Verizon Pays $3 Million for Brain Injury Caused in Cell Phone-Related Auto Accident
Verizon has agreed to pay $3 million to a nurse who suffered a brain injury when she was rear-ended by a Verizon employee driving a bucket truck. The Verizon truck driver was on hold with a customer on his personal cell phone and looking at the display of his business cell phone at the time of the collision according to the lawsuit filed in the case. The Verizon bucket truck slammed into the nurse’s parked car rear-ending the plaintiff’s vehicle.
The nurse suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that caused her to suffer impaired memory and cognitive functioning. She also experienced a herniated disc in her back and neck. Medical experts testified at trial that the plaintiff’s injuries would prevent her from continuing in her 32-year-old career.
While most people now recognize that using a cell phone while driving is unsafe, many drivers still engage in this high risk activity. Almost one in ten drivers is talking on a cell phone at any point in time even though such conduct makes these drivers 4 times more likely to be involved in a car accident. Although some people use hands free devices to mitigate this risk, there is evidence that hands-free technology offers limited benefits. The area of the brain that processes moving visual information has 37 percent less capacity to gather and process important driving data when a driver is talking on a cell phone.
The key point that many people do not realize is that the conversation and not the electronic device is the principle distraction. Unfortunately, a majority of drivers have a false sense of security regarding the dangers associated with talking on a cell phone while driving. Although drivers identify the practice as unsafe, a significant majority of drivers disregard the risk. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study that found 70 percent of drivers admitted to talking on a mobile phone while driving during the prior thirty days even though 66 percent of those same drivers characterized it as a dangerous behavior.
The reason that multi-tasking in the form of talking on the phone is not safe is that the mind actually switches back and forth between complex tasks like carrying on a conversation and cognitive driving functions. In other words, multi-tasking is a myth when it comes to driving and carrying on a conversation because these are not tasks that the mind can engage in simultaneously.
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When distracted drivers cause car accidents such as by rear-ending other vehicles or blowing through a stop sign, they can be liable for injuries or deaths that result from this unsafe driving practice. Our auto accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.