Temecula Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving is a problem in Temecula and across Southern California. People traveling through the area on I-15 or I-215 often are not paying attention to the road as they commute to work or visit some of the area’s famous wineries. If you are injured by distracted driving, you may be able to sue the distracted driver to recover damages. At Sharifi Firm, APC, our Temecula distracted driving accident lawyers may be able to help you recover damages if you were injured by the actions of a distracted driver.Holding a Distracted Driver Accountable for Your Injuries
Distracted driving involves any activity that takes a driver's mind away from the important task of paying attention to the road and responding appropriately to emergencies. It may include eating, adjusting the radio, looking through CDs, texting, talking on the phone, putting directions into a GPS navigator, or engaging in a heated conversation with passengers. To recover damages after a distracted driving accident, you will need to prove the distracted driver's negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. Preponderance of the evidence simply means that it is more likely that your version of what happened is true than not. The elements of negligence are the defendant's duty, a breach of duty, actual and proximate causation, and damages.
Generally, distracted driving is a breach of the duty to use reasonable care that all drivers on California's roads are supposed to uphold. Drivers are supposed to be paying attention to the road so that they do not accidentally crash into an obstacle or another driver or pedestrian. If you suspect that the other driver in your accident was reading, texting, eating, or doing something else that took their attention away from the road, you have likely been in a distracted driving accident. You should call the police to the scene. In some cases, the driver is in shock or startled and will make an admission of distracted driving. For example, someone leaving the Pechanga Casino might say "I'm sorry, I was distracted by thinking about my winnings tonight." In other cases, the other driver may deny being distracted even though they were visibly typing on their phone just before the crash.
There are many ways for a distracted driving accident attorney in Temecula to prove that a driver was distracted. One of the most common reasons for a driver to be distracted on the road is texting while driving. Often, cell phone records are subject to discovery and can reveal that the driver was texting or talking on the phone just before or during the accident. Such evidence can show that the driver breached the duty to use reasonable care.
A citation may also be evidence of negligence per se, which can make it easier for a plaintiff to recover damages because it sets the standard of care that must be met as an existing safety law or regulation. For example, there are laws that prohibit texting while driving or using an electronic device at all while driving, just as there are laws prohibiting drunk driving. If the other driver is cited for breaking these laws, and the violation is what caused your accident, your Temecula drunk driving accident attorney may be able to recover damages from the other driver more easily.
Often, accidents occur because two drivers were distracted on the road. If either person had been paying attention, the attentive driver could have swerved or otherwise avoided the accident. An insurer may try to pin the blame on you as the plaintiff. If the defendant can prove your comparative negligence before a jury, your damages will be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault for the accident. For example, if you were eating a sandwich while turning onto Route 79, and the other driver was texting while driving, you might collide. If the jury determines that the damages were $120,000, but you were 50% at fault, you can recover up to $60,000 from the other driver.Consult a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in the Temecula Area
At Sharifi Firm, APC, our experienced attorneys can evaluate the circumstances surrounding a car crash, and we may be able to sue the responsible parties to recover damages on your behalf. Contact us at (866) 422-7222 or via our online form to set up a free consultation and find out whether you may be entitled to compensation for injuries caused by a distracted driver.