Many of us are extremely busy and rushed, forcing us to take certain meals while we are driving our vehicles. On any given morning, you can see people eating breakfast and having their morning coffee while sitting in traffic, and a behind-the-wheel means are a staple of many long road trips. Unfortunately, this seemingly harmless way to save time can result in severe Philadelphia motor vehicle accidents.
Eating While Driving Can Be Extraordinarily Dangerous
While eating and driving and be common and seem like everyday multi-tasking, the fact is that anything that can potentially distract someone while they are driving is dangerous and can result in serious injury-causing accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),1 there are three main categories of driver distraction, which are as follows:
- Visual Distractions – Anything that requires a driver to look away from the road constitutes a visual distraction.
- Manual Distractions – Manual distractions occur when a driver takes his or her hands off of the wheel.
- Cognitive Distractions – Cognitive distractions involve a driver thinking about anything other than the task of driving.
Eating can combine all three types of driver distraction, making a particularly dangerous thing to do while driving. Clearly, a person needs to use his or her hands in order to get food into his or her mouth, making eating a manual distraction. In addition, people tend to look at their food while they are eating it, which means that eating and driving requires drivers to take their eyes off of the road, making it a visual distraction. Finally, eating can be a cognitive distraction, because it requires drivers to pay attention to something other than the road.
Distracted Driving Usually is Negligent Driving
Many people who are injured in accidents caused by drivers who were eating or distracted in some other way often want to know whether they will be able to recover compensation for their losses. Under Pennsylvania law, people who are hurt by the negligence of others are legally entitled to damages for losses such as medical expenses, lost income, loss of quality of life, property damage, and physical and emotional pain and suffering.
Generally speaking, distracted driving is negligent driving, which means that eating, drinking, manipulating a smartphone, changing the radio station, and other common driver distractions will entitle victims to compensation. In many cases, the fact that the driver was distracted is secondary to the fact that the distraction caused the driver to break a traffic law such as running a stop sign, following too closely, making an improper turn, or weaving into another lane.
Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer After a Distracted Driving Accident?
In cases where a distracted driver (or his or her insurance company) concedes liability, victims often wonder whether they need to retain an attorney at all. In these kinds of cases, the only issue that the parties need to address in how much the at-fault party will pay, making the process of recovering compensation seem deceptively simple.
The fact is that anyone that has been injured in an accident should retain an attorney to represent them, regardless of whether the case is contested or not. This is because many insurance companies engage in tactics designed to minimize the amount that they pay out on valid claims. An attorney will thoroughly evaluate your case and ensure that any settlement that you accept compensates you for all of your losses.
How Much Will the Representation of an Attorney Cost You?
Injured victims are often concerned about how much legal representation ill cost them. Fortunately for victims, almost all personal injury victims take their cases on a contingent fee2+ basis, which means that victims do not pay anything for legal representation unless their lawyer successfully recovers compensation on their behalf. In addition, when you retain a personal injury attorney, he or she will cover any up-front costs associated with your case, including experts’ fees and the costs associated with litigation.
Call the Levin Firm Today to Discuss Your Case With a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a car accident by a person who was eating while driving or otherwise distracted, you should contact an attorney immediately. Our attorneys are committed representing the legal rights of individuals who have been hurt in accidents and work hard to ensure that each client we represent obtains the largest settlement or award available by law.
To schedule a free consultation with a lawyer, call the Levin Firm today at 215-825-5183 or contact us online.