Did you know that nearly 3,500 people lost their lives because of distracted driving in 2016?

Whether you are one of the many drivers who talks on the phone, texts, eats, drinks, or messes with stereo and climate controls while their vehicle is in motion, it does not matter: it is a form of distracted driving, and distracted driving leads to over 15 percent of all injury crashes – and 58 percent of all teen crashes. When distracted driving is the culprit of a severe automobile accident, lives can change, holidays can be ruined forever, and it is all because of a seemingly innocent distraction.

Drivers who choose their phones or other distractors over their ability to focus on the road are choosing to risk everything they hold dear for something that, in the grand scheme of things, is likely insignificant. Just ask Shannon Gilman, who lost her daughter, Alexxys Therwhanger, to distracted driving on February 19, 2016.

“There is no phone call; there’s no text that’s worth taking your eyes off the road for one second because that’s all it takes,” Gilman has publicly stated.

And she is not wrong. Taking your eyes off the road is a form of visual distraction. Manual and cognitive distractions are the other two types of distractions associated with distracted driving.

Unsurprisingly, texting is a rare and deadly combination of all three. According to the police in Portland, Oregon who investigated Therwhanger’s case, she had been texting before she hit another car, and the crash both ended her life and severely injured two other people.

It is unfortunate that distractions cause so many injuries every year, but those who are affected are not alone. Experienced distracted driving accident attorneys, such as Patrick Cadiz from The Law Offices of Patrick Cadiz, can help those who have been affected by these types of terrible accidents get the compensation they need in order to move forward with their lives.

How the Law Offices of Patrick Cadiz Would Handle a Situation Like This

In Oregon, driving while distracted is a negligent act that exposes the driver to liability for all foreseeable risks of harm and damages caused. 

Drivers have a duty to maintain a proper lookout, maintain a safe speed, and safely control their vehicle under the circumstances. When a driver is distracted by texting, looking at a telephone, or simply taking the eyes off the road for even a single second, accidents can happen. All accidents – big or little – can affect innocent drivers and create injuries. 

Our law firm is committed to investigating crashes to determine whether the defendant was distracted while operating the vehicle. In cases where the driver is distracted, evidence may be used to show the reckless disregard for the victims. Similar to drunk driving cases, juries do not like drivers who take advantage of the privilege of driving on Oregon roads. The law protects victims injured as a result of negligent driving, and they are entitled to compensation for their injuries and damages.

In one-car accidents, injured passengers have a right to make a claim against their own driver if the driver was distracted and/or texting while driving. Under Oregon Law, passengers have a right to make a claim against the driver who is acting negligently even if they are in the same car (and even if they are related). Drivers owe a duty of care to all people on the road, including passengers in their own vehicle.

For more information on distracted driving accidents and how we can those affected receive the compensation they deserve, please call the Law Offices of Patrick Cadiz (located in Portland, OR and Hillsboro, OR) at 503-858-3261.