If another driver was texting or talking to someone on the phone and caused an accident, you should contact DeMayo Law Offices. We might be able to represent you in your case and pursue the compensation you need for the injuries you suffered.
Driver distractions are everywhere. Sometimes, it’s hard for people to focus when they’re on the road. Many have long commutes and think they need to multitask to get things done. Others believe checking their text messages isn’t a dangerous behavior. Unfortunately, texting or talking redirects a driver’s focus and attention from the task of driving to something else. Their brain can’t register what’s happening in front of them, preventing them from reacting quickly and appropriately.
Cell Phone Laws in North Carolina
North Carolina banned drivers from using their mobile devices for text messaging and electronic mail. N.C. Statute § 20-137.4A prohibits operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile phone to:
- Read a text message or electronic mail stored or transmitted to the device; or
- Manually text or enter multiple letters to communicate with someone else.
There isn’t a law against talking on a cell phone for most drivers. However, individuals under 18 years old and school bus drivers can never use a cell phone for any purpose while the vehicle they’re operating is in motion. The only exception is if they need to use their mobile device for an emergency.
Dangers Associated with Talking or Texting While Driving
Even though talking to someone on the phone isn’t illegal while you’re driving, it’s still dangerous. When a driver’s mind is paying attention to a conversation they’re having, it’s harder to notice the scene ahead. Their reaction time is much slower because they’re not focused on operating their vehicle. If traffic suddenly stops or another car swerves into their lane, it takes longer for them to realize it and maneuver out of the way or slam on their brakes.
Texting is even worse. Whether sending or reading a text, a person’s eyes are off the road for an average of five seconds. If they’re traveling at 55 miles per hour, that’s enough time to drive the entire length of a football field. While someone’s eyes are on their cell phone, they’re not looking at what’s happening right in front of them, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
Common Injuries Caused by Talking or Texting While Driving
Using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle is just as risky as driving under the influence of alcohol. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize how much it can affect their driving abilities. According to statistics, drivers are 23 times more likely to get into an accident if they’re texting behind the wheel.
Severe injuries and fatalities can occur as a result of a driver’s cell phone use. If a person looks down at their device, their vehicle could drift into oncoming traffic, into another lane, or sideswipe another car. The most common injuries associated with this type of accident are:
- Broken bones
- Concussion or whiplash
- Traumatic brain injury
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal damage
- Psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Cuts and bruises
Some motorcycle accidents have fatal results. Bike riders don’t have the same protection as occupants of cars and trucks. They’re more likely to get ejected from the motorcycle or get struck by flying debris. In 2019, there were 5,014 motorcyclist fatalities in the United States. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, you might be entitled to compensation from a wrongful death claim. DeMayo Law Offices can assist you with your case and determine the best options for holding the at-fault driver accountable.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, there are steps you need to take in the immediate aftermath and the weeks, months, and even years after. Your injuries are likely severe, so you should call 911 and request an ambulance to transfer you to the hospital. Don’t leave the scene and wait before seeking initial treatment.
Insurance companies don’t blindly approve insurance claims. They typically look out for their interests over the interests of claimants. They want to avoid large settlement payouts to save money. If they see that you delayed medical care, they can use that as evidence that you didn’t get hurt in the accident or the injury isn’t that serious. That’s a valid reason to deny your claim or provide a low settlement offer.
After your initial medical evaluation, follow your doctor’s orders. If they recommend ongoing treatment of your injuries, make the necessary appointments and attend each one. Once you recover or your doctor determines further treatment won’t improve your condition, you can stop.
After a motorcycle accident, you should also hire an experienced lawyer from DeMayo Law Offices. We can handle the legal aspects of your case so you can focus on healing. You shouldn’t take on the responsibility of an insurance claim or lawsuit when you’re already dealing with the stress of expensive medical, keeping your household afloat if you’re off work, and healing your injuries.
Evidence is also a critical part of the legal process. Keep copies of every document associated with the accident and your injuries. DeMayo Law Offices can also obtain the available evidence necessary to prove the other driver was at fault. Some of the evidence we might need includes:
- Police reports
- The at-fault driver’s cell phone records
- Video surveillance
- Photos of the accident scene
- Eyewitness statements
- Your medical records and medical bills
- Damage reports for all vehicles involved in the crash
You should not be liable for any losses you suffered. The other driver’s careless actions led to your injuries, and they should face the consequences of their poor decisions.
You Might Be Entitled to Compensation from an Insurance Claim
North Carolina uses a traditional fault system when it comes to car insurance. The party that causes an accident becomes financially responsible for the victim’s injuries and losses. All drivers must carry liability insurance with minimum limits of:
- $30,000 for bodily injury
- $25,000 for property damage
When you file a liability claim, you can pursue compensation for these losses:
- Mental anguish
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Physical impairment
- Household expenses
- Diminished quality of life
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
The attorneys from DeMayo Law Offices know how important it is to recover the maximum available compensation, so you’re not forced to pay for any expenses out-of-pocket. We will aggressively pursue the full and fair settlement you deserve from the insurance company. If they deny your claim or refuse to negotiate an adequate amount, we can file a lawsuit.
Seeking Compensation from a Lawsuit
Lawsuits are complex and time-consuming procedures. North Carolina requires injured victims to file lawsuits within three years from the accident date and two (2) years from the date of death. This time period is known as a statute of limitations. It is a strict deadline you must follow, or you could lose your right to hold the at-fault driver liable in court.
Contributory negligence could prevent you from recovering any amount of compensation. A jury will look at the actions of every driver involved in an accident and assign a percentage of fault. If they determine you were partially to blame for the crash, even just 1%, you wouldn’t be entitled to a monetary award. So it’s vital that you never admit fault after a motorcycle accident.
You could attempt to pursue punitive damages in a lawsuit. Unlike other losses, such as medical bills, an award of punitive damages is not a form of compensation. Instead, it aims to punish the defendant and deter similar misconduct in the future. A jury might award punitive damages if you provide clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault driver acted with:
- Malice; or
- Willful or wanton conduct.
It can be challenging to recover this type of monetary award, so it would be best to hire an experienced attorney to handle your case. DeMayo Law Offices has the resources to locate relevant evidence that shows this type of behavior and prove to a jury that you deserve punitive damages.
Speak To a Compassionate and Dedicated Lawyer
DeMayo Law Offices has represented clients in Charlotte and the surrounding areas since 1992. We’ve recovered millions of dollars for accident victims since founding our firm. When you hire us, you will have access to a legal team that’s available 24/7 and will provide you with the personalized one-on-one attention you deserve.
We know what you’re going through and how traumatizing a motorcycle accident can be. It can upend your whole life, affect your job and lead to crushing medical debt. We don’t want to add more financial strain while you’re seeking justice against the at-fault driver. We will take your case on contingency, so you don’t have to pay us upfront for our legal services.
If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident due to another driver texting or talking while driving, contact DeMayo Law Offices immediately. We will meet with you for a free consultation to review your case and discuss how we can help.
Call us at (704) 333-1000 and let our legal team get you on the road to recovery.