Cell Phone Use While Driving
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Americans continue to use their phones while driving, in spite of warnings that it may lead to injury-causing accidents or even death. The data shows that at any given moment during the day, 660,000 drivers use their cell phones or another electronic device while driving. In 2011, 387,000 people were hurt in crashes involving a distracted driver. California laws ban the use of handheld cell phones while driving, as well as texting while driving. Unfortunately, many people in California continue to text while driving, and even those drivers that use hands-free cell phones may be distracted by the content of their conversation. If you are in a car accident in the Los Angeles area due to someone else’s cell phone use while driving, let the attorneys of Sharifi Firm, PLC fight for the compensation you deserve.Car Accidents Caused by Cell Phone Use in Southern California
Under California law, all drivers are banned from using handheld cell phones while driving, except to make emergency calls or while operating vehicles on private property. Although drivers over the age of 18 can use a hands-free device (by using Bluetooth, for example), drivers younger the age of 18 can't use any electronic device while driving, even if it is hands-free. There is also a law that prohibits writing, sending, or reading texts while driving.
All of these laws are intended to prevent car accidents. If another driver was using a cell phone while driving and in so doing, caused an accident, the police can cite that driver and the citation can be used as evidence in an action for negligence per se. Negligence per se is often easier to prove than ordinary negligence. You will need to show (1) the other driver violated a statute or regulations, (2) designed to prevent the accident that occurred, and (3) that the violation legally caused the accident.
For example, if you are driving through Los Angeles and see that a driver approaching an intersection is talking on a cell phone and that driver runs a stop sign and hits a pedestrian, the driver can be held liable under negligence per se. However, if a driver is talking on his cell phone and you are angry that he is breaking the law, and as a result you are distracted and run a stop sign, T-boning the driver using his cell phone, you caused the accident, meaning that ordinary negligence law will likely apply.
If you saw that the other driver in an accident was looking down or talking into a handheld cell phone while driving, you should call the police, rather than only exchange insurance information. Without a police citation for using a cell phone while driving, you are unlikely to be able to sue for negligence per se, and will have to establish all the usual elements of negligence, including the other driver's breach of duty.Riverside Lawyers for Injuries Caused by Cell Phone Use While Driving
Many Southern Californians spend hours on the road on a daily basis, and do not always follow the rules regarding cell phone use. If you are hurt in a motor vehicle crash caused by another's cell phone use while driving in or near Riverside, the knowledgeable lawyers at Sharifi Firm, PLC can help you sue the responsible party. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation. We also represent clients in San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, and Temecula.