In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported millions of motor vehicle accidents nationwide that included 33,654 fatalities and nearly 2 million injuries. California, with 3,259, had the second-highest number of fatal accidents behind Texas that year. Of all the fatal collisions that occurred in the United States, 2,628 involved distracted driving.
Drivers have a responsibility to practice safe habits to keep themselves and others safe on the road, but distractions often cause a lapse in judgment. For example, despite the fact that California law forbids the use of a cell phone while driving for those under age 18 and allows only hands-free functions for adult drivers, cell phone use still plays a major role in motor vehicle accidents across the state.
If you suffered an injury or lost a loved one in a collision caused by a driver who failed to pay attention to the road, a San Diego distracted driving accident lawyer can help to hold them accountable for your damages. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 598-7557 to speak with our legal team about your case.
All Types of Distracted Driving Increase the Risk of an Accident
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), cell phone use accounted for more than 1 in 10 fatal accidents across the U.S. in 2018. Moreover, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) notes that California drivers received more than 426,000 cell phone use and texting violations including more than 57,000 tickets in a single month in 2013. Two years later, the California Traffic Safety Survey stated that texting while driving is the most serious distraction on roadways.
Cell phone use accounts for many instances of distracted driving, but other activities can draw drivers’ attention away from the roads, as well. End Distracted Driving (EndDD) lists the three types of driver distraction, which include:
- Manual distraction (taking your hands off the wheel)
- Visual distraction (focusing your eyes somewhere other than the road)
- Cognitive distraction (thinking about something other than driving)
Texting is especially dangerous because it involves all three types of distractions.
For a free legal consultation with a distracted driving lawyer serving San Diego, call 800-959-1444
Common Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries
In July 2015, the NHTSA released the results of a survey conducted on reported and unreported motor vehicle accidents. Researchers called victims to collect data on more than 2,000 collisions and recorded the most commonly reported injuries, which included:
- Broken bones
- Lacerations requiring stitches or glue
In more severe cases, victims required medical assistance for severe burns and amputation. A separate study by the NHTSA reported the consequences of accidents on children, revealing that head injuries accounted for the most common injury in children under age eight. Children under one year of age suffered more rib fractures, while those over one suffered a higher instance of lung injuries.
If you or your child suffered a serious injury in a San Diego distracted driving accident, the lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you to seek compensation. Contact our legal team online at any time, and we will respond as soon as possible to discuss your options with you.
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Determining Liability in California Distracted Driving Accident Cases
In California, the driver who causes the accident holds responsibility for the victims’ injuries. For this reason, many parties often begin investigations into the accident right away to determine liability. Police officers typically investigate to determine if criminal behavior played a role, insurance companies try to establish if their policyholder caused the accident, and attorneys take a comprehensive look to ensure the fair treatment of their clients.
Evidence Used to Prove Fault
If you seek the assistance of a lawyer for help with your distracted driving accident case, they will likely gather evidence from the scene of the accident and from those involved with your case to help prove liability and strengthen your claim. Some of the types of documents, statements, and other items they may collect include:
- Videos from the scene of the accident
- Photos of debris, skid marks, property damage, and injuries
- Medical records
- Police reports
- Eyewitness testimony
- Cell phone records
In some cases, your own testimony may benefit your case, as well. A lawyer can help you prepare for this process, so you feel confident sharing your recollection of the accident and its effects on your life.
Help with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies want to know who caused the accident immediately not so they can help the victims, but so they can come up with ways to avoid cutting into their profits. Adjusters may try to assign partial blame to the victims or undervalue their injuries to avoid providing a fair settlement. A lawyer can help by dealing with the insurance companies on your behalf and seeking adequate financial recovery for you.
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A San Diego Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help You Seek Compensation
The types of financial awards you may qualify for vary based on the extent of your injuries, whether or not you had to take time off work, the availability of insurance coverage, and other circumstances in your case. They may include compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
An attorney cannot guarantee that you will receive a certain amount of financial recovery, but they can evaluate your damages and help you seek adequate compensation for your losses.
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California Statutes of Limitations on Motor Vehicle Accident Cases
In California, victims and certain family members of those who lost their lives in distracted driving car accidents have a right to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. However, they only have a certain time frame, called a statute of limitations, to do it. In most cases, victims have up to two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim, while families typically have up to two years from the date of their loved one’s passing to file a wrongful death claim. A San Diego distracted driving accident lawyer can determine how much time you have left and help you get started on your case as soon as possible.
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC Today to Get Started
Distracted driving claims the lives of thousands of people and causes even more injuries each year. Unfortunately, it remains a major issue on California roads. If you or someone you love suffered severe or fatal injuries as the result of a distracted driver’s negligence, Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (800) 598-7557 to discuss your free case evaluation with our legal team.
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