When driving, you likely do your best to remain focused on the road and your surroundings. Yet, you might have little trust that other motorists will do the same. With the advent of smartphones, distracted driving is on the rise. Nowadays, nearly one in 10 fatal crashes involve motorists who were not paying attention. While you must understand how to identify distracted drivers so you can avoid them, it is crucial to know how you can move forward after one collides with your vehicle.
Signs of distracted driving
In North Carolina, it is illegal to text and drive, and motorists under age 18 cannot place a call on their cellphones behind the wheel. Yet, some people flout these laws and put more energy into finishing their messages or conversations than driving safely. Identifying distracted drivers is not always easy, unless you pass them and spot them looking down at their phone or holding it in their hand. Some signs that a driver might be distracted, though, include:
· Lingering at a stoplight once it turns green, or a stop sign when it is their turn to go
· Drifting between lanes or across the road’s center line
· Driving noticeably above or below the speed of traffic, or varying between speeds
· Braking suddenly or responding to hazards at the last second
Protecting yourself after a distracted driving accident
North Carolina follows a fault-based system for making claims after accidents. Under this system, any personal injury claim that you file will go through the at-fault motorist’s insurance policy. Yet, your initial settlement might fail to cover your medical expenses. Or, it may not account for the costs of any prolonged pain and suffering you have endured. In these cases, you have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault motorist. North Carolina’s statute of limitations for doing so is three years after the date of your accident.
If you sustained severe injuries after a distracted driver hit your vehicle, you must do everything in your power to make sure your expenses afterward are not overwhelming. By seeking legal help, you can work to receive a settlement that reflects your needs.