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Hit And Hurt By A Distracted Driver: What Victims Should Know

Distracted driving is a significant danger on the roads today and can cause serious or even deadly accidents. Distractions can take a driver's attention away from the road, leading to delayed reaction times, impaired judgment, and other dangerous behaviors.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Common distractions while driving include texting or using a mobile phone, eating or drinking, grooming, adjusting the radio or GPS, and interacting with passengers. Many drivers are unaware of how quickly a moment's inattention can lead to a disastrous crash. Even though many states have laws against using devices while driving, many drivers continue to text and use map apps while driving. 

Victims Can Take Action

When a driver causes an accident due to distracted driving, the victim may be able to seek compensation for their damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Pain and suffering can be based on the dollar amount of medical treatment costs but that can vary by state. 

Punitive Damages

In some cases, the victim may also be able to seek punitive damages. This form of accident damage is meant to financially punish the driver for their reckless behavior while serving as a deterrent to others who might also drive distracted. If a victim is to be awarded punitive damages, the victim must prove that the driver's behavior was particularly egregious or malicious. Distracted driving can be seen as particularly egregious because it is a preventable behavior that shows a disregard for the safety of others on the road.

However, victims should understand that punitive damages are not always awarded in car accident cases, and the dollar amount of damages can vary widely depending on the circumstances of the case and the severity of the driver's behavior. Punitive damages may be capped by state law, and some states do not allow punitive damages at all. Finally, punitive damages are not asked for by your personal injury attorney but are instead awarded by the judge and jury after hearing the case and deliberating. 

If you are the victim of a car accident caused by distracted driving, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and seek the compensation you deserve. They can advise you on the potential for punitive damages in your case and work to build a strong case on your behalf. Proving that the other driver was purposefully careless when they drove distracted is a key element of cases like this. Speak to a car accident lawyer to learn more.