Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted drivers injure thousands of Missouri residents each year. According to the state Department of Transportation, 80 percent of auto accidents involve some form of this conduct. The car crash attorneys at the Law Office of Matt Uhrig can help you if you were hurt by a distracted driver near Columbia or elsewhere in the state. Missouri law gives you the right to seek compensation for your injuries, and we can help you pursue the money you deserve.Seek Compensation Through a Negligence Claim
A person harmed in a car accident caused by a distracted driver may file a negligence lawsuit. The success of many of these claims depends on whether the victim can prove that the defendant, usually another driver, took some careless or reckless action that unreasonably endangered others. Some examples of this behavior in the context of distracted driving might be texting, eating, or reading while behind the wheel. A driver who does not give his or her full attention to what is happening on the road may dramatically increase the risk of a crash. Evidence that victims can use to prove the defendant’s behavior often includes physical evidence collected from the scene, electronic data like phone records, or testimony from witnesses who saw the accident.
Although the ordinary duty to avoid unreasonable behavior applies in most auto crash cases, there may be other standards of care that a defendant may owe an individual. For instance, if the victim was a passenger on a bus, and the distracted driver responsible for the accident was the bus driver, a heightened standard of care may be applicable because of the bus company’s status as a common carrier. Since the driver was an employee of an entity, moreover, it may be appropriate to hold the company indirectly liable for his or her careless actions in that situation.
Once the victim establishes duty and breach, he or she must also prove causation. This consists of two distinct concepts. Factual causation exists when the victim would have avoided harm if the defendant’s behavior had not fallen below the required standard of care. The second half of causation, legal cause, centers on foreseeability. If the victim’s injuries were more likely than not a probable and foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s behavior, legal causation likely will be shown.
Although there may be multiple reasons why an accident happened, as long as the defendant was one of them, he or she can be held at least partially liable. Even if the victim was partially at fault for his or her own injuries, he or she is not necessarily barred from recovery. Missouri has adopted the rule of pure comparative negligence, which allows an individual to recover a portion of his or her damages even if he or she was partly responsible for a crash. For instance, if the jury determines that the victim is 25 percent at fault for the accident, and the defendant is 75 percent at fault, the compensation award can extend up to 75 percent of the total damages sought by the victim.Consult an Auto Accident Attorney in Jefferson City
The aftermath of a crash can be a confusing time, especially if you were seriously hurt. If you have reason to believe that a distracted driver near Jefferson City caused your injuries, talk to an experienced lawyer as soon as you can. The auto accident lawyers at the Law Office of Matt Uhrig can examine the facts of your situation, determine who holds the liability for your harm, and seek the compensation that you deserve. Fill out our online contact form or call (573) 657-2050 to schedule a free case evaluation.