On Sunday, October 30, 2016, a single-vehicle early morning crash claimed the life of 21-year-old Adan Quinn of Abbeville.
The crash took place before 2:30 a.m. on US 167 near River Road. Quinn was reportedly driving a 2007 Infinity southbound of 167 when he ran off the right side of the road. He then over-corrected the vehicle, crossing the other southbound lanes of traffic and over the median, overturning. Quinn was partially ejected. He was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead on the scene. His passenger, Bryan Gamez, 21, was wearing a seat belt and survived the crash with moderate injuries.
Police have not yet determined the cause of the fatal crash but suspect impairment may have played a part; toxicology samples are still being analyzed by the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab. State Troopers have used the tragedy as an occasion to remind drivers to avoid distractions while driving, wear a seat belt, and never drive impaired.
Effects of distracted driving
The dangers of distracted driving cannot be understated; nationwide, it kills nine people every day and injures 1,000 more. The problem is especially prevalent among the younger drivers; teen drivers cause one out of every ten fatal car accidents and 14 percent of all auto crash injuries.
It should not be surprising that a leading distraction these days is texting, which makes a crash 23 times more likely. Researchers have found that in an average scenario, a driver sending or receiving a text takes their eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. At freeway speed, this is long enough to drive the entire length of a football field without looking. Texting is not just a visual activity though; it occupies the hands while also drawing the driver’s attention away from the road at the same time.
In Louisiana, lawmakers recognize the risks involved in distracted driving; it is against the law to operate any motor vehicle on the road while writing, sending, receiving, or reading a text-based communication. The first offense can be punishable by a $175 fine and each violation after that by a $500 fine. It is also illegal for new drivers to use a cell phone except when using it “hands free.”
Auto accident liability
When someone is injured in an accident because another person was careless, such as by driving with distractions, they may be able to recover compensation for their injuries. Compensation can include reimbursement for medical bills, payment for pain and suffering, lost wages, and in the case of death, funeral expenses and wrongful death payments. But to recover, a plaintiff must be able to establish, in a way that meets the legal criteria, that the defendant was liable for the accident.
Proving liability in a traffic crash involves knowledge of relevant laws, understanding of the mechanics involved, willingness to work with scientific and medical experts, and the ability to convey the concepts to a court and jury. For this, you should trust an experienced, dedicated car accident lawyer. The Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers has been representing personal injury victims in Louisiana for nearly 20 years. We know injury cases inside and out and fight tirelessly for our clients. For a free consultation in Lafayette, Lake Charles, or Baton Rouge.
- Governors Highway Safety Association, Distracted Driving Laws, http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html