Des Moines Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer

Distracted driving is alarmingly dangerous. Studies show texting or using a handheld phone while driving can multiply your crash risk by several times, leading to serious injuries and fatalities. According to the NHTSA, an estimated 3,522 people died in crashes involving distracted drivers last year alone. 

Distracted driving is a serious threat, yet an entirely preventable one. If someone was distracted while driving and caused an accident that injured you or a loved one, you may have grounds to hold them accountable for your medical bills and other damages through a personal injury claim.

A Des Moines distracted driving accident lawyer from Hope Law Firm can review your case during a free consultation and explain your legal options. 

Why Choose Hope Law Firm for Your Distracted Driving Accident Case?

Hope Law Firm - Personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Hope Law Firm are dedicated to helping residents of Des Moines and surrounding areas seek justice and compensation for injuries suffered due to the negligent acts of another person. 

We understand how distracted driving accidents can impact lives—not just of the accident victim, but also their entire family. Our lawyers are well-versed in the nuances of all types of car accidents, and we can guide you through each step of this challenging journey. 

Our Des Moines personal injury lawyers have a combined 125 years of litigation experience and a deep commitment to justice and client advocacy. We have conducted over 100 bench and jury trials in courts across Iowa and the U.S.

Through the years, we have recovered tens of millions in verdicts and settlements for our clients. We can help you, too. Contact us today for your free case consultation, and let’s discuss your case. 

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving refers to any activity that diverts attention from driving, encompassing a wide range of behaviors that can reduce a driver's awareness, decision-making, or performance, potentially leading to accidents, injuries, or fatalities.

It includes:

Businesswoman performing multiple tasks while driving: drinking coffee and talking on the phone.
  • Texting and using a smartphone
  • Using electronic devices
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Applying makeup, shaving, or engaging in other forms of grooming 
  • Reading maps, text messages, or any form of reading material 
  • Watching videos
  • Adjusting vehicle controls, navigation systems, mirrors, seats, or climate controls 

Distracted driving is a significant public safety concern. Despite laws and awareness campaigns to mitigate it, distracted driving continues to be a leading cause of traffic-related accidents and fatalities. 

Types of Distracted Driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) classifies distracted driving into three main categories: manual, visual, and cognitive distractions. These categories help in understanding how different activities can affect driving performance and contribute to the risk of accidents. Here's a breakdown of each:

Manual Distractions

These occur when the driver takes one or both hands off the steering wheel to engage in another activity. This could involve actions like eating, drinking, adjusting the car's radio or climate controls, or handling a navigation device. Manual distractions compromise the driver's ability to control the vehicle and respond quickly to road conditions or emergencies.

Visual Distractions

These distractions involve the driver taking their eyes off the road. Reading text messages, looking at a GPS device, searching for items in the car, or any activity that causes the driver to look away from the road ahead falls into this category. Visual distractions significantly increase the risk of not seeing critical events, traffic signs, pedestrians, or other vehicles in time to react safely.

Cognitive Distractions

Cognitive distractions occur when the driver's mind is not focused on driving. This can happen during conversations with passengers, daydreaming, or being preoccupied with personal, family, or work-related issues. Even hands-free phone conversations can lead to cognitive distractions. While the driver's eyes may be on the road and hands on the wheel, their attention is not fully on the task of driving, which can delay reaction times and decision-making processes.

Do I Have a Distracted Driving Accident Case?


Negligence, in the context of personal injury law, refers to a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. Essentially, it involves actions or failures to act that breach a duty of care, resulting in harm to another person. 

Negligence is a foundational concept in personal injury cases, including those involving distracted driving accidents. 

To establish negligence and have a successful claim, you must prove four key elements:

  1. Duty of Care: The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed them a duty of care. In the context of driving, this is generally established by the law itself, as all drivers have a legal obligation to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner to avoid harming others on the road.
  2. Breach of Duty: Once a duty of care is established, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached this duty. In distracted driving cases, this could involve showing that the defendant was texting, making a call, eating, or engaging in any other activity that took their attention away from driving responsibly.
  3. Causation: The plaintiff must prove causation, meaning that the defendant's breach of duty (distracted driving) directly caused the accident and the plaintiff's injuries. This link between the breach of duty and the harm suffered must show a foreseeable consequence of the defendant's actions.
  4. Damages: Finally, the plaintiff must demonstrate that they suffered actual damages as a result of the accident. This can include physical injuries, property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The damages must be quantifiable and directly related to the negligence alleged.

Proving negligence is key to securing compensation for injuries and losses, and it underscores the importance of legal guidance in navigating the complexities of personal injury law.

How Can I Prove Someone’s Distracted Driving Caused the Accident That Injured Me?


Proving that someone's distracted driving caused an accident that resulted in injuries can be challenging, but it's crucial for establishing liability and securing compensation. Various methods and pieces of evidence can be used to demonstrate that the other driver was distracted at the time of the accident.

