Distracted Driving is a Serious Danger
A tragic car accident involving a North Carolina driver is a reminder that distracted driving is a danger to everyone on the road. Injured victims will need to sue in court to hold the drivers responsible for their injuries accountable.
Eyes Off the Road
At 11:15 a.m. on February 3, 2018, Samantha Hughes of Wilmington was driving southbound on I-95 near the 35-mile marker. When she looked down, she did not see Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) worker Michael Warden, who was putting up a closure for a work zone on I-95. According to ABC News, Hughes struck Warden, who died at the scene of the accident. Hughes, who did not sustain injuries, has been charged with reckless driving.
It is easy to become distracted while driving, and taking your eyes off the road for only a few seconds can cause serious injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 3,000 people are killed and almost 400,000 are injured by distracted drivers each year.
Distractions come in many varieties, such as:
- Reaching for a telephone
- Reading or typing a text message
- Talking to someone in the back seat
- Reaching for an object on the passenger’s seat
- Having an argument with someone in the vehicle or over the phone
- Lighting a cigarette
- Applying cosmetics such as blush or eyeliner
If a driver removes his or her eyes from the road for only a split second, tragedy can strike. As a driver, you should always remain focused on the road whenever your car is in motion.
Compensation is Available
As a result of striking the VDOT worker, Samantha Hughes was criminally charged with reckless driving. The victim’s family will not be compensated by the state. Instead, accident victims need to bring a civil lawsuit if they hope to receive financial compensation. In this case, Mr. Warden’s family can probably bring a wrongful death lawsuit against Ms. Hughes. If an accident victim survives an accident, he or she can bring a lawsuit for any injuries incurred.
Depending on the circumstances, accident victims can receive financial compensation for the following:
- Medical bills, such as hospital stays, doctor’s visits, surgery, rehabilitation costs, and prescription drugs
- Funeral expenses, if the victim dies
- Lost wages, if the victim could not work while injured
- Lost anticipated wages, if the victim dies or is otherwise unable to return to work
- Property damage, to fix your damaged car
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional suffering
- Negative changes to your marriage, such as loss of companionship or intimacy
Not all accident victims will qualify for all types of damages, but you should meet with an auto accident lawyer as soon as possible who can review your circumstances.
Seek Legal Assistance as Soon as Possible
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto wreck, you might be entitled to monetary compensation. At Hodges Coxe Potter & Phillips, we fight for accident victims to receive full and fair compensation. Contact us for a consultation.