Distracted driving has become a serious problem, and often, it comes in the form of texting and driving. In response to this issue, the North Carolina legislature passed NCGS § 20-137.4 in 2012, which made it unlawful to use a mobile phone to text message or email while operating a motor vehicle. As such, at Lanier Law Group, P.A., we believe that texting and driving constitutes willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others and forms the basis for a claim for punitive damages.
Texting and Driving Statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2018 alone, more than 2,800 United States residents were killed and about 400,000 were injured in accidents involving distracted driving. What’s more, a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that driving while texting is 6 times more dangerous than driving while drunk. At a speed of 55 miles per hour, that’s the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field without looking up at the road — needless to say, this is extremely dangerous.
What Are Punitive Damages?
In legalese, “punitive damages” are damages that go beyond the usual compensatory damages —such as medical bills, lost wages, etc. — and are designed to punish the at-fault driver for egregious negligence.
Legal Deadlines for Filing a Lawsuit
If you are seeking punitive damages, it is almost always expected that the defense will dispute your claim. Therefore, it is likely that you will need to file a lawsuit against them to recover punitive damages.
Per NCGS § 1-52, all personal injury lawsuits, including those involving traffic collisions, must be filed within three years of when the injury was sustained. An attorney can help you meet this deadline without placing the burden of unneeded stress upon your shoulders.
Call a Seasoned Attorney at (855) 757-4204
At Lanier Law Group, P.A., we are aggressively pursuing punitive damages in texting and driving cases. The law is not well-settled in this area, so these cases require a fight, even more so than cases seeking only compensatory damages.
Historically, punitive damages have only been allowed in cases of driving under the influence and drag racing. Lanier Law Group, P.A.’s lawyers are challenging that practice by persistently pursuing punitive damages for texting and driving; to date, we have successfully recovered these damages for many of our injured clients.
Contact Lanier Law Group, P.A. online today to book a free consultation with a lawyer in North Carolina.