Distracted driving seems more common than ever these days—probably because there are so many more things to distract drivers than ever before. From texting and talking on cell phones to wrangling the kids or attempting to multi-task while driving, taking your focus off the road can often have significant and disastrous consequences for yourself, your passengers, and others who share the road with you. Following an accident where a distracted driver’s negligence causes you significant physical injury and property damage, understanding the law is crucial so that you can recover the compensation that you deserve.
According to a recent local news report, four people were injured following a two-vehicle accident. Local authorities reported that a Dodge was traveling east when the driver handed her daughter a drink that was in the backseat. The driver ran off the south side of the roadway and then overcorrected, which caused the vehicle to swerve into the westbound lane. The driver of a Chevrolet was traveling west when she crashed into the Dodge as it swung into her lane. The driver of the Dodge and her two passengers were transported to a local hospital for treatment of back, leg, and hand injuries. The driver of the Chevrolet suffered a chest injury and was also transferred to a hospital for treatment. The accident remains under investigation.
Unfortunately, Indiana is no stranger to similar types of distracted driving incidents. In fact, in 2018, more than 6,000 accidents involved a distracted driver. In 2020, Indiana became the 22nd state in the country to enact legislation prohibiting drivers from holding a smartphone or similar device while operating a vehicle. The law, however, only prohibits drivers from holding the device, so they are still permitted to use hands-free and Bluetooth devices.
Although Indiana’s new distracted driving law does not address other types of distracted driving or activities associated with distracted driving, it does not necessarily mean that these activities will not be used against a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if you are hit by a driver who was negligently applying makeup while driving, or as in the case above, handing her daughter a drink and driving distractedly, it could be used as evidence of negligent behavior that contributed to causing an accident.
In Indiana, drivers who receive citations for violating the state’s distracted driving statute are also automatically presumed negligent. In court, the distracted driver would have the responsibility of proving that they did not cause the accident. This operates in favor of plaintiffs, especially those who are hit by distracted drivers since the law prohibits distracted driving and holds that accidents caused by distracted driving accidents are most likely caused by negligence.
Do You Need an Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you or someone you know was recently injured or killed in an Indiana car accident or personal injury accident, contact attorney Burton A. Padove at Padove Law for assistance. Our firm has years of experience defending the injured and investigating the circumstances that lead up to accidents. To schedule a free initial consultation today, contact us at 877-446-5294.