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Can You Sue a Distracted or Reckless Driver?

Find out if you can sue a distracted or reckless driver with our comprehensive guide. Contact Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien in Joplin today to learn more.

We are personal injury experts who have achieved results for our clients in Joplin for over 40 years.

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You Can Sue a Distracted or Reckless Driver in Missouri

You were sitting at a stoplight, minding your own business, when suddenly, your vehicle was struck from behind by someone texting, eating, or doing something other than paying attention. Are you able to sue for damages?

Yes, in the state of Missouri, you can. You have the right to sue if you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted or reckless driver. As a result, you can recover compensation for your losses. You do not have to bear the burden of medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages on your own.

This guide explores the various aspects of suing a distracted or reckless driver in Missouri. It also discusses the crucial role of a personal injury attorney in assisting you in your pursuit of justice.

If you are looking for experienced accident attorneys for your personal injury lawsuit, consider contacting the Joplin firm of Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien. Let us help you.

Types of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents. It can lead to serious consequences, such as injuries or even death. It is important to stay focused on the road at all times and to be aware of your surroundings.

Knowing the different forms of distracted driving can help you establish a case against a negligent driver.

  • Texting and phone usage: One of the most typical forms of distracted driving is texting or using a phone while behind the wheel. When drivers divert their attention to their phones, their reaction time significantly decreases. This makes them more likely to cause an accident.

  • Eating and Drinking: Consuming food or beverages while driving can also lead to distraction. A driver who is eating or drinking is less focused on the road and more likely to miss essential cues or react slowly to changes in traffic.

  • Adjusting music or navigation systems: Fiddling with the car’s radio, GPS, or other entertainment systems can divert a driver’s attention.

  • Talking to passengers: Merely talking with passengers can be distracting. It diverts the driver’s attention away from the task of driving safely.

  • Grooming and personal care: When drivers are grooming themselves while driving, they are putting themselves at risk. Activities such as applying makeup, shaving, or even brushing their hair require one hand to be taken off the wheel. This reduces their ability to control the vehicle and increases the risk of an accident. It is essential to remain focused on driving and refrain from any distractions.

  • Daydreaming: Daydreaming or allowing your mind to wander is unintentional, but it happens often. It can lead to a lack of focus on the road, which often results in accidents.

What Laws Relate to Reckless and Distracted Driving?

Missouri has a few distracted driving laws that aim to prevent such behaviors. For example, Missouri has laws that prohibit the use of handheld electronic devices while driving. The exception to this is when they’re used for emergencies. This means that texting and phone usage while driving are explicitly forbidden, and violators may be subject to fines.

Furthermore, reckless driving is a serious offense in Missouri. Reckless driving consists of operating a vehicle in a manner of willful disregard for the safety of others. This can encompass various dangerous behaviors, such as:

  • Excessive speeding
  • Aggressive driving
  • Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol 

If a distracted or reckless driver causes a car accident, they may face criminal charges under these laws and a potential lawsuit. Contact a skilled attorney from Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien. We can assess your case.

How Does a Personal Injury Case Work?

Here’s how a personal injury case for a car crash typically works:

  1. Consultation with a Lawyer: During your initial consultation, the personal injury attorney will assess the details of your case. That includes the extent of your injuries, the circumstances of the accident, and any available evidence.
  2. Investigation and gathering evidence: As your attorneys, we can conduct a thorough investigation. Evidence could include accident reports, witness testimonies, and medical records.
  3. Determining liability: To successfully sue a distracted or reckless driver, we need to establish the cause of the accident. We must show that the driver’s negligence was the primary cause.
  4. Filing a lawsuit: As your legal representatives, we could file a lawsuit on your behalf. If a fair settlement cannot be reached with the insurance company, this may be our only option.
  5. Discovery phase: The discovery phase involves both parties. During this, each exchanges information and evidence related to the case. This may involve depositions, requests for documents, and interrogatories.
  6. Negotiation or trial: Many personal injury cases are resolved through negotiations. If a settlement agreement is reached, the case is resolved without trial. However, the case proceeds to trial if an acceptable settlement cannot be achieved. There, a judge or jury will determine the outcome.
  7. Recovering damages: If you succeed in your case, you may be awarded damages to compensate for various losses.

Damages From a Distracted Driver

When you sue a distracted or reckless driver in Missouri, you may be entitled to compensation for the accident. Here are the primary types of damages that can be sought in a personal injury case.

  1. Medical expenses: This includes reimbursement for all medical bills related to the accident. Hospital stays, surgeries, doctor’s visits, prescription medications, physical therapy, and rehabilitation are included.
  2. Lost wages: If your injuries result in time off work or a reduced ability to earn income, you can seek compensation for lost wages. This may also cover future earning potential if your injuries lead to long-term disability.
  3. Pain and suffering: Other damages like pain and suffering can be included. This can encompass both physical pain and emotional trauma.
  4. Property damage: If your vehicle suffered damage in the crash, you can seek compensation for repair or replacement costs.
  5. Loss of consortium: In some cases, spouses or family members of the injured party may be entitled to compensation. The court may award them damages for the loss of companionship, support, and care due to the victim’s injuries.

You Can Count on Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien to Help You Sue a Reckless Driver

The impact of a car accident can be far-reaching. A car accident can have far-reaching effects. It may be necessary to use the services of a qualified personal injury lawyer to navigate a lawsuit involving a distracted or reckless driver.

Our experienced personal injury lawyers at Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien are well-versed in distracted driving laws. Our team is skilled at negotiating with insurance companies in order to secure a just settlement for your case. We can offer knowledgeable advice on your case’s most effective legal strategy.

We will work tirelessly to maximize your compensation. We will fight for your rights in court if a settlement cannot be reached. We know how to navigate legal proceedings and ensure you are protected.

In order to receive tailored advice tailored to your unique situation, contact Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien to schedule a consultation today.

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