Texting While Driving Accidents
Distracted driving injures thousands of people each year. Distracted driving includes texting while driving. Texting while driving is highly dangerous, requiring a driver to look away from the road for the amount of time that it takes to travel a football field, on average. If you are injured in a texting while driving accident that was caused by another driver, you may be able to recover damages as compensation for your injuries. The experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Sharifi Firm may be able to help you.Claims Based on Texting While Driving Accidents
If you are hoping to successfully recover your damages after a car accident, you usually need to prove the other driver's negligence. Negligence exists when a driver did not act reasonably while driving given the circumstances, and that failure to act reasonably was an act or omission that caused injuries or a fatal crash. You will need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the other driver owed you a duty, the other driver breached this duty, actual and proximate causation, and actual damages.
In California, texting while driving is a form of distracted driving that is expressly prohibited by law. Texting while driving is banned altogether, although hands-free or voice controlled texting is permitted. Adults are not allowed to use cell phones unless they use hands-free devices. It is illegal to use even a wireless device that is mounted to a car's dashboard, unless what you hope to do can be accomplished with one tap or swipe.
If you are injured in a texting while driving accident caused by another driver's texting, it is critical to call law enforcement officers to the scene. The police can investigate the causes of the accident, and witnesses may be willing to disclose that they saw the other driver texting or looking down at something in their hand prior to the accident. In some cases, they will issue a citation to the other driver for texting while driving. The police report about the accident may be used to establish your case for damages.
Under the doctrine of negligence per se, you can hold someone accountable if they violate a law (such as the laws related to texting while driving), and the violation is a substantial factor in causing the injuries for which you seek monetary damages. Generally, the use of negligence per se is favorable to plaintiffs because it can allow the focus of the case to shift to the extent and amount of damages. Even if negligence per se is not applied, proof that a defendant violated safety laws when the violation caused injuries is strong evidence of negligence.
The other driver may raise the issue of comparative negligence. Comparative negligence requires the jury to evaluate the actions and omissions of both parties, determine the damages, and assign percentages of fault to each party. The percentages of fault are assigned based on a comparison of each party's negligence. As a plaintiff, your damages will be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault as assigned by the jury. If your fault is 0%, your damages will not be reduced. But, for example, if your fault is found to be 20% because you were speeding, the other driver's fault is 80% for texting while driving, and the damages are $100,000, you will be able to recover $80,000 from the other driver.
Damages that you may be able to recover include economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses are usually documented and tangible, and they may include medical bills, lost wages, replacement services, and out-of-pocket costs. Noneconomic losses are intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, loss of earning capacity, and scarring and disfigurement.Seek Guidance from a Car Crash Attorney in the Los Angeles Area
If you are injured or a loved one is killed due to a texting while driving accident, you should contact an experienced attorney so that you can recover the compensation to which you are entitled. At Sharifi Firm, APC, our Los Angeles attorneys can provide knowledgeable legal representation. Contact us at (866) 422-7222 or via our online form. We also represent people in Temecula, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendale, Covina, and San Bernardino.