In 2021, 74.3% of Californians identified distracted driving as their biggest safety concern on California roadways.
This concern is not unfounded, as distracted driving caused a staggering 680,000 accidents nationwide in 2020.
If you were injured in a distracted driving accident in California, you need an experienced distracted driving injury attorney on your side.
At The Weinberg Law Offices, we have the experience needed to help you get the most compensation possible for your injuries.
Further, we provide zealous representation to all our clients, and we stand up to the big insurance companies on your behalf. To reach out to our office, you can call us at 206-761-1016.
Below, this post will discuss distracted driving and some basics about distracted driving lawsuits in California. This way, you can be more informed before initiating a legal claim.
Distracted Driving Statistics
Distracted driving is defined as engaging in any activity that takes your eyes off the road while driving, from drinking a coffee to texting while driving. Distracted driving also includes:
- Having a phone conversation while driving,
- Eating and driving,
- Smoking while driving,
- Drinking beverages and driving,
- Turning to face the back or passenger seats while driving, and
- Using an electronic device, like a GPS or radio, while driving.
Distracted driving is extremely dangerous, as the practice kills about 9 people a day, or 3,500 a year.
Texting while driving is illegal in 48 states, including California, but it still occurs all too often. This serious form of distracted driving is so risky because in the 5 seconds it could take to send a text message, you could travel the length of an entire football field.
Texting and driving is especially prevalent in teenage drivers, as they are the group with the largest number of deaths caused by distracted driving.
If you have a teenage driver at home, we recommend you speak to them about the dangers of texting while driving and encourage them to put their phone on silent mode before hitting the road.
If you have been injured by someone who was texting and driving, you should reach out to a distracted driving accident lawyer as soon as possible.
California Distracted Driving Laws
In California, it is illegal to use an electronic communication device, like a cellphone, while holding it in your hand. However, there is an exception to this rule for drivers under the age of 18.
Minors cannot use a cellphone for any reason while driving, including using a phone in “hands-free” mode. The California Office of Traffic Safety provides information about how to practice safe driving in California.
Further, a California distracted driving attorney can help explain the relevant laws to you.
What to Do If You Were Involved in a Distracted Driving Accident
If you suffered an injury in a distracted driving accident, there are several steps you can take to protect your health and your right to recover compensation.
Step 1: Call Emergency Services
If you were involved in any type of automobile accident, you should call emergency services immediately after. Once the police arrive at the scene, they will create a report that will be important down the line.
Emergency services can also help you with the next step of seeking medical attention.
Step 2: Seek Medical Attention
To preserve your health and your right to sue for any injuries that resulted from the accident, you should get evaluated by a medical specialist as soon as you can after the accident.
It is also important to keep any medical records and receipts that stemmed from the accident.
Step 3: Hire a Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
Distracted driving accident attorneys can help you gather the important information that you will need when bringing a legal claim.
Further, they can speak on your behalf to any insurance companies that call you after an accident. We always recommend having your lawyers speak to the insurance companies, as they are in the best position to protect your legal rights.
If you intend to bring a claim against the party who was at-fault in the accident, it’s essential that you have a lawyer. This is not something you want to handle on your own.
Your lawyer can file the relevant paperwork, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court.
Damages in a Distracted Driving Accident Claim
One thing that may be helpful to know is the types of damages that you may be able to recover. Generally, there are two types of damages in a personal injury claim: pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages. There is also a third type of damages, called punitive damages, but these are not as commonly seen.
Pecuniary damages stem from things that are easily calculable in terms of monetary value. Some examples of pecuniary damages include:
- Hospital bill costs,
- Doctor visits charges,
- Costs of therapy,
- Property damage costs,
- Lost wages, and
- Lost employment benefits.
On the other hand, non-pecuniary damages involve things that are much harder to quantify. Non-pecuniary damages are intangible in nature, and they include things like:
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of enjoyment of life,
- Lost earning capacity,
- Loss of consortium, and
- Permanent disfigurement or disability.
Exactly how much compensation you may be able to recover will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. However, an attorney may be able to give you an estimate after your initial consultation.
Why Choose The Weinberg Law Offices?
At The Weinberg Law Offices, we understand that suffering an injury during a car accident can lead to tough times. Emotional, physical, and financial stress can result, and we are here to help you.
The Weinberg Law Offices work on a contingency basis, meaning that if you don’t win your case, you don’t need to pay us. Further, that means that you don’t owe us anything until we actually win your case.
This way, you can focus on maintaining your financial stability while we pursue your matter. If you would like to contact our office, you can reach out to us online or call us by phone at 206-761-1016.