Boone County Distracted Driver Accident Lawyers


Most people try to remain safe on the road. From buckling your seatbelt to signaling to turn, you engage in many practices that help you to be safe and secure while you drive. Unfortunately, your safety is not always under your control. Other drivers can easily cause accidents if they are not as careful or mindful as they should be.

Distracted driving is the top cause of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. This category of negligence is extremely dangerous and takes hundreds of lives every year. Despite this, many people could not identify distracted driving and engage in the practice on a daily basis. This behavior can easily go unchecked for a person’s entire life.

Fortunately, personal injury law allows you to press charges against a distracted driver if they hurt you with their negligence. Through these cases, you can ensure that you do not have to pay for other people’s mistakes, especially if you were seriously harmed in the process. Our personal injury attorneys at Franks Gerkin Ponitz & Greeley are here to help you get the support and compensation that you deserve. Driving negligence should have real, financial consequences for those who take their eyes off the road.

Boone County Distracted Driver Accident Lawyers

Franks Gerkin Ponitz & Greeley: Your Boone County Distracted Driver Attorneys

Our team at Franks Gerkin Ponitz & Greeley has been working in Illinois and Wisconsin for many years. We have a thorough understanding of the unique situations that arise on the roads of these great states and therefore have a firm grasp of what the community needs. We can help you to navigate your personal injury process after a distracted driver harms you.

We believe that everyone has the right to feel safe on the road. When drivers neglect to follow the law, we help to ensure that they pay the price for their hubris. No matter the size of your case or the extent of your injuries, we can help you to rebuild your finances and move forward after an accident.

Why Do I Need a Distracted Driving Attorney?

When you file a claim against a distracted driver, you take on significant responsibility. It is your job to prove that the person who hurt you was both acting negligently and caused your injuries. It is not the other driver’s responsibility to prove their innocence. You have what the courts call the burden of proof.

Even the most straightforward cases include the burden of proof. The court will assume that the other driver is innocent until you can prove that they are guilty of distracted driving. If you fail to provide proper evidence or make a proper argument, the court will have no choice but to find the other person not guilty. It is very difficult to present and argue evidence in court, and it cannot be done without the proper training. If you try to fight your own case, it is likely you will not meet the court’s requirements and will lose.

It’s important to remember that there is a lot on the line for you and your family during this case. If you were to win, the settlement would cover a significant amount of your expenses throughout the healing process. You would be able to relax and heal properly while your family is cared for. If you lose, you will likely lose income from time spent off of work to heal and will most definitely be responsible for medical bills. Families can go bankrupt from this kind of unexpected expense.

With the help of an experienced distracted driving attorney, you can ensure that you and your family get the support that you need during the healing process.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is a fairly large category of negligence that can occur on the road. Driving negligence occurs any time a driver fails to follow the laws and regulations set forth by the state and federal governments. Distracted driving happens when a driver removes their eyes or their attention from the road but continues to drive. In short, distracted driving is any time a driver is preoccupied with something other than driving.

This can occur in many different ways. To identify the practice and properly fight your case, you will need to know what counts as distracted driving and what might fall under a different category of negligence.

Cell Phone Use

The most common form of distracted driving is driving while using one’s phone. This includes:

  • Talking
  • Video calling
  • Texting, emailing, or messaging
  • Browsing social media
  • Checking apps
  • Playing games
  • Looking up information

A driver’s attention should be fully on the road at all times. If they are distracted by their phone, they cannot quickly react to the changing situation around them. When reaction times are delayed, accidents are much more likely to occur.

Eating or Drinking

Consuming food or beverage is considered distracted driving as it requires the driver to use at least one hand to eat or drink. This means that the driver only has one hand on the wheel of the car, which gives them less control if they need to make a last-minute decision.

Many times, the driver has to take their eyes off the road to pick up their food or beverage. This alone is considered distracted driving, as the driver had to take their eyes off traffic and therefore would be unable to react to the changing situation.

Attending to Children

If you have children in the car, it is easy to become distracted by them because children require a lot of attention. Whether you need to settle a dispute, attend to a need, or ask a question, turning around in any way is considered distracted driving. Any time your eyes leave the road, you risk missing sudden changes in traffic.

Selecting Music

If you have to reach for the music control or look for a specific song, station, or album, you are not giving the road the attention that it requires. Selecting music can easily be considered distracted driving if the driver cannot keep their full attention on the road ahead. Many modern cars have music options built into the steering wheel so the driver can drive safely. In all other situations, selecting music is distracted driving.

Looking at a Map

Because your eyes leave the road to look at a map, the practice is considered distracted driving. If you are lost or need directions, you should pull over and determine how to proceed. Trying to navigate and drive at the same time is extremely dangerous.

There are other examples of distracted driving as well. Many people engage in distracted driving practices without even knowing it. It is important to keep your eyes on the roads and your hands on the steering wheel at all times.

Distracted Driving Settlements

Understanding distracted driving is key to identifying the behavior in others. If you are harmed by some of these behaviors, you have the right to seek compensation. The person responsible for the accident should have to face the consequences. If the driver was distracted, then the accident is at least partially their fault.

A personal injury settlement can include several types of compensation. The amount in each of these categories will vary, depending on your unique situation. Categories include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income while recovering
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering

Depending on your situation, this sum could be significant. Personal injuries can earn upwards of a million dollars in some cases. This kind of support may be the difference between fully recovering from your injuries and being financially unstable far into the future.

