Baton Rouge Distracted Driving Accidents Lawyer
Helping Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents
Driving is a complex activity. Drivers must multitask, switching between several different activities while remaining focused on the road. Unfortunately, this is a recipe for disaster.
If you are involved in an accident caused by a driver who was distracted behind the wheel, you should know that you have legal options. You may be able to hold the negligent driver accountable for the damages you have suffered.
At Beall & Thies, LLC, our Baton Rouge distracted driving accident lawyers understand how devastating these accidents can be. We know how to effectively advocate for our clients and help them obtain the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving accident, contact us today. Our team is ready to fight for you.
What Is a Distracted Driving Accident?
Louisiana's distracted driving laws apply to most types of distractions behind the wheel. These distractions include texting, talking on the phone, eating, putting on makeup, reading, watching a video, or performing any other activity that takes a driver's eyes off the road. Even activities that seem relatively harmless, such as adjusting the radio or using a GPS, count as distractions.
Distracted driving accidents are not limited to drivers who are texting or talking on the phone. Any activity that takes a driver's eyes off the road can cause an accident. These accidents can result in catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and wrongful death.
Louisiana's distracted driving accident laws do not apply to:
- Drivers who are reporting emergencies to 911
- Drivers who are operating an emergency vehicle
- Drivers who are performing their job duties
- Drivers who are operating a vehicle that is out of control
If you are involved in an accident with a driver who was using a phone or engaging in another distracting activity, you may be able to hold them accountable for your damages. The severity of your injuries will play a role in how much compensation you can receive. In the worst cases, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver and the party that manufactured or sold the phone or other device that was used.
Common Types of Accidents Due to Distraction
Distracted driving can lead to various types of accidents, often resulting in property damage, injuries, or even fatalities. Here are some common types of accidents that can occur due to driver distraction:
Rear-end collisions: When a driver is distracted, they may fail to notice the vehicle in front of them has slowed down or stopped, leading to a rear-end collision. Distractions like texting, looking at a GPS, or engaging with in-car technologies can contribute to these accidents.
Intersection accidents: Distracted drivers may fail to observe traffic signals, stop signs, or yielding right of way at intersections, increasing the risk of T-bone or side-impact collisions. Checking phones, conversing with passengers, or being lost in thought are examples of distractions that can lead to intersection accidents.
Lane departure accidents: When drivers are not paying attention, they may drift out of their lane and collide with other vehicles or objects. This can occur due to distractions like daydreaming, drowsiness, or being engaged in a conversation.
Sideswipe accidents: Distractions can cause drivers to veer into adjacent lanes, leading to sideswipe collisions with vehicles traveling beside them. This can happen when drivers are using cellphones, adjusting vehicle controls, or looking at something outside the vehicle.
Pedestrian or cyclist accidents: Distracted drivers may fail to notice pedestrians or cyclists crossing the road or walking along the roadside, resulting in accidents with vulnerable road users. Activities such as texting, eating, or being engaged in conversation can contribute to these accidents.
Run-off-road accidents: When drivers are distracted, they may inadvertently drift off the road, collide with objects, or roll over. Fatigue, daydreaming, or using in-car technologies while driving can lead to run-off-road accidents.
Multi-vehicle pile-ups: In situations where multiple vehicles are involved in an accident, distractions can play a role. If a distracted driver fails to react to changing road conditions or traffic patterns, it can initiate a chain reaction of collisions involving several vehicles.
Damages to Recover from a Distracted Driving Accident in Louisiana
In Louisiana, if you are involved in a distracted driving accident and suffer damages, you may be entitled to recover various types of compensation. The specific damages you can seek to recover will depend on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of your losses.
Here are some common damages that can be pursued in a distracted driving accident case in Louisiana:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
In certain cases where the at-fault driver's behavior was particularly reckless or intentional, you may be able to seek punitive damages. These damages are intended to punish the liable party and deter similar behavior in the future.
Comparative Fault System in Louisiana
Louisiana follows a comparative fault system, meaning that if you are found partially responsible for the accident, your total recoverable damages may be reduced proportionately to your degree of fault.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Distracted Driving Accident
Filing a lawsuit for a distracted driving accident and injuries in Louisiana involves several steps.
Consultation with an attorney: Schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney experienced in handling car accident cases. During this initial meeting, you can discuss the details of the accident, your injuries, and any potential legal claims you may have. The attorney can evaluate the strength of your case and provide guidance on the best course of action.
Investigation and evidence gathering: Your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to gather evidence supporting your claim. This may involve obtaining the accident report, collecting witness statements, reviewing medical records, and analyzing any available photographs or videos of the accident scene.
Determining liability: Your attorney will assess liability by establishing that the other driver was negligent or at fault for the accident. In a distracted driving case, this would involve proving that the other driver was indeed distracted and that their distraction directly caused the accident and your injuries.
