If you are living in Missouri, you should probably know that auto accidents are equally as common as in any other state in the U.S. Among the many factors that can cause an auto accident, a very common one is distracted driving. Different forms of messaging (texting, email, etc.), playing games, taking phone calls, and other distracting activities can result in dangerous or sometimes fatal accidents
Distracted driving has been deemed illegal under the motor vehicle act. Although, smartphones are extremely useful and important now, when being used excessively while driving they can lead to accidents. If you need to respond to a message or take a phone call, it is in your best interest to find a safe place to park your vehicle before doing so.
According to the U.S. National Traffic Safety Administration, close to 100,000 accidents per year are caused because the sleepiness or fatigue of a driver. It is perfectly acceptable to park on the side of the highway and take a short nap if you are tired. Also, there are several rest stops that can be found along the highway where you can use the restroom, get a beverage, or just take a short break before you continue to your destination. There are many things that can cause distractions to you while driving, but it is your responsibility, as a driver, to maintain focus on the road, other drivers, and any conditions that could cause an accident.
Consequences of Driving while Distracted
You should be aware, that if you are involved in an auto accident, your insurance provider might cancel your coverage. Also, you will not be allowed to drive legally unless you have paid your liability insurance, and your insurance rates will increase by 50% for up to 8 years.
While there are not many restrictions in Missouri involving texting when driving, it should be noted that if you are under the age of 21 it is illegal. If you are caught, you can have 2 points added to your record as well as a $200 fine. The more points on your record, the higher the chances you could have your license suspended or revoked.
Missouri DWI and DUI statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more commonly referred to as the CDC, reports that more than 1 in 3 people die in drunk driving related accidents. That means more than 4,000 people will lose their lives to a wreck that involved an intoxicated or impaired driver. When compared to the national averages, Missouri is one of the highest-ranking states.
Data provided from the Missouri State Highway Patrol states that in 2014, more than 4,000 people were involved in fatal accidents. An estimated 200 accidents in the state involved impaired drivers. As a motorist, this should worry you, and it is also something to keep in mind the next time you think about driving after drinking.
How will having a personal injury lawyer help you win compensation damages?
Do you have comprehensive knowledge of Missouri’s motor vehicle accident laws? Probably not. There is nothing wrong with that, but without the proper knowledge your case will be an uphill battle. Therefore, retaining the services of a qualified personal injury lawyer will be extremely beneficial.
The type of vehicle you were operating has no bearing on your case. The laws do not change because you were driving a large truck or a tiny car. What really matters is that you hire an attorney and begin filing a lawsuit against the responsible party as soon as feasibly possible.
As previously stated in the article, the most common cause of accidents are distracted drivers. Poor weather conditions, drunk driving, drug use, speeding, and smartphones are just some of the distractions that could affect an individual’s ability to properly operate a vehicle. A plethora of government agencies and private organizations have been striving to bring awareness to these dangerous activities. Sadly, many drivers ignore these advisements and continue operating their vehicle however they wish.
Because of the difficulty in filing a lawsuit against an individual, group, or business, it is vital that you seek an experienced and qualified personal injury lawyer. It may be tempting to find a lawyer who is inexpensive, but remember you will probably receive services equal to what you spent. More qualified lawyers will usually charge a bit more, but they will also have a better chance of getting you appropriate compensation. Being frugal up front might wind up costing you more in the end.
When there are severe weather conditions, it is probably best to stay home and off the roads. If you are supposed to go to work, but the road conditions seem too dangerous, call your employer and inform them that you can’t make it in for your shift. Torrential weather will increase the likelihood that you will be involved in an accident, and you may not have the right to sue any government agencies for debris that caused the accident.
Legal counsel can help file your case with the court and the insurance firm, to ensure you receive the proper compensation. Attorneys know how to speak to insurance adjusters, the individual who determines what your damages are worth. The adjuster’s job is to assess what amount of compensation you need, not necessarily the amount you are entitled.
A personal injury lawyer, who knows the law and has experience, will already be aware of an adjuster’s job, and will be able to mediate a better payout. Insurance companies will usually do what it takes to settle out of court to avoid the complications and expense of a trial.
Motor vehicle laws have been designed by the government to help protect drivers and to keep the roads safe. If you decided to disobey the law and cause an accident resulting in the injury of another person; be prepared for legal action to be taken against you. On the other hand, if you try to follow the law but still wind up being the victim in an accident; do yourself a favor, and hire a skilled car accident legal representative in Kansas City to help you recoup any compensation that you are owed.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.