A May crash in Nampa that left an SUV a wreck and a business in ruins has been blamed on something that most drivers agree you shouldn’t do, but that many do anyway: texting while behind the wheel.
The crash, at 12th Avenue and 4th Street South, took place around 7:20 a.m. on May 19. The driver, a twenty-nine-year-old man, lost control of his vehicle and veered off the street, taking down a street light and the sign for a beauty salon. He continued on, smashing into another building, which housed a tattoo parlor. The driver received only minor injuries, and no one else was harmed. The tattoo parlor, however, was heavily damaged and could be put out of business if insurance doesn’t cover the losses.
The driver of the vehicle was reported in one source to have been texting at the time of the crash. He was cited by Nampa Police for “inattentive driving.” In Idaho, that’s a misdemeanor charge and carries a maximum penalty of ninety days in jail and up to a $300 fine.
In 2015, the most recent year with available data, the Idaho Department of Transportation found that inattention and distracted driving combined were responsible for nearly 28 percent of all crashes with a serious injury or death and included a total economic cost of more than $985 million. In the five-year period before that, 2010–2014, inattention and distracted driving were blamed for 223 deaths and more than 2,000 serious injuries in Idaho.
The Nampa crash capped a stretch of three incidents in three days of vehicles careening into Idaho buildings. The first happened two days earlier in Pocatello, when a woman (later charged with DUI) attempted to drive from the passenger seat after the driver left the car. She hit a parked car and then crashed into a home.
The next day in Rexburg, a man lost control of his car when he began to choke on a french fry (no, we’re not making this up . . . and it gets better). He swerved across two lanes of traffic and crashed into the building that houses his auto insurance agency, where the staff later described him as a good customer. He received minor injuries and was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
We might kid a little about the irony of crashing into your own insurance agent’s office, but this kind of thing is no joke, especially when you’re on the receiving end. As the owner of that Nampa tattoo parlor knows, a crash like this can cause serious damage and put your business at risk.
The criminal penalties are often very small in a case like this, and the government—at any level—takes very little interest in holding a guilty driver accountable for the property damage he or she has caused. That is, unless you take charge and pursue compensation in civil court.
When a driver has caused property damage to your home or business, it’s important to hold him or her accountable. That’s even more critical when the crash also causes injury or, worse still, death. Your insurer might be able to help, but they don’t always have your best interests in mind.
At Craig Swapp & Associates, we have in-depth experience in personal injury law, including automobile accident law. We have years of experience with this sort of case and have helped many clients recover the financial compensation they deserve after being harmed by another.
Give us a call today at 1-800-404-9000 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. You can also reach us online to have someone contact you, or you can launch the LiveChat feature from any page of this website for quick answers to many of your questions.