Mike Bottaro car accident attorney

Distracted Driving Accident Attorney in Rhode Island

distracted drivingDistracted driving is one of the biggest dangers on the roads of Rhode Island. With nearly everyone owning a smartphone and the rise of social media, drivers have more potential distractions than ever. When a driver takes their eyes off the road, even for a few seconds to read a text or email, they put everyone around them at risk of a serious crash.

If you have been involved in a car accident with a distracted driver, a Rhode Island distracted driving accident lawyer can advocate for your rights and interests.

At Bottaro Injury Lawyers, we fight hard on behalf of injured distracted driving accident victims in Rhode Island. Because we solely handle injury cases, you can expect our attorneys to have the in-depth knowledge to prepare and pursue your claim thoroughly.

When going up against the insurance companies, you need a trusted advocate on your side. Our firm has a proven track record of recovering millions of dollars in compensation for our clients over the years. We will work to not only pursue maximum financial recovery for you but also obtain justice on your behalf.

If you have been injured in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver, you need experienced, tough legal representation to help you seek fair and full compensation. Reach out to a Rhode Island distracted driving accident lawyer at Bottaro Injury Lawyers 24/7 for a free initial case review and learn more about your legal rights and options.

What Is Considered Distracted Driving in Rhode Island?

Texting while driving is a well-known form of distracted driving, but many behaviors could take a driver’s focus off the task of driving. Other examples of distracted driving include:

  • Holding and using a cell phone to talk, text, send emails, or surf social media or internet websites
  • Looking at tablet or computer screens
  • Eating while driving
  • Drinking coffee or other beverages
  • Adjusting the radio, climate control, or infotainment system
  • Putting on makeup, shaving, or grooming in the mirror
  • Reading a map, newspaper, magazine, or book
  • Turning to interact with other vehicle occupants
  • Reaching around the interior for an object
  • Looking at road signs, billboards, or other sights outside of the vehicle
  • Daydreaming

Types of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving can occur from one or more of three basic types of driver distractions:

  • Manual distractions – Any distraction that requires a driver to take one or both hands off the steering wheel
  • Visual distractions – Any distraction that requires a driver to take their eyes off the road
  • Cognitive distractions – Distractions that cause the driver to think about things other than the act of operating their vehicle

How a Rhode Island Distracted Driving Lawyer Can Help You

Pursuing full and fair compensation in a distracted driving claim is usually far from easy, especially if you try to do it without help from an attorney. In many cases, it may take a lot of work to recover evidence and prepare a case to persuasively prove that a distracted driver caused an accident.

While you are focused on treating your injuries and healing after an accident, a Rhode Island distracted driving lawyer from Bottaro Injury Lawyers can help you seek the financial recovery you deserve by:

  • Thoroughly investigating the accident to recover evidence that shows the other driver was distracted before the accident
  • Consulting with experts to help with technical aspects of the case, such as reviewing cell phone logs or metadata
  • Going over your legal rights and options with you so that you know what to expect in your case
  • Documenting the injuries, expenses, and losses that you suffered from the accident and calculating your future expected expenses and needs
  • Filing insurance claims on your behalf, including seeking coverage from your own insurer if available and vigorously pursuing settlement negotiations to try to secure a full financial recovery for you as efficiently as possible
  • Taking your case to court and pursuing litigation all the way to trial, if necessary, to fight for the best possible outcome in your case

Evidence We May Use to Prove Distracted Driving

Examples of evidence that our legal team may use to prove our clients’ cases in distracted driving claims include:

  • Cell phone records, including text message and call logs
  • Cell phone metadata, which logs when the phone was being used
  • Email records
  • Social media accounts showing when posts were made.
  • Eyewitness statements, including testimony from occupants in the other driver’s vehicle or testimony from bystanders who may have witnessed the driver holding something or driving erratically
  • Testimony from expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists
  • Surveillance or traffic camera footage showing the driver engaged in distracting behaviors

