Distracted Driving Accident Attorney in Charlotte, NC
Everyday life is full of distractions. However, when we get behind the wheel of a car, we must put these distractions aside and focus on the road. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents, both nationally and within North Carolina, including Charlotte. Driving while distracted can lead to many types of accidents, including rear-end collisions, T-bone crashes, and vehicle-pedestrian accidents.
If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, you may be looking for a distracted driving lawyer, and Riddle & Brantley may be able to help. Call (704) 486-5824 and let’s review your claim. There are no upfront costs — and we don’t get paid unless you do.
A distracted driving accident attorney at Riddle & Brantley can meet by appointment only at our convenient Charlotte location, or we can consult with you from anywhere by phone, email, text, or video conference. The consultation is free and there is no obligation. Call (704) 486-5824 and let’s review your claim.
Our Charlotte car accident attorneys are available for in-person consultation at our convenient location by appointment only, or from anywhere by phone, email, text, or video conference. We can even come to you if it’s more convenient.
Recovering Damages in Distracted Driving Accidents in Charlotte NC
Distracted driving accidents can be life-changing, and victims of these negligent acts deserve justice and compensation for their injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Riddle & Brantley’s distracted driving lawyers have more than 220+ years of combined legal experience representing victims injured by negligent drivers. If you have been injured in an accident by a distracted driver, an experienced Riddle & Brantley Charlotte personal injury lawyer can help you seek the justice you deserve for your injuries.
What is Distracted Driving?
Driver distraction is responsible for tens of thousands of accidents every year across our state. Distracted driving is defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as “any non-driving activity a person engages in while operating a motor vehicle.” Most recent data released by the NC Department of Transportation (NC DOT) for 2019 shows that 18.8% of crashes in our state involved a distracted driver. However, NC DOT cautions that because distracted driving is self-reported by drivers as a contributing circumstance to accidents, data collected by may not accurately reflect the severity of distracted driving in North Carolina.
According to the NCDOT, distracted driving is on the rise in North Carolina. Most recent traffic data from 2019 shows that distracted driving collisions, including fatal accidents, were higher in 2019 than over the previous five-year average. In 2019, there were:
- 53,541 crashes caused by distracted driving
- 154 fatalities in distracted driving collisions
- 23,467 injuries in in distracted driving accidents.
Types of Driver Distractions
Distracted driving takes many forms, and virtually any activity can become a distraction if it takes a motorist’s focus off the road. Some of the most common causes of distracted driving crashes include:
- Texting and driving
- Talking and driving
- Setting a GPS
- Adjusting the radio
- Eating or drinking
- Applying makeup
- Watching videos
Driving while distracted is more than simply dangerous – it can be deadly. At the national level, the NHTSA reports that more than 26,000 people have died in accidents caused by distracted drivers between 2012 and 2019. Distracted driving can lead to many types of accidents, including:
- Rear End Collisions: Driver distraction is a common cause of rear end accidents. Most often, a driver who is focused on their phone will fail to see that traffic ahead is coming to a stop and rear end the vehicle in front of them. When a driver’s attention is on their phone, radio, or GPS instead of on the road ahead, they lose the critical seconds needed to safely stop their vehicle in time for traffic.
- Pedestrian Accidents: Vehicle-pedestrian accidents can cause serious injuries, and even death for innocent pedestrian victims of distracted drivers. A distracted driver approaching an intersection may fail to notice a pedestrian crossing in a crosswalk, or miss a child suddenly darting out in the road. Cell phones, radios, and even talking to other passengers can take a driver’s attention off the road and cause many types of pedestrian collisions.
- Side Impact Crashes: Side impact accidents, also called T-bone accidents, can cause serious injuries at high speeds. Distracted drivers are prone to disregarding traffic signals because their attention is focused elsewhere. All too often, a distracted driver may realize too late that his or her traffic signal is red and will speed into an intersection into crossing traffic. These intersection collisions can lead to serious injuries for innocent, unsuspecting drivers or pedestrians.
- Wrong-way crashes: According to the NCDOT, wrong-way crashes on North Carolina highways increased by nearly 50 percent in 2020, even though fewer cars were on the road during the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The Highway Patrol attributed this spike in wrong-way collisions as partly caused by the distraction of COVID-19 on drivers, saying that “people were distracted, and their minds were on other things…[t]hat could definitely lead to a diver becoming disoriented and not paying attention to where they are at or where they are going.”
North Carolina Distracted Driving Laws
Cellphone use remains one of the leading causes of distracted driving. Every state has different laws regarding distracted driving, particularly for drivers who use their cell phone behind the wheel. In North Carolina, distracted drivers can face a variety of penalties under state law. Drivers under the age of 18 who are found to be using a cell phone while driving may face a $25 fine in addition to any accident-related charges. For adult drivers caught using a cell phone behind the wheel, law enforcement officers can also charge points on their drivers’ license, which may cause insurance rate increases. Adult drivers will also face a higher fine – up to $100 in addition to court costs. Finally, if a school bus driver is caught texting or emailing behind the wheel may face the highest fines of all, because they are putting children’s lives at risk.
Consequences of Distracted Driving
Although distracted drivers can face penalties under NC laws, the innocent victims of distracted driving accidents often face lifelong consequences as well. These accidents often cause serious injuries for victims, including:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Severe burns
- Quadriplegia or paraplegia
Charlotte Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers Ready to Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, it is important to hire an experienced distracted driving lawyer to fight for the compensation you deserve. In the aftermath of a distracted driving crash, you may be facing costly medical bills, and you should not have to pay these bills out of pocket. As you recover from your injuries, you may also miss work, resulting in lost wages. Distracted driving accidents also leave emotional scars as well. Because these accidents can be unexpected, traumatic, and result in serious injuries, you may feel that your life has been turned upside down. Riddle & Brantley’s Charlotte distracted driving attorneys can help you recover compensation for damages including:
- Past, current, and future medical bills related to your injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Past lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
If you have been a victim of a distracted driver, Riddle & Brantley believes you deserve justice for your injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. Contact our office at (704) 486-5824 for a free, no-cost consultation so our attorneys can review your claim for compensation today. Riddle & Brantley’s experienced distracted driving accident attorneys are dedicated to fighting for justice for Charlotte, North Carolina car accident victims, and we want to help you today.