Can I Sue the Distracted Driver Who Caused My Car Accident?
If you have been the victim of a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation to cover your expenses and damages. To move forward with a distracted driving accident case, you will need proof the other driver’s distracted driving caused the accident. California has enacted distracted driving laws that make it illegal to use your phone while operating a vehicle. Being harmed by distracted driving can be frustrating, and it could also send your life off course if you were badly injured from the accident. A Santa Clarita car accident attorney can help you determine if your claim has everything it needs to move forward to court. A lawyer can also help you collect evidence and create a strategy to show why you deserve compensation.
Distracted Driving is on the Rise
If you’ve been in an accident with a distracted driver, you are not alone. Distracted driving accidents are on the rise, and they are the leading cause of accident fatality for drivers between the ages of eight and 34. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has researched distracted driving accidents. They found that distracted driving contributes to one death every 12 to 15 minutes and is responsible for 2.5 million injuries annually. Distracted driving is a serious mitigating factor in many other types of car accidents, like hazardous roadways, drunk driving, and equipment failure. The NHTSA concluded that negligence from distracted driving was the most prevailing reason for many of the most tragic automobile accidents.
Leading Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents
When you think of distracted driving, you immediately think about using the phone or interacting with the radio, but distracted driving comes in many forms. Anything that distracts your eyes and attention from driving your vehicle is a driving distraction.
There are several leading cuases of distracted driving, including:
- Talking to others in your vehicle
- Interacting with your radio
- Eating and drinking
- Trying to reach for other items while driving
- Watching an action or object outside the moving vehicle
- Using makeup
- Using a cellphone
- Emailing, texting, or reading on a mobile device
The number of distractions tempting drivers has increased, and we can only assume there will be more things to distract drivers in the future. So, public safety experts and government entities need to make laws to regulate and instruct drivers to embrace driving safety rules.
The Importance of Proving Driver Distraction
One of the biggest obstacles facing victims injured in a distracted driving accident is gathering proof the other driver caused the accident and is responsible for your injury because of negligent behavior. The scene of the accident is the best place to start collecting proof to support your distracted driving case.
Evidence from the scene of the accident can be found in many of the following ways:
- Accident Photographs
- Witness Statements
- Cellphone Records
- Social Media Activity
- Vehicle Data for Digital Dashboards
To proceed with a negligence-based car accident claim, you will need to meet four criteria:
- Duty of Care: Your attorney will need to show how the other driver had a duty of care to you while sharing the roadway and during the time of the accident. Drivers have a duty of care to pay attention to the road while driving, and they are responsible for obeying driving laws.
- Breach of Duty: Choosing to drive a vehicle while distracted is a breach of duty by the distracted driver. Drivers are aware that distracted driving can lead to serious injuries, and to engage in the activity anyway is a breach of duty.
- Quantifiable Damages: Damages you’ve suffered will need to be specific, measurable, or linked to the accident. Examples of measurable and specific damages include physical injury, lost income, pain and suffering, or damages to property and person.
- Causation: The accident that caused your injury will need to be directly linked to the other driver's negligence. The other driver's negligence must be the cause of the accident if you plan to seek damages.
Santa Clarita Car Accident Attorneys
At the Law Office of Robert J. Kaiser, we have worked for many years to fight for the right of victims. Being seriously injured in a car accident that was not your fault is unfair, and we can review the details of your accident to find out if your case meets the criteria to sue for damages. Fighting for your right to hold the liable party in your case responsible for the accident helps further alert the public to the dangers of distracted driving. At the Law Office of Robert J. Kaiser, we have more than 20 years of experience in personal injury. Every case is different, and we will fight hard to help you seek maximum compensation in your case. Contact us today for a consultation at (661) 441-3446.