Demanding Compensation in Your Distracted Driving Case

When you have been injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to recover compensation for the expenses and losses you incur as a result. At Bottaro Injury Lawyers, our attorneys will demand compensation in your distracted driving case for:

  • Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation for physical and emotional injuries you suffered from the accident
  • Long-term care expenses if you are left with permanent disabilities due to your accident injuries
  • Loss of wages or income if you take time off work to recover following the accident
  • Loss of earning capacity due to disabilities interfering with you returning to your job
  • Visible scarring or disfigurement that causes you embarrassment or humiliation
  • Physical or cognitive disabilities that interfere with daily living
  • Pain, anguish, emotional trauma, and distress
  • Repair bills for damage to your vehicle or the pre-crash value of your vehicle if it was deemed totaled after the accident

How Long Do You Have to File a Distracted Driving Accident Lawsuit?

It’s crucial to know, following an accident with a distracted driver in Rhode Island, that you have a limited amount of time available to file a claim for compensation. The statute of limitations on distracted driving claims in Rhode Island requires you to file your lawsuit within three years of the date of the accident.

If you file suit more than three years after a distracted driving accident, you run the risk that the trial court will permanently dismiss your case. If that happens, you will lose your opportunity to hold the distracted driver accountable to compensate you.

What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt by a Distracted Driver

If you believe you were involved in an accident with a distracted driver, you can take steps to preserve your rights and options for pursuing a distracted driving accident claim. Things you should do after being injured by a distracted driver include:

  • Document the accident scene, including taking photos of vehicle damage, skid marks on the road, traffic controls, visual obstructions, and weather and lighting conditions.
  • See a doctor for a physical exam as soon as possible to get checked for any injuries you may have suffered in the crash, and be sure to photograph your visible injuries.
  • Keep copies of receipts, bills, and invoices for expenses you incurred due to the accident. Also, make sure to have copies of your income records if you missed time from work or were disabled from returning to your job.
  • Start a journal to document the pain you experience from your injuries and medical treatment and how they negatively affect your daily life.
  • Avoid posting photos or videos of yourself on social media while treating your injuries, and never post anything about the accident or your case. If you post something that could be taken out of context to contradict your legal claim, the insurance companies will likely try to use it to discredit your case.
  • Speak to a Rhode Island distracted driving attorney from Bottaro Injury Lawyers to learn what next steps you need to take in your case.

What Is Rhode Island’s Distracted Driving Law?

Rhode Island’s distracted driving law restricts the use of cell phones and other handheld electronic devices by a driver while they are driving a vehicle. The provisions of the law include:

  • Drivers aged 18 and older may not hold a cell phone or other wireless or electronic device while operating a vehicle.
  • Drivers may not use headphones, headsets, or other wireless accessories that go into or cover both ears.
  • Adult drivers may use a hands-free system to make or receive calls or text messages. These systems may take the form of single-ear Bluetooth headsets, a Bluetooth transmitter that plugs directly into the vehicle or connects with the vehicle’s radio, or hardware and software incorporated into the driver’s vehicle that allows for the hands-free use of a cell phone.
  • Minors are restricted from using any form of mobile or handheld electronic device while operating a vehicle, even in a hands-free form.

Violation of Rhode Island’s distracted driving law is considered a primary offense, meaning a police officer can initiate a traffic stop if they see a driver with a cell phone in their hand. Violations carry a fine of up to $100, which may be waived for a first-time adult offender only by presenting the court with proof of purchase of a permitted hands-free device.

Talk to a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in Rhode Island

When you have been severely hurt in a distracted driving accident, don’t wait another day to begin the process of pursuing compensation for your expenses and the losses you’ve sustained. Contact the Bottaro Injury Lawyers today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Learn more about our firm’s No Fee Guarantee and how we can guide you through every step of your case. Our firm serves clients in Providence, Pawtucket, East Providence, North Smithfield, Warwick, and throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts.