Many people are curious when they see an accident or another interesting incident on the side of the road. However, rubbernecking is a type of distracted driving that may cause serious accidents, especially rear-end collisions. If you were injured in a rubbernecking accident in Southern California, you may be entitled to recover your current and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages from the driver who was rubbernecking. The Los Angeles car accident attorneys at Sharifi Firm can assist you in this effort.Pursuing Compensation for a Rubbernecking Accident
When a driver is rubbernecking, they are not paying attention to the road, and they may miss a cue to brake, swerve, or take other measures to avoid a collision with someone else or a fixed object. Sometimes rubbernecking occurs for a minute, while in other cases, it is a repeated distraction that makes it hard for a driver to respond in a timely fashion to urgent conditions on the road. Either way, you may be able to hold a rubbernecking driver accountable under a theory of negligence.
A plaintiff must show negligence by a preponderance of the evidence to recover damages. As a plaintiff, you will need to show that the defendant driver owed a duty to use reasonable care but in choosing to rubberneck breached that duty, thereby causing an accident. You will also need to establish actual damages, such as medical bills, lost income, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Often, there are multiple rubbernecking drivers involved in an accident. An at-fault driver may accuse you of rubbernecking and being comparatively negligent. Comparative negligence is a doctrine whereby the jury will determine each party's percentage of fault and reduce the plaintiff's damages award by their percentage of fault.
You may be able to recover noneconomic damages from a defendant, but only in an amount corresponding to their percentage of fault. However, you may recover 100% of your economic damages from any one defendant that was at fault, however slight that fault was, under a theory of joint and several liability.
In most cases, you may only recover compensatory damages from a negligent driver. Compensatory damages are intended to put you back into the position where you would have been had the other driver not been rubbernecking and collided with you, and they are not intended to punish the other driver. Compensatory damages may cover economic and noneconomic losses, including medical bills, lost earning capacity, lost wages, household services, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. You generally may not recover punitive damages in a rubbernecking accident case, but this is a possibility if the at-fault driver was drunk.Explore Your Options with a Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
Rubbernecking at an accident or another event may result in injuries. Generally, you may not recover from the people who caused the spectacle. Instead, you must focus your efforts on recovering from a driver who more directly caused your injuries. At Sharifi Firm, our experienced Los Angeles lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation if you were hurt in a rubbernecking accident. We can evaluate the facts of your situation and craft a strategy to seek your damages. Contact us online or call us at (866) 422-7222 to set up a free appointment with a motor vehicle collision lawyer. Our firm also represents people in Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Glendale, Covina, and Riverside, among other Southern California cities.