Distracted driving poses a threat to everyone on the road, and the costs are more than just financial. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015, nearly 3500 people lost their lives and 391,000 were injured in the United States because of distractions alone. The U.S. Department of Transportation noted that cell phones played a role in 1.6 million crashes and 6,000 deaths in 2015.
Given the amount of negligent driving in the area, it’s not uncommon for San Bernardino residents to incur injury following a car accident with a distracted driver. If this applies to you, what are your legal options?
Civil Lawsuits for Distracted Driving in San Bernardino
California law stipulates that a person may sue an at-fault driver to pay for economic and general damages. When one driver sues another for damages, the plaintiff (the person suing) must prove the other driver was at-fault for the accident due to careless or reckless driving. In many recent cases, the courts have agreed that the defendant was at fault for an accident because they were driving distracted.
Driving distracted doesn’t just mean texting behind the wheel – it also applies to talking on a cell phone, using a navigation system, applying makeup, eating, or using a car’s touchscreen. Anything that takes your attention from the road could result in a police citation.
If you believe distracted driving played a role in your accident, you will need to provide sufficient evidence that:
- The other driver’s behavior caused the accident.
- The accident led to your injuries.
- You incurred specific damages as a result.
What Do I Do After an Accident with a Distracted Driver?
If you have been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, there are certain steps you can take to protect your claim:
- Don’t apologize. While it might seem natural to say “I’m sorry” after an accident, an insurance company may take this as admitting fault. Be polite, but don’t make any comments other than asking if everyone is OK.
- Call for emergency services if necessary. If someone in either vehicle needs medical attention, call for help right away.
- Take pictures of the accident scene. Photographic evidence can help your insurance company make a fault determination and hasten the claims process.
- Talk to eye-witnesses. If you can get someone to vouch for the fact that the driver at fault was driving recklessly, like texting on their cellphone or eating, it could greatly help your defense.
- Call the police. A police report can give credence to your insurance claim, especially since a police officer will decide who is at fault for the accident.
Our San Bernardino Distracted Driver Accident Attorneys offer free consultations!
Lastly, a personal injury attorney can help you recover compensation for your injuries and any intangible losses, like pain and suffering. Estey and Bomberger, LLP offers San Bernardino accident victims a free initial consultation. Let us provide you risk-free legal advice. Contact us to schedule your case evaluation today! (951) 543-9020