A Michigan distracted driving accident lawyer can help if you were injured in a car accident by a distracted motorist.  Distracted driving is negligent driving.

When another driver is careless, reckless, or malicious on the road and causes a crash, you should not have to cover your required medical treatment, property damage, lost wages, and other associated costs alone.

However, the legal path to pursue compensation is often complex. A skilled and compassionate attorney could help by listening to your and building a claim for compensation.

What is Distracted Driving?

The term “distracted driving” refers to the activity of a vehicle driver while operating a motor vehicle.  It is when the driver is engaged in activity that is a distraction from the primary task of driving.  It also puts the driver at an increased risk for an auto accident.

In Michigan, the most common types of distracted driving include texting, talking to passengers or on the phone, adjusting vehicle controls, eating or drinking, and using GPS.

Going further, are four types of driver distractions. They are:

  • Visual distractions, or looking away from the roadway.  Examples are looking at a cell phone or searching for an item that fell on the car floor.  It also includes looking away to talk with another passenger, reading maps and directions.
  • Auditory distractions, or hearing something not related to driving.  An example would be listening to the car radio at a high volume.
  • Manual distractions, which are using the hands for something other than driving the vehicle.  This includes texting while driving and playing with dashboard instruments.  Personal grooming and eating while driving a car are also major manual distractions.
  • Cognitive distractions.  These are when the driver is thinking about something other than driving.  Simply, not paying attention to the task of driving.

Each type of distraction is a danger to the driver, passengers, and other drivers.  Motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians are also at risk of injury.

Does Michigan have a Texting while Driving Law?

Yes, Michigan does have a specific statute that applies to distracted driving and texting.  MCLA  257.602b prohibits drivers from reading, manually typing, or sending a text message while driving.  This includes operating a motor vehicle on any street or highway in the state.  The law makes texting and driving illegal.

The police can pull over a texting driver even if no other driving offense was being committed.  The driver can be issued a ticket for violating the statute.  It is not illegal to text at a red light.

When a texting driver is involved in a car accident, the penalties are more severe.  Punishments can involve a fine, and up to 4 points on the driving record.  The crash caused an injury or death,  jail time can be imposed by the court.

Michigan Distracted Driving Car Accident Statistics

The line chart below shows the number of crashes with injuries or fatalities in distracted driving accidents from 2012-2015 in the United States. Comparing the change of accidents from year to year, the largest swing came in 2015 when there were nearly 70,000 additional accidents compared to the previous year.

United States distracted driving accident statistics chart - Buckfire Law

  • 2012: 1,665,006
  • 2013: 1,621,202
  • 2014: 1,678,056
  • 2015: 1,747,539

Each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The pie chart below shows the distribution of fatality types for accidents that involve distracted drivers in the United States in 2017. Most distracted driver accidents are most harmful to the drivers of the vehicles. People not included in the automobile are responsible for approximately 20% of all fatalities from distracted drivers.

United States Distracted Driver Accident Fatalities Chart - Michigan Accident Lawyers

  • Driver: 62.89%
  • Passenger: 18.21%
  • Pedestrian: 15.98%
  • Pedalcyclist: 2.24%
  • Other: 0.67%

Can I Sue a Distracted Driver for a Car Accident?

Yes, you can sue a distracted driver for your injuries after a car accident in Michigan.

First, an injured individual can pursue compensation through the state’s no-fault insurance coverage. This might cover lost wages, medical expenses, attendant care, and other benefits. However, depending on the severity of a person’s injuries, this coverage might not be enough to fully compensate someone for their losses.

Second, the injury victim can sue the distracted driver in a third-party negligence case.  These cases demand settlements for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other non-financial type losses.  The case can be filed against the negligent driver and the owner of the automobile.

Our experienced distracted driving attorneys will assess the facts of your accident.  If you have a case, we will file a lawsuit for you.

How do you Prove Fault in a Distracted Driving Accident Case?

Every driver has an obligation to drive safely and reasonably. Therefore, when a driver neglects this duty and causes a car accident, anyone injured has a legal right to pursue compensation.

Unfortunately, distractions are some of the most common reasons for crashes throughout the state. Whether a driver is messing with the radio, texting, talking to passengers or on the phone, or eating, there are numerous possibilities for a driver to become distracted.

There are several ways to prove a driver was distracted and this caused the accident.  First, a driver hit by the other vehicle often sees the negligent driver not paying attention at the time of the crash.  Passengers in both vehicles can provide testimony about the distraction.

Second, our lawyers will subpoena the cell phone bill of the at-fault driver.  We identify the date and time of the accident and compare it to the phone bill.  Quite often, we find the driver was on the phone or texting at the time of the crash.  This is great evidence to prove the driver was distracted.

A Michigan distracted driving car accidents lawyer at our firm will fully determine fault for a claim.

Comparative Fault for a Crash

Sometimes, a defendant will allege that the injured claimant also carries responsibility for a car crash. The state follows a comparative fault statue which, essentially, uses each party’s percentage of fault to determine the amount of damages they could recover.  We vigorously defend our clients in these situations to prove they had no fault for the crash.

Contact our Michigan Distracted Driving Car Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one was injured due to a distracted driver, call our law firm today.

We will help you file your no-fault insurance claims and pursue compensation from the negligent driver.

There are strict time deadlines for filing Michigan car accident lawsuits.

Call Buckfire Law now to get your case filed on time! There are no legal fees unless you get your settlement.

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