Proving Fault in a Distracted Driving Case

In distracted driving situations, it is the victim’s job to prove fault. Your attorney may do this in many different ways, depending on your situation and the specific circumstances. You must prove three elements to successfully fight your case.

  1. The Other Party Had a Duty to Act Carefully Usually, this is established by proving that the other driver was licensed and therefore agreed to follow traffic laws, including keeping one’s attention on the road.
  2. The Other Party Did Not Act Carefully For this element, you must prove negligence occurred. In other words, you must show that they became distracted while driving.
  3. Their Negligence Caused Your Injuries Finally, you and your attorney must prove that you sustained an injury or somehow suffered as a direct result of the person’s actions. You must show that you got your injuries from the accident with a distracted driver and not from somewhere else.

Proving these elements is much more complicated than it may seem. Even obvious elements of the case will need to be properly presented to the court.

Proving Negligence

Proving negligence is one aspect of the burden of proof that is essential to your entire argument. This is because negligence is what turns a car accident into a personal injury case. After all, some accidents occur because of a mutual mistake or an act of nature. When one person was acting negligently, then a personal injury case is valid.

Your attorney will be in charge of collecting evidence of negligence in your case. They will do so depending on your unique scenario. However, some common pieces of evidence include:

  • CCTV or video footage of the accident
  • Photos of the accident scene
  • Photos of injuries
  • Medical records
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Phone records

These elements will help to prove that the driver was acting negligently when they caused the accident. This is key to winning your case.

Distracted Driving Cases and Insurance Companies

Many times, insurance companies want to ask questions of those involved in the collision. You may also want to talk to them to put the incident behind you, but neither of these cases is recommended. In fact, speaking with insurance companies is not a good idea overall until you have talked to your attorney.

Though you may think that insurance companies exist to care for those who are injured, they often try to avoid paying by any means possible. These companies are businesses first and foremost and wish to protect their budgets before their customers. Their tactics can be alarming and even aggressive under certain circumstances.

They may make it seem like an urgent matter for you to speak with them, but it is important to know that you have time to speak with your attorney before you contact them. There is no time requirement for you to make a statement, so it is best to wait until your attorney can help. During these phone calls, insurance company representatives often try to get individuals to inadvertently waive their rights or admit fault. If you accidentally do this, your entire case will be void.

Insurance companies may also ask invasive questions to try to get you to admit that something else caused your injuries. In some scenarios, they will have you followed by an investigator to ensure that your activities match your alleged injuries.

As distracted driving attorneys, we have seen these tactics hundreds of times. We can speak to insurance companies on your behalf to ensure that your statement does not ruin your case. By allowing us to handle these interactions, you preserve your case while eliminating their incessant attempts to contact you.

Common Injuries in a Distracted Driving Accident

Though all collisions are different, there are some injuries that are common in distracted driving accidents. It is important to know about these injuries so that you can identify and treat them if you are in an accident. Common distracted driving injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Road rash
  • PTSD

Any of these conditions can be serious and affect your life in the long term. It is important to seek medical attention and to retain all receipts and records from your treatment. Your settlement should cover all medical expenses associated with the accident, even those accrued before you won your case.

What to Do After an Accident With a Distracted Driver

If you get into an accident with a distracted driver, you will likely feel surprised and unsure of how to proceed. Having a plan in place can help you to react appropriately to the situation and preserve your future claim. It can also ensure that you do everything in your power to preserve your health and wellness.

If you are in an accident with a distracted driver, follow these steps:

  1. Assess yourself for injuries. If you are bleeding significantly, slipping in and out of consciousness, or cannot feel parts of your body, remain where you are until help arrives. If you feel capable of moving safely, you can tend to any passengers in your car. When the initial danger has passed, remove yourself from the car and get to a safe space.
  2. Exchange details with the other driver, including driver’s license, insurance, and contact information. Note anything significant that they say, including any information that could be considered an admission of guilt. This includes any apologies.
  3. Take photos of the damage to the vehicles, the surrounding area, and any debris. Take photos of the injuries that you sustained as well as any injuries that the other driver has.
  4. Get a name, contact information, and a brief recap from any witnesses.
  5. Take note of any establishments nearby that have cameras. Take photos of the signs and traffic lights that are in the area as well.
  6. Call your lawyer.

Having a plan can help to make these situations less frightening. Though you will likely feel rattled after an accident, you can minimize its impact by having a plan for what to do.

What to Expect From a Distracted Driving Attorney

When you hire a distracted driving attorney, it is important to know what to expect from them. This way, you can properly navigate your case and get the support that you need.

Above all else, a good distracted driving attorney should be experienced in cases like yours. It is important to be specific. It is best if the attorney has successfully represented clients with nearly the same experience as you had. This gives you an advantage in the courtroom.

You should also expect that your attorney will be easy to talk to. They are your most fierce advocates, so it is important to be able to speak openly with them. If you do not feel as though you can be honest, they aren’t the right attorney for your case.

Finally, you must have an attorney who fits your budget. If an attorney is too expensive or who refuses to discuss finances, you should look elsewhere. Legitimate attorneys are upfront about their pricing.

Contact Franks Gerkin Ponitz & Greeley

When it comes to distracted driving in Boone County, no firm is more qualified than our team at Franks Gerkin Ponitz & Greeley. We have seen every kind of distracted driving case, and we are confident that we can help you through this process.

For more information, please contact Franks Gerkin Ponitz & Greeley online today.

Translate »