Winnebago County Distracted Driver Accident Lawyers

Every year in the United States, car accidents are cited as a leading cause of accidental injuries and deaths. These incidents happen for many reasons, but the most reported cause of vehicle crashes in the country is distracted driving. Winnebago County drivers must know their responsibilities behind the wheel, one of the most important being the avoidance of distractions while operating their vehicle. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to use this level of reasonable care and cause devastating accidents.

Winnebago County Distracted Driver Accident Lawyers

Experienced Legal Representation for Victims of Distracted Driver Accidents in Winnebago County, IL

If you or a loved one suffered injuries from a distracted driver accident in Winnebago County, it’s best to consult an attorney you can trust as soon as possible. You must demonstrate liability for your accident before you can recover any compensation from the driver at fault through a claim against their insurance policy or a civil suit. The team at Franks Gerkin Ponitz Greeley is ready to provide the comprehensive legal counsel and ongoing support you need to reach the best possible outcome to your impending legal proceedings.

Franks Gerkin Ponitz Greeley takes the time to learn as much as we can about a client’s experience and the effects their accident has had on their life. No two car accidents are exactly alike, and no two victims will have the exact same experience. We believe in client-focused legal counsel for every case we accept, and we are confident in our team’s ability to deliver satisfying results in a distracted driver accident claim.

Understanding the Danger of Distracted Driving

The inherent risks of careless and/or inattentive driving should be obvious to any reasonable adult. Unfortunately, many drivers do not realize that many of the things they may do regularly behind the wheel can amount to dangerous distractions. A few examples include:

  • Smoking or vaping. Many drivers smoke cigarettes or use vaping devices while driving. This can present several risks, and while many drivers engage in these activities without issue, there is always a chance for a cigarette to fall and cause a burn and/or the driver to panic, and electronic vaping devices may malfunction or present other risks to users.
  • Eating while driving. It’s relatively common for some commuters to pick up food on their way to work or on their way home. Eating while driving requires the driver’s hands and attention when they should be focused on safely operating their vehicle.
  • Conversations with passengers. While most drivers are able to have simple conversations in the car with their passengers, heated arguments and emotionally charged discussions can divert the drivers’ attention away from the road ahead.
  • Cognitive distraction. Safe driving requires not only the driver’s visual attention and manual operation of the vehicle’s controls but also their active cognitive attention. A driver can become distracted thinking about a stressful day at work or a recent personal issue, and if they become too absorbed in thought behind the wheel, they can easily cause an accident.
  • Cell phone use, which is by far the leading cause of all distracted driving accidents in Winnebago County and throughout Illinois. Cell phone use requires the use of the driver’s eyes, hands, and attention when all three should be focused on the safe operation of the vehicle. State law prohibits the use of any handheld electronics, including phones, while driving a motor vehicle.

Any form of distraction can cause a catastrophic accident. A few seconds of inattentive driving can essentially equate to hundreds of feet driving blind, depending on the speed of the vehicle. If a driver causes any kind of accident resulting in harm to another person, this would be a clear example of negligence, and they would face liability for the damage they caused.

Proving Liability for Your Damages

If you suspect the driver who caused your recent car accident was distracted behind the wheel, you may struggle to determine how to prove they were not paying attention. The first step in recovering from any car accident in Winnebago is typically to file a claim against the insurance policy of the responsible driver. If this isn’t enough to fully compensate the victim’s losses, they have the right to file a personal injury claim to seek recompense for outstanding damages insurance won’t cover. Some victims will need to proceed directly to personal injury actions due to the defendants’ lack of auto insurance.

Before you can file a claim with the insurance company and/or a personal injury claim in response to your recent car accident, you must clearly show exactly how the accident happened, who is responsible, and the full extent of the resulting damage. Your Winnebago County distracted driver accident attorney will be a crucial asset in this effort, helping you secure evidence and witness testimony to prove your case. For example, an experienced attorney can likely secure the defendant’s cell phone records to prove they were using it inappropriately in the seconds prior to the accident. Eyewitness testimony can also be incredibly helpful for proving exactly how your accident happened and how the driver at fault was distracted.

Another important detail to remember about proving liability for a personal injury is Illinois’ law of modified comparative negligence. If a plaintiff is partially responsible for causing the damages cited in their personal injury claim, the judge handling the case will assign them a percentage of fault. If the plaintiff’s fault is not more than 50%, they can still receive recompense for their damages but lose a portion of their award equal to their portion of fault. For example, if a judge deems a plaintiff to be 10% at fault in a $100,000 claim, this could result in the plaintiff losing $10,000 of their case award.

Compensation for Damages in a Distracted Driving Claim

Illinois law permits a plaintiff in any personal injury case to seek repayment of all the monetary losses suffered due to the defendant’s actions. Most victims are able to file insurance claims against at-fault drivers for some initial recovery, but a basic coverage policy is unlikely to provide much more than limited compensation for medical bills and vehicle repair costs. With a personal injury claim, a plaintiff can seek recompense for:

  • All medical care costs incurred due to the accident. The plaintiff must be able to show the medical care they required directly resulted from the defendant’s actions.
  • Long-term medical expenses. Some accidents cause devastating injuries with permanent effects. You can hold the liable driver accountable for any and all the medical care you require due to the accident they caused, both immediate and future.
  • Lost income. If your accident caused you to miss work while you recovered from your injuries, an experienced Winnebago County distracted driver accident attorney can help you prove the extent of the wages you lost out on. You can also seek repayment of the value of accrued paid time off you were forced to use.
  • Lost earning potential. Unfortunately, some accidents are so damaging that victims are left unable to support themselves. You could hold the defendant responsible for the money you would have earned if your accident had not happened.
  • Property damage. The driver at fault’s insurance may cover some of your vehicle repair costs, but all remaining property losses can be included in a civil action as economic losses.

Beyond your claimable economic damages, you can seek fair compensation because of the traumatic and painful nature of your experience. You can request pain and suffering compensation for your injuries, reflecting their scope and severity, their psychological impact, and any severe, long-term, or permanent effects you face.

Illinois state law does not cap or limit pain and suffering compensation in personal injury claims, and your Winnebago County distracted driver accident attorney will be invaluable in helping you determine a realistic amount to seek with your claim. When you choose Franks Gerkin Ponitz Greeley to represent you in any personal injury case, our goal is to guide you during your recovery efforts as swiftly as possible and maximize the final compensation you obtain.

Find Your Legal Team Now

Time is a critical concern for anyone considering a personal injury claim in Winnebago County. A distracted driver accident attorney can help their client gather the evidence needed to prove fault and secure witness testimony while their recollections are as fresh and reliable as possible. Experienced attorneys can also coordinate expert witness testimony for their clients, helping to clarify the most complicated aspects of their claims. The sooner you secure legal representation from a reliable attorney, the easier it will be to approach all your recovery efforts with confidence.

Our team strives to help every client we represent maximize the results of all the legal proceedings they must endure while recovering from distracted driving accidents. If it is time to discuss your options for legal recourse in response to a distracted driver accident, Franks Gerkin Ponitz Greeley is here to help. Get in touch with us today and schedule your consultation with a Winnebago distracted driver accident attorney and find out how we can empower your recovery.

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