Here are several types of evidence that can support such a claim:

  • Police Reports: Often, police reports contain observations from officers who responded to the scene, including any admissions of distraction by the other driver or observations of distracted driving behaviors. These reports can be pivotal in establishing fault.
  • Eyewitness Testimony: People who witnessed the accident, including pedestrians, other drivers, or passengers, can provide accounts that indicate the other driver was distracted. For instance, they might have seen the driver texting, talking on the phone, or engaging in other distracting activities.
  • Mobile Phone Records: These can be obtained through legal processes to show that the driver was texting, calling, or using data at the time of the crash. Such evidence is compelling proof of distraction.
  • Dashcam Footage: If the vehicles involved in the accident or nearby vehicles were equipped with dashcams, the footage might capture the distracted driver's actions immediately before the collision.
  • Surveillance Videos: Footage from surveillance cameras on nearby buildings, homes, or traffic signals can sometimes capture the moments leading up to the accident, providing evidence of distracted driving.
  • Social Media Activity: Checking the other driver's social media activity around the time of the accident can sometimes reveal that they were posting or engaging with content, indicating distraction.
  • Vehicle Data: Many modern vehicles are equipped with data recorders (similar to "black boxes" in airplanes) that can provide information about the vehicle's speed, brake use, and other factors seconds before a collision. While this may not directly prove a distraction, it can corroborate other evidence or show that the driver made no attempt to avoid the collision.
  • Admissions of the Driver: In some cases, the driver may admit at the scene or later to being distracted by a phone call, text message, or another distraction. This can be documented through witness statements or police reports.
  • Expert Testimony: Experts in accident reconstruction or mobile technology can sometimes provide insights into how an accident occurred and whether distracted driving likely played a role.

Building a case for distracted driving requires gathering as much relevant evidence as possible and presenting it effectively. Due to the complexities involved in proving distraction and the legal nuances of personal injury cases, working with an experienced attorney who can navigate these challenges and employ effective strategies is often essential for achieving a successful outcome.

What Damages Can Distracted Driving Accident Victims Be Compensated For?

Victims of distracted driving accidents may be entitled to various forms of compensation. The specific types of damages a victim can recover will depend on the details of the case and the severity of injuries.

Below is an overview of these categories:

Katie M. Naset, Personal injury attorney
  • Medical Expenses: Costs for immediate medical treatment, surgeries, hospital stays, medications, rehabilitation services, and ongoing medical care related to the injuries sustained in the car accident.
  • Lost Wages or Income: Compensation for the income the victim lost while recovering from their injuries. This also covers loss of earning capacity if the victim cannot return to work at the same level as before the accident.
  • Property Damage: Reimbursement for repairs or replacement of the victim's vehicle and any personal property damaged in the accident.
  • Other Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Costs directly related to the accident, such as transportation to medical appointments, home modifications for severe injuries, and other necessary expenses.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress the victim has endured due to the accident and resulting injuries.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Compensation for the loss of the ability to enjoy hobbies and activities the victim engaged in prior to the accident.
  • Emotional Distress: Compensation for psychological impacts, such as anxiety, depression, and trauma stemming from the accident.
  • Loss of Consortium: Compensation awarded to the spouse or family members for the loss of companionship, affection, and support due to the victim’s injuries.

Is There a Deadline for Filing a Distracted Driving Accident Lawsuit?

Yes, there is a deadline for filing a distracted driving accident lawsuit in Iowa, known as the statute of limitations. For personal injury claims, including those arising from distracted driving accidents, Iowa law generally requires that the lawsuit be filed within two years from the date of the accident. 

Scott-Lyon, personal injury lawyer

This means that victims of distracted driving accidents have a two-year window to initiate legal action against the party or parties they believe to be responsible for their injuries. If a lawsuit is not filed within this period, the victim may lose the right to seek compensation through the court system, as the defendant can use the statute of limitations as a defense to get the case dismissed.

Certain exceptions and nuances to this rule might affect the deadline in specific circumstances. Because navigating these legal deadlines can be complex and mistakes can be costly, it's advisable for individuals affected by a distracted driving accident to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure their rights are protected and their legal actions are timely.

How Can a Lawyer Help with My Distracted Driving Accident Claim?

A lawyer with Hope Law Firm can provide invaluable assistance with your distracted driving accident claim, leveraging their experience and resources to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Here's how we can help:

  • We will meticulously investigate your accident, gathering crucial evidence such as police reports, eyewitness statements, mobile phone records, and surveillance footage.
  • We may consult with medical professionals, accident reconstruction experts, and economic loss analysts to fully understand the extent of your injuries, how the accident occurred, and the impact on your financial future. These expert opinions are vital in substantiating your claim for damages.
  • The legal system can be daunting, with numerous procedures, deadlines, and regulations. We will navigate these complexities on your behalf, including understanding the nuances of Iowa's statute of limitations and how it applies to your case, ensuring compliance and maximizing your claim's potential.
  • Insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts. Our experienced lawyer will handle all communications and negotiations with these companies, advocating for your best interests, and pushing back against lowball offers to secure a fair settlement.
  • If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, we are prepared to take your case to court and represent you throughout the trial, presenting the evidence compellingly and arguing your case to achieve the best possible outcome.
  • By accurately assessing both your current and future needs stemming from the accident, we will strive to ensure that your compensation covers medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and any other applicable damages.
  • Perhaps one of the most significant benefits is the peace of mind that comes from knowing your case is in capable hands making every effort to secure justice and compensation on your behalf.

In essence, a lawyer from Hope Law Firm brings a combination of legal acumen, negotiation skills, and compassionate representation to your distracted driving accident claim, significantly enhancing your chances of a favorable outcome.

Contact the Des Moines Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers at Hope Law Firm Today

Andrew L. Hope, Personal Injury Lawyer
Andrew L. Hope, Car Accident Attorney in Des Moines

If you or a loved one has been affected by a distracted driving accident, you don't have to navigate this challenging journey alone. Hope Law Firm stands ready to champion your cause, leveraging our experience and dedication to ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve. 

Our team of experienced Des Moines distracted driving accident lawyers is committed to providing personalized, compassionate legal representation, focusing on your recovery while we handle the complexities of your claim. 

Don't let the opportunity for rightful compensation slip away. Contact Hope Law Firm today at (712) 424-4673 or through our online form for a free consultation to discuss your case and your options for financial recovery.

Hope Law Firm - Des Moines Office

Address: 666 Walnut St Suite 2220
Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone: (712) 424-4673