Cell Phone Related Car Accidents in San Diego
According to the US National Safety Council, distracted drivers are responsible for more than 400,000 injuries and 3,000 deaths each year. Unsurprisingly, the chief culprit of such distractions are cell phones. Indeed, drivers on their cell phones are four times more likely to cause an accident than other motorists. At 55 mph, a vehicle can travel the length of an entire football field in just five seconds, so a lot can happen in the few moments that someone takes their eyes off the road to glance at a screen.While smart cars and Bluetooth technologies have made it easier to talk on the phone while driving, it hasn’t addressed a broader problem: According to a study conducted by State Farm, half of motorists age 18-29 have a habit of reading emails, checking social media and surfing the web while driving. Text messaging, however, remains the leading cause of phone related accidents because it requires the most visual, manual and cognitive attention, which the driver should be directing toward the road. San Diego car accident lawyers can fight to get you the compensation you deserve if you were a victim of a recent cell phone car accident.
What types of damages can be sustained from a cell phone related accident?
Automobile collisions cause more damage than most people realize. Aside from medical and repair bills, victims can suffer from post-traumatic stress and lost time from work. Too many victims hesitate to take legal action because they believe it would be inconvenient or unnecessary, but those people do themselves a disservice. If you’re the victim of a collision, you have a right to request financial compensation for all of the following:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitative care
- Lost wages
- Funeral expenses
- Pain and suffering
No amount of compensation can make up for losing a loved one or sustaining life-altering injuries, but taking legal action can alleviate the financial burdens they create.
Is it legal to use a cell phone while driving in San Diego?
Texting and talking on handheld phones while driving is illegal in most parts of the country including the entire state of California. A UC Berkeley study found that annual traffic fatalities in California fell an astonishing 22 percent in the two years after the state banned cellphone use behind the wheel.
While it’s legal in California for drivers older than 18 to use hands-free phones, motorists can still be held accountable for causing accidents due to distraction. Even if the injured party isn’t sure whether or not the other driver was on the phone, obtaining phone records can still be useful in determining if the driver was visually, manually, or cognitively distracted.
How do you prove a driver was on their cell phone at the time of an accident?
It’s not uncommon for two parties to disagree about what happened right before an automobile accident. Since using a phone while driving is illegal in California, few drivers will incriminate themselves by admitting to wrong-doing. Nonetheless, the burden of proof ultimately lies on the injured party to prove that the other driver was at fault. If it becomes a matter of one person’s word against the other’s, there are several ways to determine if a driver was on the phone at the time of a collision including:
- Cell phone records
- Traffic surveillance footage
- Accident reconstruction reports
- Witness testimonies
Accessing such information is easy if you have an experienced lawyer on your side. An automobile accident attorney can investigate and gather evidence to build a case based on the facts.
What should I do if I’m involved in a cell phone related accident?
The only way to make sure your rights are protected is to call a San Diego personal injury attorney who specializes in automobile accidents. Because laws regulating cell phone use while driving differ in every jurisdiction, you need guidance from someone who knows the law of the land.
If you have been the victim of any traffic accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for medical expenses, automobile repairs, lost wages, pain and suffering. An experienced lawyer can help you reach a settlement with the guilty party’s insurance company or represent you in court if necessary. Do not delay; prosecuting these cases can take time, so the sooner you take action, the better your chances of getting justice.