Distracted driving, such as texting and driving, has been identified as one of the car crash causes in Washington. Notably, it has been related to car accidents involving teenage drivers.
Previous posts here have discussed the basics of negligence and the elements that are usually necessary to prove in order to recover from a liable party in a personal injury lawsuit resulting from a car accident. Our readers may remember that the final element in this list is usually that of damages. That is, the plaintiff must be able to show what injuries were caused by the defendant's negligence, and that te plaintiff has suffered some loss due to the injuries. If the remainder of the case is proved, the amount of damages just needs to be calculated and the verdict rendered.
People who have been injured in a car accident in Seattle are likely well aware that they may have a right to be compensated if another person was negligent in causing the crash that led to the injury. To do so, however, the injured party will have to go through the process of filing a civil lawsuit in the proper state court. This means dealing with the multiple requirements and procedures that come with utilizing the legal system. Previous posts here have mentioned some of the elements of negligence that will need to be proven during the case, but there are other facets of a legal proceeding before one even gets to the trial phase.
By now, Seattle residents are likely aware that distracted driving is a problem, both in Washington and around the country. The dangers of distracted driving are also pretty clear; the news is full of reports of people who have been involved in serious, sometimes fatal car accidents due to a driver looking at a phone or being distracted from the task of driving in some other way. But, in reality, how many people are there on the roads who are driving while also dealing with some distraction or another, thereby putting everyone at risk?
From the time we are children, we learn that being careless can bring about unwanted consequences. When we were told to pick up our toys so our parents didn't trip and "break their necks," we were getting a lesson not only in carelessness, but also in causation. The fact that the act of leaving the toys out (or alternatively phrased, the inaction of not picking them up,) might be the cause of injury to someone we cared about was meant to instill some kind of sense of responsibility for what we did.
Last week, we touched very briefly on the fact that the legal concept of negligence is often used by parties who need to be compensated for injuries incurred in a motorcycle accident. The same is true when other motor vehicles are involved in crashes as well. When people talk about a car crash having been someone's 'fault,' what they generally are referring to is the fact that some individual acted negligently.
It might seem obvious for drivers in Washington State and across the nation to pay strict attention to the road and avoid behaviors that might lead to them being a distracted driver and causing an accident. However, the number of people who are texting and driving and committing other behaviors that involve smartphones and other devices is increasing. Invariably, this leads to the growing statistics of people who are injured or killed in an auto accident. It is beneficial to know why people look away from the road and at their devices when driving. Researchers are seeking to determine the cause that sparks the potentially damaging effect.
A car accident can happen to anyone in Washington State and come without warning. No one is immune to the injuries and fatalities that can result from a car crash. Even those whose job it is to investigate and help people who have been in an auto accident can be in a crash themselves, suffering the aftereffects. A crash can have wide-ranging ramifications and those who have been affected need to know their legal rights even if their loved ones were a first-responders.
Few daily activities are riskier for Washingtonians than getting in a car and hitting the road. In fact, over five million of those trips ended in a car accident nationwide in 2012. Those accidents left myriad types of damage and injury in their wake.
Seattle is full of cars. Some of them are being driven by people talking on the phone, eating their lunches, thinking about work or affected by alcohol. Some of these folks have insurance, some do not. Some are driving their own cars, some are driving other people's cars. Thus, when this colorful cast of characters gets in a car accident, an interesting question can emerge: who pays when a car accident involves a borrowed car?