Buncombe County Distracted Driving Attorney
Since many people multitask through their days at work, home, or school, they assume they can do the same thing as they drive. However, there is a significant difference between multitasking behind a desk in a static environment and multitasking behind the wheel in a constantly changing environment. Operating heavy machinery, like a motor vehicle, requires total concentration. So, it’s no wonder that distracted drivers kill over 3,000 people a year.
Unlike many drivers, Lakota Denton, a dedicated Asheville distracted driving lawyer, never loses focus. Instead, everything our team does is geared toward obtaining maximum compensation for your serious injuries. After a thorough case evaluation, we quickly identify your legal options. Then, our dedicated team uses proven methods to collect evidence that supports your claims and refutes possible insurance company defenses. Since we work hard to lay such a solid foundation, we usually obtain results exceeding our clients’ expectations.
Why Choose Us
The bottom line in personal injury claims is results. If an Asheville distracted driving accident lawyer has obtained life-changing results in the past, as Lakota has, there is a good chance he will obtain those same results for you and your family.
Excellent results do not just happen. Like the legal claims we take to court, excellent results are based on a solid foundation of:
- Experience: Over the years, Lakota Denton and his team have successfully resolved hundreds of cases in Buncombe County and nearby jurisdictions. Each case helps us refine our proven methods. Usually, we are able to resolve injury claims out of court. However, our experience also includes trial experience, so we are ready, willing, and able to go the distance for you.
- Dedication: When you focus on one thing, you’d better do it well. The Lakota Denton team focuses on personal injury cases. We are committed to upholding the legal and financial rights of accident victims. So, we hold responsible parties accountable in court and obtain maximum compensation for victims.
- Accessibility: The Law Office of Lakota Denton is not a one-man band. Instead, it is a team of professionals who all do their jobs very well. However, Lakota always assumes primary responsibility for all work done in your case and is always available to address your questions and concerns. Some firms over-delegate work to less experienced professionals. We do not do that.
The compensation in a distracted driving or other personal injury case usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and non economic losses, such as pain and suffering.
What is Distracted Driving?
Hand-held device distraction gets most of the attention in this area. Safety campaigns like “Talk, Text, Crash” are quite common in many states. Indeed, hand-held gadgets combine all three kinds of distracted driving, which are:
- Manual (hand off the wheel),
- Visual (eyes off the road), and
- Cognitive (mind off driving.)
However, hand-held devices only cause about 10 percent of the aforementioned distracted driving-related fatal collisions. Other kinds of distracted driving are much more common.
Many drivers, especially rideshare operators, freely use hands-free devices as they drive. But “hands-free” is not the same thing as “risk-free.” In fact, the opposite is true. Because these gadgets are visually and cognitively distracting, driving while using a hands-free device is as hazardous as driving drunk.
Other kinds of distracted driving include eating and/or drinking, talking to passengers while driving, and adjusting vehicle controls, like the radio station or air conditioner.
Distracted Driving Crash Injuries
Today’s cars and trucks are almost unbelievably heavy and fast. Therefore, distracted driving and other vehicle collisions kill or seriously injure millions of Americans every year. Some of these serious injuries include:
- Head Injuries: The most advanced airbags, seatbelts, and other restraint systems cannot possibly absorb all the force in a high-speed collision. Many personal injuries heal, at least for the most part. But brain injuries are permanent. At best, doctors and therapists can only minimize the symptoms of these injuries.
- Broken Bones: The aforementioned restraint systems sometimes protect the head and chest. But they do not protect arms and legs. Instead, these limbs often strike solid objects during collisions, like the steering column or dashboard. Since these impacts crush bones, doctors must surgically reconstruct them. Therefore, some loss of function, like a reduced range of motion in a shoulder, is usually inevitable.
- Internal Injuries: The force in a car crash also causes internal organs to grind and bump against one another. The resulting abrasions often cause extensive bleeding since these organs do not have protective skin layers. This internal bleeding is hard to spot and even harder to stop.
The medical bills alone in a catastrophic (life-threatening) injury case usually exceed $100,000. To help ensure that victims get the treatment they need, as opposed to the treatment they can afford, an Asheville distracted driving lawyer usually connects these victims with doctors who charge nothing upfront.