Negotiations and settlement: In many cases, personal injury claims are resolved through negotiations with the insurance company representing the at-fault driver. Your attorney will negotiate on your behalf to seek a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your damages. If a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to litigation.
Filing the lawsuit: If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf. They will prepare the necessary legal documents, including a complaint that outlines your claims against the at-fault driver. The lawsuit will be filed in the appropriate Louisiana court, typically the district court where the accident occurred.
Discovery: Once the lawsuit is filed, both parties engage in the discovery process. This involves exchanging relevant information and evidence, including documents, interrogatories (written questions), and depositions (sworn testimony).
Pretrial proceedings: Prior to trial, there may be various pretrial motions and hearings, such as motions to dismiss or motions for summary judgment. These motions help clarify legal issues and potentially narrow down the scope of the case.
Settlement negotiations or trial: Throughout the litigation process, settlement negotiations may continue. If a settlement is not reached, the case will proceed to trial. During the trial, both parties present their arguments, evidence, and witnesses to a judge or jury, who will ultimately determine the outcome of the case.
Judgment and appeals: If the judge or jury finds in your favor, they will issue a judgment that specifies the compensation you are entitled to receive. The losing party may have the option to appeal the judgment to a higher court.
Don't Wait to Get Help!
The injuries that come from a distracted driving accident might be catastrophic and the quality of the attorney investigating the case might be the difference between a settlement an injured plaintiff can live on and one that fails to meet their needs. At Beall & Thies, we’ll fight for what should be yours.
"Never expected to be in a predicament where I would need to hire an attorney but, I wouldn’t recommend anyone but, B&T. They helped my father in his predicament and they’ve helped me in mine. Continuous support throughout the entire process"Den'a Wells
"They are professional and go above and beyond customer satisfaction. I was informed every step of the way on updates and case progress. I highly recommend this firm for all your legal needs!! I am thankful for all they have done for me!!"Barb Nemerovsky
"Beall & Thies was very welcoming. I would definitely recommend them. My attorney, Aaron Humphrey didn’t only make sure I didn’t have to worry about my case, but also treated me like I mattered. Thanks for everything you guys did for me and "Chrystal Woods Graham
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Russell W. Beall
"Russell W. Beall is a founding partner in the Baton Rouge law firm of Beall & Thies LLC. His main emphasis of practice is on Civil Litigation including Torts, Products Liability, and Premises Liability. Russell is a frequent guest speaker at Louisiana State University Law School where he participates in the Appellate Advocacy Program and the Professionalism Orientation. He earned his B.A. degree at Louisiana State University (1998) and his J.D Louisiana State University Law School (2001). Russell is an active member of the Louisiana Association for Justice and is frequently invited to be a guest speaker at continuing legal education seminars."Read Full Bio
William W. Thies
"William W. Thies was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1974 moving with his family to Slidell, Louisiana at seven years of age. Mr. Thies graduated from Slidell High School in 1992. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in history and political science from Louisiana State University in 1996 and his Juris Doctorate from the Southern University Law Center in 2001. He was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar Association in May 2002. He is a member of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, American Bar Associations, and the Louisiana Association of Justice. He is admitted to practice in all state courts, the United States District Court for the Middle and Eastern Districts of Louisiana, as well as the United States Supreme Court."Read Full Bio
"Jacob H. Thomas is originally from the Piney Hills of North Louisiana, known for producing great litigators such as Huey P. Long as well as several other notable statesmen on the both the federal and state levels.Read Full Bio
Jake is a graduate of Jonesboro-Hodge High School and Northwestern State University where he was a member of the Theta Mu chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, the NSU Presidential Leadership Program, and the Inter-Fraternity Council serving as Vice President."
"Aaron Humphreys joined Beall & Thies, LLC as an associate attorney in the fall of 2016. He was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar Association in May of 2016. Aaron is also a member of the Baton Rouge Bar Association and the Louisiana Association of Justice."Read Full Bio
"George G. Caballero practices general civil law and focuses on plaintiff’s personal injury, wills, and successions. George joined Beall & Thies as of counsel in 2017 after starting Caballero Law Firm in 1993. Mr. Caballero has over thirty years of experience as an attorney and has served clients in various matters ranging from business and tort litigation, business, family law, and successions.Read Full Bio
Mr. Caballero is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University and Mississippi College School of Law. Upon graduation, he immediately went into the private practice of law, practicing in both Louisiana and Mississippi."
Jewel “Trae” E. Welch, III
"Trae is a lifelong resident of the Baker-Zachary area. Trae is the son of The Honorable Judge Duke Welch, currently presiding on the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals, and former East Baton Rouge Councilwoman, Roxson Welch. Trae is married to the former Lynn Caldwell of Tallulah, Louisiana. Together Trae and Lynn are raising their two children Quade and Vivian."Read Full Bio