Distracted Driving Accidents in Gulf Shores
Gulf Shores is a resort city in Baldwin County with a population of approximately 11,000 residents. It can be reached from the north by Route 59, from the west by Route 180, and from the east by Route 182. Jack Edwards National Airport also serves the area. Popular attractions in Gulf Shores include the Gulf Shores Public Beach, the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, and the Gulf State Park. Unfortunately, tourists and residents may engage in distracted driving, which can lead to serious accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured by a texting or otherwise distracted driver, you need to consult a knowledgeable attorney who can help. Gulf Shores distracted driving accident lawyer Whit A. Thomas understands how to navigate complex Alabama car accident cases.Distracted Driving Poses Serious Risks
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as any task that diverts a driver’s attention from the primary task of driving to focus on some other activity. Put another way, distracted driving is anything that makes driving a secondary task. The NHTSA reports that distracted driving was the cause of 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries across the nation in 2015. In Alabama, distracted driving caused more than 10 percent of all traffic accidents in the state in 2010, according to the al.com.
All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. Some examples of conduct that constitutes distracted driving include but are not limited to:
- Texting or using social media;
- Eating and drinking;
- Grooming (such as combing hair or putting on makeup);
- Adjusting the radio or music player;
- Speaking to passengers;
- Using the navigation system; or
- Reading or watching a video.
A distracted driving accident attorney in Gulf Shores can help victims gather evidence to show any of the above behaviors by a defendant, which would provide strong support for a claim. For example, it is illegal to text while driving. Moreover, novice drivers, who are defined as any driver age 16 or 17 who has been licensed for six months or less, are banned from using cell phones in vehicles altogether. This ban extends to the use of both handheld and hands-free devices.
All drivers owe one another a duty to drive in a careful manner in order not to cause an accident and injure others on the road. If a person causes an accident due to distracted driving, he or she would likely be liable for any resulting injuries under the theory of negligence. Under Alabama law, negligence applies when a person fails to use reasonable care behind the wheel, thereby causing an accident and injuries. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent person would act in the same or similar circumstances. For example, if someone causes a crash due to texting and driving, a Gulf Shores distracted driving accident attorney could probably use evidence of the driver’s legal violation to establish negligence. This is because a reasonable person generally would not text and drive, understanding that it increases the risk of causing a crash.
Alabama law limits the time that you have to bring a lawsuit for your injuries after a car wreck. Under state law, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in civil court. If you have lost a loved one in a distracted driving accident, you also have two years from the date of their death to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. Failing to file within these time frames could mean permanently losing your right to compensation altogether. While two years may seem like plenty of time, the reality is that it takes a lot of time to gather evidence and prepare a case for filing. Thus, it is important to act as quickly as possible after a wreck.Consult a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in Gulf Shores
Driving requires your full attention. Taking your eyes off the road even for a moment can lead to a devastating accident. If you or someone close to you has been injured by a distracted driver as a driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. Whit A. Thomas has years of experience protecting the rights of Alabama residents and can do the same for you. We proudly serve clients throughout Southern Alabama. For a free case evaluation, call us at (251) 943-9330 or contact us online.