Medical bills, and other accident-related bills, must be paid eventually. Furthermore, since nothing can reverse the effects of these serious and permanent injuries, car crash victims need money to move on with their lives. So, our team focuses on obtaining compensation for these injuries.
Sometimes, the approach involves negligence per se, which is a violation of a safety law. However, North Carolina has very limited distracted driving safety laws. For example, the device distraction law only bans texting and driving, except for drivers under 18. A hand-held ban applies to these drivers.
Therefore, an Asheville distracted driving lawyer must normally use circumstantial evidence to prove negligence or a lack of care. Evidence on this point often includes:
- Device use logs,
- Erratic driving prior to the crash,
- Witness statements,
- A hands-free, hand-held, or other device in the front seat,
- Leftover food or drink in the passenger area,
- Medical bills, and
- Tortfeasor’s statements about distraction.
The burden of proof in a negligence case is only a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). So, a little proof goes a long way.
An Asheville distracted driving lawyer must frequently act quickly to preserve this evidence. Device use logs are a good example. Frequently, the tortfeasor “accidentally” deletes these records. To keep that from happening, lawyers must promptly send spoliation letters to tortfeasors. These letters create a legal duty to preserve all potential physical evidence for inspection.
A bare-bones ordinary negligence or negligence per se claim often is not enough to obtain maximum compensation. Comparative fault is the most common legal defense in distracted driving claims. This doctrine shifts accident blame from the tortfeasor to the victim. To refute this defense, a Buncombe County distracted driving lawyer must clearly show that the tortfeasor’s distraction substantially caused the crash.
Distracted driving and other car accidents turn life upside down. Amidst all this chaos, victims understandably have lots of questions about their legal and financial rights.
What are the three types of distracted driving?
The three types of distracted driving are cognitive (mind off driving), visual (eyes off the road), and manual (hand off the wheel).
Most safety experts say that hand-held devices are the most dangerous source of distracted driving. These gadgets combine all three of these types of distracted driving.
Other behavior is almost as dangerous. This behavior includes using a hands-free device while driving and eating or drinking while driving.
What do I do about crash-related medical bills?
We might hear this question more than any other one. After a crash, medical bills quickly pile up. Usually, group health insurance plans do not cover these costs, and since the victim is unable to work, there is no money coming in.
Insurance adjusters know victims are under financial duress. So, they usually make low-ball settlement offers, knowing that these victims are often forced to settle for less.
So, an Asheville distracted driving accident lawyer connects victims with top-shelf doctors who charge nothing upfront for their services. Additionally, attorneys often negotiate with medical providers and convince them to lower their fees. Due to North Carolina’s complex collateral source rule, this reduction could mean the victim gets to keep more of the settlement money.
How long do I have to file a legal action?
Most victims have two years to file legal claims. That sounds like a lot of time, but it passes quickly. Attorneys cannot rush into court before they evaluate cases and collect evidence. If they do so, the judge will most likely throw the claim out of court. Therefore, it is important to act quickly, so your Asheville distracted driving accident lawyer has plenty of time to do things the right way.
What if I was partially at fault for the wreck?
North Carolina is a pure contributory negligence state. Victims who are partially responsible for crashes are ineligible for compensation. So, it is vitally important that an Asheville distracted driving lawyer proves that the other driver substantially caused the wreck.
Why does my lawyer want to settle my case?
These resolutions benefit victim-plaintiffs. Out-of-court settlements end cases sooner, so victims get their compensation sooner and move on with their lives sooner. These settlements also give victims more control over the outcome. If a judge or jury dictates the outcome, that is often a tough pill to swallow. Finally, out-of-court settlements avoid risky trials. There is no way to tell how a judge may rule or what conclusions a jury may reach.
Count on a Diligent Buncombe County Lawyer
Since car crashes cause such serious injuries, victims need and deserve substantial compensation. But only an experienced Asheville distracted driving lawyer, like Lakota Denton, can obtain this compensation in court.
To schedule your free consultation, go online now or call us at 828-333-5996.