Distracted driving kills. Lawmakers are taking action to curb this dangerous behavior. In July 2017, Washington State passed one of the strictest laws in the nation regarding the use of electronic devices while driving. And while this law is only currently in effect in Washington, it may soon spread across the country. We hope it does.
Defining the E-DUI law
Called an E-DUI, or driving under the influence of electronics, this new law makes it illegal for drivers to hold a handheld electronic device while driving. Even phoning emergency services is only legal if the car is pulled over and safely out of traffic’s way.
The law also forbids using map apps, changing music, watching videos, and especially talking or texting on a phone while driving. This applies to all drivers in Washington State regardless of age.
Here in Indiana, there are currently laws against texting and driving. Moreover, Indiana drivers cannot talk on their phones unless they are using a hands-free device. However, unlike in Washington, Indiana drivers over the age of 18 are allowed to hold electronic devices while driving.
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Why is distracted driving considered dangerous?
Holding a device while driving is extremely risky behavior. Any distraction that causes a driver to take their eyes off the road for even one second can cause fatal accidents. One look at your phone to use the GPS system for directions, or flip between music playlists, can lead to a devastating car crash and horrific injuries.
Historically, Washington State has been a leader in creating new distracted driving laws. In fact, it was the first to pass laws making texting while driving illegal. We hope lawmakers across the country notice Washington State’s E-DUI law and its positive effects on public safety—and follow suit.
Even though using a phone while driving in Indiana is currently considered legal, doing so is the equivalent of driving blind. The people of Indiana and across the United States can choose to make the responsible decision each day when they turn on their cars.
Drive smart and drive safe; put down the phone and pay attention to the road. Other people’s lives depend on it.
What happens if you were injured in an accident with a distracted driver?
If you were injured in an accident with a distracted driver, you have legal options when it comes to holding them financially accountable for your losses. You could handle your case on your own. However, while dealing with serious injuries, you likely will not have time and energy to devote yourself to personal injury law. This is why having our team on your side could be beneficial.
While Indianapolis does not have E-DUI laws (yet), distracted driving is still considered negligence––and illegal, according to the Indiana Department of Labor. By partnering with a lawyer, you could pursue damages for the following:
- Past and present healthcare expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost tips, promotions, bonuses, and employee benefits
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Disability, scarring, and loss of mobility
You could also seek damages if you lost a loved one. Some recoverable losses in those instances include funeral expenses, final medical bills, and loss of consortium.
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How long do you have to file a lawsuit after a distracted driving accident?
IC §34-11-2-4 says that you could have as little as two years to file your car accident lawsuit. You have a similar timeframe if you are filing a wrongful death lawsuit. By partnering with our team, we can file your lawsuit in accordance with Indiana law and pursue damages on your behalf.
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How can our firm build your claim or lawsuit?
We must prove that your accident was the result of negligence for us to recoup the cost of your losses. This involves:
- Gathering evidence, like the police report, phone records, and traffic camera footage
- Interviewing witnesses
- Consulting our team of field experts
We will also communicate with the liable insurer, negotiate a settlement, and file your case in civil court––if necessary.
How much does it cost to hire a distracted driving accident lawyer in Indianapolis?
We work on a contingency-fee-basis. This arrangement has helped hundreds of our clients in the decades that we have been serving people. We do not:
- Require hourly fees
- Charge retainers
- Request upfront fees
We take a percentage of your winnings as payment for our help. When we take your case, we do so because we think that it has potential. That said, if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay our attorney’s fees.
Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. is ready to take your call
Washington State’s E-DUI law has changed the landscape of determining fault in distracted driving accidents. While Indiana does not have such a law in place, it does offer options for accident claimants to seek compensation.
To learn more about your legal options with our firm, call today.