Santa Ana Distracted Driving Accidents
Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County and is home to well over 300,000 people as well as John Wayne Airport. I-5 travels through the city, and I-405 lies just to the south. In addition to the 55 and 57 freeways, which also run through the area, the 5 and the 405 often see heavy traffic. Distracted driving is an especially great threat whenever the road is crowded. All drivers are supposed to use reasonable care while driving on California roads, and this includes maintaining focus on the road ahead so that they can appropriately respond to changing road conditions. Distracted driving can include any behaviors that take a driver's attention away from the road. If you are injured in a crash, you should retain an experienced attorney. At Sharifi Firm, our Santa Ana distracted driving accident lawyers may be able to help you.Distracted Driving Accidents May Cause Serious Harm
Distracted driving includes any conduct that takes a driver's attention away from the road. It can include texting while driving, using a GPS navigator, eating a sandwich, trying to stop a fight between kids in the backseat, or trying to deal with an unrestrained pet that is moving around the vehicle.
You must usually prove negligence in a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover compensation. A distracted driving accident attorney in the Santa Ana area will need to show the other driver's duty toward you, a breach of duty, actual and proximate causation, and actual damages. In most cases, distracted driving is a breach of the duty that all drivers have to use reasonable care given the circumstances. For example, if a driver is eating a sandwich and gets distracted by mayonnaise dripping onto her expensive clothes and swerves into your lane, hitting the side of your car, it is likely that there has been a breach of duty.
For another example, if the defendant was texting while driving on the 55 and rear-ends you after you have come to a stop, it is likely that you will be able to show a breach of duty. In fact, you may even be able to show negligence per se, which is a doctrine that allows someone to recover damages if there has been a violation of a safety law that causes injuries. It can be important to call the police out to the scene to interview witnesses and issue citations for any violations of safety laws. The citations and police report can be important evidence when your Santa Ana distracted driving accident attorney is seeking to recover compensation.
Often, defendants raise the doctrine of comparative negligence. In that case, the jury will evaluate and compare the actions of the defendant and you and assign percentages of fault. It will also evaluate the damages. Your damages will be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault.
For example, suppose that the defendant was holding onto her puppy, which was trying to climb onto her lap while she was steering. Meanwhile, you had not repaired your brake lights, so when the defendant looked ahead, she did not believe that you were slowing down. Perhaps the jury determines that you were 30% responsible for the accident, while the distracted defendant was 70% responsible, and the damages were $500,000. You would be able to recover $350,000.
Damages that you may be able to recover include economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses are tangible and concrete, and often they are documented. They may include medical bills, lost wages, replacement services such as household services, and out-of-pocket costs. Noneconomic losses tend to be undocumented and can vary dramatically depending on the individual characteristics of the plaintiff. They may include intangible losses such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, lost earning capacity, and scarring and disfigurement.Hire an Experienced Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in Santa Ana
If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a crash caused by a distracted driver, you should contact an experienced attorney so that you can obtain the compensation that you need. At Sharifi Firm, APC, we can provide knowledgeable legal representation. Contact us at (866) 422-7222 or via our online form.