A Vancouver, WA Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Who Helps Victims
If you’ve been injured in Vancouver, call Colin
Driving safely requires that drivers keep their full attention on the road. But all too often, drivers are distracted by something else. The result is a car accident that can leave people seriously injured. The Scott Law Firm, PLLC holds distracted drivers accountable and helps the injured recover financial compensation.
Distracted driving can be any activity that takes your eye off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off the task of driving, even for a few seconds. A few seconds doesn’t sound like a long time. But distracted driving accident attorney Colin Scott knows that recent studies show just a few seconds is long enough to cause a crash.
There are four primary types of distracted driving: visual distraction, manual distraction, cognitive distraction, and auditory distraction. Examples of activities that distracted drivers engage in include:
- Texting while driving
- Talking to passengers
- Talking on the phone
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting dashboard controls
- Setting a GPS
When negligent drivers are not paying attention to the road, they can easily cause an accident that leaves people seriously hurt. If you were injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver, you should not have to suffer financially. But recovering compensation from the other driver can be difficult.
Distracted drivers sometimes deny responsibility. They don’t want their insurance rates to increase and refuse to admit wrongdoing. And proving they were distracted can be difficult. Insurance companies will stand by them, because insurance adjusters often try to pay the injured as little as they possibly can – preferably nothing. When this occurs, the deck is stacked against you. The insurance company knows the distracted driving laws and that they have all the power. They realize that most people won’t go to the trouble of filing a lawsuit without an attorney and, as a result, you can be severely disadvantaged when you attempt to negotiate a settlement on your own.
Washington distracted driving laws
Under state law, all drivers have a responsibility to pay attention and operate their vehicles safely. There are also specific laws addressing particular types of distracted driving, including:
- No cell phone use while driving: Drivers in Washington State may not legally use electronic devices while driving, including while stopped in traffic or at a red light. This includes cellphones, tablets, laptops, and all other electronic devices, as well as watching video. You must be parked and out of the flow of traffic to legally use an electronic device.
- Hands-free use permitted: Using hands-free devices (e.g., Bluetooth) while driving is legal in Washington. A single touch is permitted to start a function. That said, hands-free devices can be just as distracting as handheld, so we still don’t recommend it.
- General prohibition on dangerous distractions: While other types of distractions such as eating or personal grooming are not generally illegal, police can issue a citation if those behaviors interfere with safe driving and the driver is pulled over for another traffic offense such as speeding or weaving between lanes.
- Exceptions: It’s legal to use an electronic device to contact emergency services. Transit and emergency vehicle drivers are exempt from the state distracted driving laws because their jobs require them to use certain electronic devices. Commercial vehicle drivers must obey federal distracted driving laws. And two-way radio, citizens band (CB) radio, and amateur radio equipment are not included in the distracted driving law.
If you can prove the distracted driver violated a specific law, such as the cell phone ban, and the violation led to your injuries, then your case for compensation may be stronger. However, even if the distracted driver didn’t violate a specific traffic law, they can still be held accountable for their general carelessness behind the wheel.
Proving a distracted driver caused your accident
Colin can investigate your accident to get the facts. This can involve reviewing all documentation related to your accident, including police reports and medical records. It can also involve identifying witnesses and interviewing them—either on the phone or in person using a private investigator. When needed, Colin may also consult with experts and other specialists who can help prove liability (i.e., who is responsible for causing the collision). Putting in this kind of work can allow you to build a strong case that proves you were the victim of an accident caused by a distracted negligent driver. Here are some of the steps we may take to build you a strong case for maximum compensation:
- Document the scene. We collect relevant information, photos, and videos of the accident site, including skid marks and road conditions.
- Obtain witness statements. Witness testimony can strengthen your case.
- Preserve electronic evidence. We know how to demand electronic records from devices like smartphones, dashcams, and cellphones to support your claim.
- Request surveillance footage. If there is video footage from nearby cameras that captured the accident and the driver’s behavior, we will take immediate action to preserve and collect it.
Vancouver distracted driving attorney Scott can handle the legal complexities and build a strong case for you.
Stand up to the insurance company with an experienced distracted driving attorney
The insurance companies are not on your side. Their goal is to protect their bottom line, not to compensate you for your injuries. That’s why you need an attorney who will fight to hold distracted drivers accountable and help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Attorney Colin Scott knows that cases involving distracted driving are complicated. He also knows how to overcome the obstacles that can arise in distracted driving cases and maximize the potential for recovery on behalf of his clients.
Once you hire an accident attorney to handle your case, it signals to the insurance company that you mean business and forces them to take your case seriously. When they see Colin is prepared to fight for you in court, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to change their tune, at which point they offer you a reasonable sum to settle your claim before filing a lawsuit.
At the same time, Colin is not in the business of making quick settlements that help the insurance company save money. He is dedicated to resolving claims on behalf of his clients in a way that meets their individual needs. Ideally, this means compensation for all medical expenses related to your injury – now and in the future. It also means lost wages if you couldn’t work, as well as compensation for as pain and suffering.
Schedule your free consultation today
Our goal is to help you recover the compensation you need to get your life back on track. Learn more about how we can help you during a free consultation with a Vancouver distracted driving accident lawyer. Contact us online or call 360-718-3640. Schedule a time to meet with Colin, who can review your case and answer your questions.