Have You Been Injured by a Distracted Driver?
Have you been injured by a driver who was on their cell phone, lighting a cigarette or distracted in some other way? If so, you have been injured by what is known as a ‘distracted driver’. In such cases, you are entitled to pursue an ICBC claim for Part 7 benefits and a personal injury claim for compensation.
What is distracted driving?
When operating a vehicle, drivers should keep their hands on the steering wheel, their eyes on the road, and their minds focused on driving. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Instead, some talk on their phone, some read GPS maps and some eat or even apply lipstick. All these examples amount to a distracted driver.
Distracted driving is a serious problem in British Columbia. ICBC figures show that it causes more deaths per year than impaired driving. On average, 78 people lose their lives every year due to a distracted or inattentive driver. This makes it one of the top contributing factors in motor vehicle fatalities in the province.
Examples of distracted driving
Cell phones are the most common cause of distracted driving, despite the fact that mobile hand-held devices cannot be used while driving in British Columbia. This means you cannot text, read emails or hold the phone to speak to someone. Even the use of hands-free devices can be distracting, as the driver is not concentrating properly on the road.
However, distracted driving is not limited to cell phone use. Anything that reduces a driver’s manual, visual or cognitive abilities is deemed a distraction. This could include smoking, eating, drinking, personal grooming, map-reading or changing the radio station.
What to do if you’re injured by a distracted driver
If you are injured by a distracted driver, please contact us at John Mickelson Law Corporation. When you are involved in a car crash, you are able to make an ICBC claim for Part 7 benefits. Because the accident was not your fault, you can also make a personal injury claim.
We can prove that the driver at fault was distracted and that this caused your accident and injuries. Often, it takes a specialist to accumulate the evidence needed to prove distracted driver cases. We can obtain witnesses statements, police reports, CCTV footage and other evidence to support your case.
What will the outcome be?
When you make an ICBC claim, you will be awarded medical and wage loss benefits. Amongst other things, this covers the cost of treatment and rehabilitation. If you also make a personal injury claim, you will be awarded compensation for your pain and suffering and your out-of-pocket expenses.
In addition, the driver at fault may face repercussions for driving while distracted. The penalties for distracted driving were increased in 2016, following concerns about the level of cell phone usage while driving. Now, the fine for distracted driving is $368 and four penalty points. First-time offenders also face further charges.
Speak to a Vancouver ICBC lawyer
Have you been injured by a distracted driver? Whether it was someone using their cell phone while driving or something else, we can help you. To find out more, contact us our ICBC law firm for a free consultation. Either fill in the free online enquiry form or call us on 604 684 0040.Go back to Blog