain cities, such as Detroit and Battle Creek, also have additional laws prohibiting handheld cellphone use for all drivers, regardless of age or driver’s license status. The state has proposed updates to these distracted driving laws, which would further restrict handheld cellphone use statewide, but such legislation has yet to be passed or take effect.
Filing a Distracted Driving Accident Claim in Michigan
Because Michigan is a no-fault car insurance state, the first step in seeking compensation after a car accident caused by a distracted driver typically involves filing a personal injury protection (PIP) claim with your own auto insurance provider. In fact, you can only go outside the no-fault system and file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver in certain circumstances.
To file a third-party personal injury claim or lawsuit against the distracted driver who caused your injuries, you will need to prove one of the following:
- The accident resulted in injuries leading to significant and permanent disfigurement, impairment of an important bodily function, and/or death
- The accident occurred in another state
- The at-fault driver is not a resident of Michigan and was driving a vehicle registered in another state
Additionally, under Michigan’s modified comparative negligence rule, you will have to prove that you were less than 50 percent to blame for the accident. If you are found to have contributed to the crash, your total recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault. In other words, if you are seeking $10,000 in damages, but you are found to have been 30 percent at fault, you could only recover $7,000.
Do You Need a Lawyer After a Distracted Driving Accident?
While you are not required by law to work with an attorney, having a skilled legal professional by your side can make a huge difference in the process, as well as the outcome of your case. In fact, many studies have shown that people who hire personal injury lawyers tend to recover better settlements than those who try to resolve their cases on their own.
Michigan has notoriously complex car accident and insurance laws. It is important that you consult an attorney with experience in this area. At Bashore Green Law Group, our distracted driving accident lawyers in Pontiac have won millions of dollars for injured clients like you. We have been recognized for our long history of success, as well as our commitment to a high level of client service.
Our team is here to help you every step of the way. We can handle the legal details of your case so that you can focus on your physical recovery and getting back on your feet. There are no costs for you when you hire our firm unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
I am so thankful for and appreciative.- Heidi G.
Answered all of my questions.- Rashanda M.
Very satisfied with everyone at Bashore Green Law Firm.- Lora S.
Very professional service.- Stephen H.
You can't get better than Bashore Green Law firm.- Felicia A.
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