Drivers generally understand that they must pay attention to the road and their surroundings. Some motorists do not abide by this rule, though, and operate their vehicles while focused on things other than driving. Driving while distracted is unsafe, and unfortunately, distracted drivers frequently cause collisions. If you were hurt in a crash caused by a motorist preoccupied with something other than driving safely, you might be owed damages, and it is in your best interest to consult a lawyer. At the Law Offices of Bruce S. Meth, our dedicated Chula Vista car accident attorneys are well-versed in what it takes to prove liability in cases arising out of collisions, and if we represent you, we will develop compelling arguments to provide you with a strong chance of a favorable outcome. We frequently represent injured people in car accident cases in Chula Vista, San Diego, and cities throughout Southern California.Common Causes of Distracted Driving
Cell phone use is one of the primary causes of distracted driving in Chula Vista and San Diego. Drivers often glance at their phones to read a text message or check a social media app while driving, taking their attention away from the road. Drivers can also be distracted by navigation systems, especially if they do not know where they are going. Although technology accounts for many distracted driving accidents, it is not the only cause. Drivers who divert their attention to eat or drink, adjust the radio, or look at something outside of their cars cause collisions as well.California’s Distracted Driving Law
California’s vehicle code expressly prohibits drivers from using their cell phones while driving unless they are using them in a hands-free manner, such as through the car's audio system or speakerphone. Drivers cannot hold their phones while using them, however. Additionally, the law bars drivers under the age of 18 years from using their phones while driving, regardless of whether or not they can be operated hands-free.Recovering Damages Following a Distracted Driving Accident
Crashes brought about by distracted driving often cause serious injuries that cause physical, emotional, and economic harm. In many instances, people hurt in such collisions will pursue compensation for their losses from the drivers responsible for the accidents. In most cases, to recover damages in a claim arising out of a car crash a plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent. Under California law, to show negligence the plaintiff has to show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty and that the defendant acted in a manner that demonstrates a departure from the duty owed. Usually, the duty owed is the obligation to exercise the care that a reasonable person would use in a similar situation. The plaintiff also has to prove that the defendant’s breach proximately caused the subject crash, which means that it would not have occurred absent the breach. Finally, the plaintiff must establish that they sustained actual damages due to the breach.
In collisions caused by distracted driving, defendants frequently deny liability. Thus, a plaintiff may have to rely on circumstantial evidence such as eyewitness accounts, cell phone records, and surveillance videos to prove that the defendant was preoccupied when the collision occurred. In cases in which the defendant was cited for distracted driving, though, a plaintiff may be able to argue that the defendant was negligent per se. In other words, under California law, a person who violates the vehicle code and subsequently causes someone else to suffer injuries as may be deemed negligent as a matter of law.Speak to an Experienced San Diego Attorney About Your Accident
Drivers that fail to fully pay attention to the operation of their vehicles are prone to causing accidents, and they should be held accountable for their carelessness. If you were injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver, you have the right to seek damages for your losses, and you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The seasoned Chula Vista attorneys of the Law Offices of Bruce S. Meth are adept at aiding people harmed by others' negligence in the pursuit of compensation, and if you hire us, we will assertively advocate on your behalf. We frequently represent people in car accident cases in Chula Vista as well as throughout the San Diego area. You can contact us through our form online or at 619-691-8942 to set up a confidential and free consultation.