Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of auto accidents in the U.S. Basically, distracted driving happens when the motorist engages in activities that take their focus away from the road thus preventing them from responding to road conditions and other hazards. Ultimately, this exposes them and other road users to danger.
Distracted driving happens in a number of ways: manual distraction (when the driver’s hands are taken off the steering), visual distraction (when the driver’s eyes are off the road) and cognitive distraction (when the driver’s mind is off the road).
Distracted driving can lead to the following types of accidents:
- Head-on collision when a driver veers off their lane into oncoming traffic
- Rear-end collision when the driver fails to react in time
- Pedestrian accident when the driver fails to give way at the crosswalk
Virginia distracted driving laws
The use of electronic devices while driving is illegal in Virginia. These include cellphones, tablets, laptops or two-way radios. Penalties for this violation can include fines and the suspension of the driver’s license.
So how does distracted driving impact injury victims?
Accidents that are attributable to distracted driving can turn the victim’s life upside down. If the victim is a pedestrian, they could sustain severe injuries such as broken bones, head trauma, spinal cord injuries as well as damage to the internal organs.
Filing a claim following a distracted driving accident
If you are a victim of distracted driving, you need to file a personal injury claim against the liable party. However, to receive the compensation you are entitled to, you must file your claim within the state’s statute of limitations period. In Virginia, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years. Basically, you have two years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. Your claim may be denied if you do not file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations period.
If you are involved in an accident caused by distracted driving, you need to explore your legal options so you can pursue the financial restitution you are entitled to.