A motor vehicle accident could have a significant impact on numerous areas of your life, especially if serious injuries occur. Perhaps while you were travelling home from work, another car suddenly struck your vehicle, and instead of the comfort of your own couch or bed, you might be spending time in the hospital.
During your stay, you may be going over the collision in your mind, wondering exactly how it happened. There are countless circumstances in which a similar incident can occur, one of the more prevalent of which is distracted driving.
Types and consequences of distracted driving
Much like driving under the influence, operating a vehicle while distracted is extremely dangerous, and has been the cause of countless serious and/or fatal accidents in Minnesota and across the country. There are numerous actions that constitute such negligence, which generally fall under three categories, such as:
- Visual: Any action that takes your eyes off the road, such as reading a text message or an email, can have disastrous consequences. Those who take their eyes off the road for a matter of seconds can travel several hundred feet while completely unaware of their surroundings.
- Manual: While your eyes may still be on the road, reaching for a phone or navigating through radio stations not only takes a portion of your concentration, but also causes you to remove one or both hands from the wheel.
- Cognitive: Having a conversation with a passenger may seem harmless at the time, but dividing your attention between a train of thought and the task at hand inherently reduces your ability to safely operate a vehicle.
While each category has its own hazards, many actions, such as texting, often fall under two or even all three forms of distraction. If involved in a serious motor vehicle collision in which such negligence is a contributing factor, you may have grounds to pursue compensation for damages through the civil justice system.
Whether a temporary setback or a long-term issue, physical and/or emotional injuries from a crash often create financial challenges as well. Along with the potential for having extensive medical costs, you may also suffer from a loss of income if unable to immediately return to work.
If the other driver is at fault in the incident, you could choose to pursue compensation for losses through a personal injury claim. Since determining liability and/or negotiating a settlement can be stressful and intimidating, seeking guidance from someone with experience in navigating the process could be a solid step toward obtaining the compensation you deserve.