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Distracted driving can result in a wrongful death lawsuit

A wrongful death claim may arise from an accident caused by a person who failed to exercise due care. Billings, Montana, car accidents often result in serious injuries that can lead to temporary or permanent disability or instantaneous death. Increasingly, distracted driving -- texting or talking on a cellphone while driving -- has been identified as a bad driving behavior that often causes car accidents.

During a recent assembly, a high school student shared her experience with classmates pertaining to distracted driving and how it changed the life of her family, hoping to raise awareness of about the devastating effects of this dangerous habit.

Last year, the speaker said, her older sister died in a single rollover car accident because her sister was driving distracted when the accident happened. The speaker stated that it was her hope that no other family should experience the tragedy and heartbreak experienced by her family when they lost a beloved sister to distracted driving.

Distracted driving has long been a safety concern of Montana drivers. Using a cellphone to text or talk while driving, diverts the attention of the driver away from operating a car safely. When a driver is distracted, that driver is prone to commit mistakes, such as failure to apply the brakes in time and failure to notice other vehicles on the road.

Distracted driving is a form of negligence. For example, if a police investigation finds that the driver involved in a fatal accident was sending text messages before a collision, the driver can be held liable for damages and also face criminal liabilities. The family of the deceased may file a wrongful death lawsuit because negligence caused a fatality.

Source: Sidney Herald, "Dangers of distracted driving stressed to Sidney students," Bill Vander Weele, March 25, 2014

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