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UPDATE: Punitive Damages Could Be Available for Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents

 Posted on December 06, 2021 in Car Accidents

Rockford personal injury attorneys

Originally published: October 24, 2018 -- Updated: December 6, 2021

UPDATE: While punitive damages, as described below, may be available in some cases, these types of damages are generally only awarded in situations where a person committed an egregious violation of the law or knowingly acted in a way that put others at risk of serious harm. While punitive damages may be available in some car accident cases involving distracted driving, they may also be awarded in cases where a drunk driver caused injuries to others, since all drivers should be aware of the dangers of driving while intoxicated.

Punitive damages may apply in certain types of situations, but other types of damages are available in most car accidents that were caused by a negligent driver or other parties who were at fault for a collision. These usually include economic damages that address the financial losses that a person experienced because of their injuries, including medical expenses, income they lost due to an inability to work while recovering from an accident, and physical or mental disabilities that have affected their future income-earning ability and career prospects. Non-economic damages may also be awarded, and these may address the ways a victim and their loved ones have been personally affected, such as the physical pain and suffering they have experienced and the emotional trauma that has affected their overall well-being.

Following a car accident, victims will want to make sure they fully understand the ways they have been affected and the types of damages they may be able to recover. The lawyers of Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of Schwartz Injury Law can help calculate the full value of damages suffered by car accident victims, and we will provide representation during legal proceedings to ensure that a person and their family will be properly compensated. Contact our Winnebago County car accident attorneys at 815-215-7561 to arrange a free consultation and get help with your case.

Cell phone use—particularly texting while driving—has become a serious problem in America. In fact, the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 1.2 million accidents are caused by texting and driving each year. Those numbers, however, may be far lower than the reality because the police rarely investigate to determine whether or not an accident was caused by cell phone use. However, skilled auto accident attorneys can help to uncover this information and may even be able to help their clients seek punitive damages for their injuries.

Why Texting and Driving Accidents Are So Serious

Studies that have been conducted on distracted drivers have suggested that cell phone use one of the most dangerous forms of distraction. In fact, one study found that, while the body tries to compensate for other forms of distraction through a flight or fight reaction, that same compensation is not present when using a cell phone and driving. This is because the brain relies heavily on hand-eye coordination to activate this defense mechanism, and texting takes that coordination away. As a result, the accidents that occur due to texting and driving often cause serious injuries.

Your Injuries and Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are not often seen in auto accident cases. However, when a driver “willfully and wantonly” causes harm to another person, such as in accidents with drinking and driving or the use of a cell phone, victims may be due added punitive damages. Unfortunately, obtaining such damages is not an easy task. Knowledge of the law and of penal codes is required. This is why every victim who suspects that texting or talking on the phone while driving may have been a factor in their accident should seek skilled and experienced legal assistance.

Contact a Rockford Personal Injury Lawyer 

At Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of Schwartz Injury Law, we understand how the law applies to texting or talking on a cell phone while driving. We also know that precedence in previous rulings indicates that victims can—and often should—pursue punitive damages if they suspect cell phone use was a factor in their accident. Our experienced Winnebago County distracted driving accident lawyers also have the knowledge and resources needed to fully investigate your case. We will examine the details to determine if you may be due punitive damages and will protect your rights every step of the way. Get the representation you deserve. Schedule a free initial consultation by calling 815-215-7561 today.






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