Distracted driving is a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents resulting in injuries and deaths. At the JLF Firm in Riverside, our experienced car accident lawyers fight for justice for clients who have been injured in distracted driving accidents.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of another driver’s carelessness, we will pursue your right to compensation. With seven offices throughout Southern California, we are able to serve clients who have suffered losses because another driver wasn’t paying attention to the road. Contact us today to learn more about your options.
Typical Distractions Behind the Wheel
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), three types of distractions can take a motorist’s attention away from operating their vehicles — visual distractions, manual distractions, and cognitive distractions.
- Visual distractions take a driver’s eyes away from the road.
- Manual distractions are things that cause a driver to remove their hands from the wheel.
- Cognitive distractions lead a driver to take their mind off of operating the vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) lists the following as the most common driver distractions:
- Talking on the phone, even using hands-free devices
- Programming a GPS device
- Adjusting a stereo system
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to people in the vehicle
- Grooming activities, such as putting on makeup or brushing hair
- Rubbernecking (watching something happening on the side of the road)
- Reaching for a fallen item
- Managing children in the vehicle
Texting is the most dangerous type of distracted driving because it can involve all three types of distractions — visual, manual, and cognitive. Distracted driving results in roughly 400,000 injuries and 3,000 deaths annually. These dangerous behaviors not only put others at risk, but they are also illegal.
California’s Distracted Driving Laws
California has many distracted driving laws. For example, it is unlawful to use a cell phone with your hands while driving in this state. While driving, adults are only able to text or perform other actions with a cell phone using hands-free technology. Drivers under the age of 18 may not use a cell phone while driving, even using Bluetooth technology.
If a driver in California is caught unlawfully using a cell phone while driving, they can face fines and be required to appear in court. Distracted driving can also result in tickets for other infractions such as “speed unsafe for conditions” or “reckless driving.”
How Can You Tell a Driver Was Distracted?
If you were in a crash caused by someone else, would you know how to determine that it was caused by distracted driving? Statistics show that this is a strong possibility. But that won’t be enough to prove your case.
Some of the most common signs of distracted driving that can help prove liability include:
- Lack of braking: A driver paying attention will hit the brakes if they anticipate a crash. So, a lack of braking can be a sign of distracted driving.
- Drifting: Distracted drivers will often weave into neighboring lanes or across the centerline.
- Inconsistent speed or slow driving: Some drivers become so distracted that they fail to pay attention to their speed.
- Lingering at stops: Drivers often use stops to check their phones and take their attention off the road.
- Running lights or stop signs: An accident near a stoplight or stop sign might be a sign of distracted driving.
- Multiple children in a vehicle: Parents can take their eyes off the road to tend to children and cause unintended crashes.
- Teen drivers with passengers: Even though teens can use cell phones while driving in California, they can become distracted with friends in the vehicle.
- Out-of-state tags: California welcomes its tourists. But driving on unfamiliar roads can lead to distractions and accidents.
Getting Compensation from a Distracted Driver
Distracted driving accidents can be severe and life-altering. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a distracted driver in Southern California, a qualified distracted driving accident attorney can help you pursue justice and fight for a financial settlement that compensates you for your losses.
You may be entitled to compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical treatment and medication related to the injury
- Lost income and loss of future earning potential
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Unfortunately, insurance companies will not pay what your case is worth without an incentive. If you receive a quick settlement offer or a request for a recorded statement, call us first. Our law firm has your best interests in mind when insurers attempt to delay, deny, or minimize legitimate claims.
Do You Need an Attorney?
A seasoned Riverside distracted driving accident attorney can level the playing field with insurance companies and advocate for your interests. The JLF Firm in Riverside and the surrounding area understands the complexities of these cases.
We have years of experience aggressively standing up to insurance company tactics and fighting for full and fair compensation for our clients. And you won’t pay us a dime for representation unless we win your case.
If you have suffered serious injuries due to a distracted driver, please call (888) 303-9472 or visit our website to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. The sooner we begin working on your case, the greater your chances of obtaining maximum recovery.