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Distracted Driving: A Common and Deadly Problem

Daily life is a lot more distracting than it used to be. And sadly, our many sources of distraction are especially prevalent behind the wheel: Smartphones, other electronic gadgets and in-car infotainment systems, just to name a few.

At this point, no one can claim to be ignorant of the risks of distracted driving, especially from cellphones. Yet texting, surfing the web and even taking selfies while driving are becoming more common, not less.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured (or worse) by a distracted driver, you have the right to pursue justice and compensation in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. And because experience counts in the courtroom, the law firm to call is Douglas V. Stoehr, Attorney at Law.

From a Client:

Several years ago we were involved in a serious motor vehicle accident in Bedford County….When the accident occurred, the woman claimed responsibility stating “I dropped my coffee.” However, her insurance company fought the claim for my physical disability…. Doug Stoehr and his fine staff fought the good fight and went above and beyond including getting expert medical doctors. The case went close to trial but eventually truth prevailed and we won a settlement. Doug is a Christian who is hard working and diligent. If you need a good attorney he is your man!

~ John

Pennsylvania’s Distracted Driving Laws: Important but Incomplete

Like the majority of states, Pennsylvania has banned the practice of texting while driving and has made it a primary offense (meaning that officers can pull you over if they see you texting). Unfortunately, there is no law against talking on a handheld or hands-free cellphone, even though studies have shown these activities to be dangerously distracting as well.

Seeking Justice in Civil Court

Pennsylvania’s laws may be inadequate to significantly deter distracted driving. However, distracted drivers who cause accidents can nonetheless be sued in civil court for negligence. The concept is simple: each driver owes a basic duty of care to all other drivers and travelers on the road. If a driver engages in distracting activities despite knowing that they are dangerous, he can and should be held liable when a distracted driving accident occurs.

Texting is a major source of distraction, but it is not the only source. Other forms of driving distraction include:

  • Dialing your phone
  • Surfing the web (even livestreaming)
  • Making changes to GPS navigation while the vehicle is in motion
  • Eating and drinking
  • Applying makeup
  • Reading or glancing down at papers or books
  • Reaching for items on the floor or in the back seat
  • Adjusting the radio or other non-essential vehicle controls

How We Can Help You

When you work with our firm, you’ll have a lawyer who will fully investigate the details of the accident and ensure that all available evidence is found and utilized. We may be able to subpoena cellphone records, collect security camera footage, police reports and eyewitness statements to show that the driver who struck you was distracted and therefore driving negligently.

If your accident was caused by a commercial driver, liability for the accident is shared with numerous parties. We can also pursue litigation against the driver’s employer and insurance carrier.

Contact Us for a Free Initial Consultation

Located in Altoona, Douglas V. Stoehr, Attorney at Law, serves clients in cities like Duncansville and throughout west central Pennsylvania. To schedule your free consultation, send us an email or call 814-515-9074.