Common sense tells us that using a cell phone or other hand-held device while driving is going to increase your chances of causing or being involved in a personal injury accident. So, in states that have banned the use of such devices personal injury car accidents and collisions should have been reduced. Right? Wrong.
A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety just released and reported on by the New York Times concludes that these laws have not impacted the total number of personal injury accidents of car crashes at all.
And, of course, there are a few flaws in the study.
First, the study determines the reduction in use of hand-held devices by drivers in these states through not exactly scientific methods. Researches went to street corners and exit ramps and observed people using cell phones or not using cell phones and compared that number to the number they obtained before the bans. Seriously. That’s what they did.
Second, and the researchers concede this point, drivers may have simply switched to hands free devices (ya think). Practically every driver I see is talking on a cell phone, has a visible ear-piece, or they are simply mad and talking to their imaginary passengers or co-pilots.
A better study would have examined personal injury accident statistics and compared when car accidents or trucking accidents took place as well as their total numbers after the ban as compared to before – did those numbers move? Also, it would be nice to know if actual cell phone use has decreased during peak driving times. My guess is that it hasn’t.
The Times article seems to indicated that the researchers may feel that talking on our cell phones while driving isn’t quite as distracting as we thought. This is simply the wrong conclusion and a dangerous one.
Cell phone use while driving causes thousands of needless personal injuries, car accidents, and trucking accidents that involve serious brain injuries and even death every year. I am not naive enough to think that people will stop multitasking while driving.
But what is needed is better technology that allows drivers to keep as much of their attention as possible on driving and stricter laws, and penalties that would encourage the use of this technology. Or at least, that would be a good place to start.
The process of a personal injury case is always the same, no matter what type of case it is (medical malpractice case, civil rights case, car accident case, fall down case).
Once you provide us information about what happened to you, what medical injuries you’ve sustained, and the sort of treatment you are receiving, we obtain all medical records and do our investigation. In a car accident case, for instance, we go to the scene of the accident, take photographs, speak to witnesses, and so on.
Once the investigation stage is done, we send all the itemization to the opposing insurance company, and the settlement negotiations are started. If the parties cannot reach a settlement, we file suit.
Once the lawsuit is filed, the court sets certain time tables, telling us by what date we must complete our discovery (depositions, interrogatories, and so on). After that, the court will set the trial date.
Before the trial date, the parties usually go through a pre-trial settlement conference. You may or may not be involved in the pre-trial settlement conference, but you will always be informed of what happens at the conference. If the parties cannot reach an agreement there, the trial date will be set and the parties will go to trial, at which point you will be fully engaged in the trial process.
In a typical motor vehicle accident case, your own insurance company pays your medical bills. In a fall down accident, for instance, your health insurance coverage pays your medical bills. Clients frequently assume that the other person’s insurance company is responsible for paying all of their medical bills but that is not correct under the law. Rather, the other person’s insurance company is responsible for paying for your pain and suffering. That’s typically the larger portion of the case.