Texting and driving is illegal in most states and has been a rising problem on the roadways in California. Drivers can get distracted by many things, whether these distractions are inside or outside of their vehicles. However, when a driver willingly chooses to text while driving, they recklessly put everyone at risk, including themselves.
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), distracted driving was considered the largest issue on the road by around 70 percent of Californians surveyed in the 2019 OTS Public Opinion Survey. Specifically, surveyors named texting and talking. Cell phone use has become a modern-day staple of daily living. However, when it leads to someone getting injured or killed on the road, it no longer remains a social pastime.
If you or a loved one was injured in a texting and driving accident in Los Angeles, you might be eligible to claim compensation. A Los Angeles texting and driving accident lawyer from Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices can guide you on how to build your case and serve as your legal representative. Call (888) 522-6291 for a free consultation.
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California Recognizes Texting and Driving as a Major Problem on Roadways
The California Vehicle Code (VEH) §23123.5 forbids drivers from holding and using cellphones or any other electronic wireless communications device while operating a vehicle. For examples of an “electronic wireless communications device,” the statute lists the following:
- GPS devices
- Laptops with mobile data access
- Handheld devices, such as tablets
- Broadband personal communication devices
Drivers aged 18 and older may use these devices hands-free, which allows people to utilize GPS and Bluetooth functions. However, minors are completely forbidden from using cellphones in their vehicles.
To reduce the rates of texting and driving accidents, the OTS launched the “Put Your Phone Down. Just Drive” campaign to shed light on the dangers of using a cellphone and other electronic devices while driving. This campaign is a follow-up to their 2015 “Silence the Distraction” campaign, which was aimed at younger drivers aged 16 to 24 and focused on smartphone culture.
Using a smartphone ultimately takes a driver’s attention off driving, whether they are using their eyes to read a text or social media post, typing with their fingers, or focusing their thoughts on their phone over the road. Once a driver takes their attention off driving, they risk not being aware of oncoming hazards, traffic signals, or crossing road users.
If a Teen Driver Is Involved in Your Case
While anyone can be guilty of texting and driving, teenage drivers tend to be more prone to this bad habit than older age groups. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, over 50 percent of teen drivers admitted to using a smartphone while they were driving, and 25 percent admitted to texting and driving within the past 30 days.
Because teen drivers are still relatively new to driving, their experience level is not as high as that of drivers who have had a license for numerous years. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety claims that it takes teen drivers about five years to reach the same skill level as most drivers, which means they are more prone to accidents in their early driving years.
If your accident involved a teen driver, you might need to consult your lawyer on who to pursue for compensation. If the driver is still legally a minor, their parents might have vicarious liability over them. Otherwise, you may pursue compensation from the driver if they are 18 or 19. Your lawyer can help you determine which route to take.
Your Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Fight for Compensation
After a texting and driving accident, you might have incurred several forms of damages. You can discuss these personal injuries with your lawyer to divide them and calculate their value.
Many damages fall under economic and non-economic categories. Economic damages focus on financial losses or damages that have a tangible monetary value. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, might not be based on monetary measures, as these losses feel more general and personal.
Examples of non-economic damages might include:
- Pain and suffering, which applies to both physical and emotional pain
- Permanent disability if you were permanently injured in the texting and driving accident
- Loss of enjoyment in life if your injuries prevent you from enjoying hobbies and life activities you enjoyed prior to the accident
- Loss of consortium if your injuries altered your relationship with loved ones
Economic damages are more concrete and might involve your medical expenses, costs for repair or replacement of your vehicle, or income you lost while you were recovering from your injuries.
Your lawyer can review your case and current life challenges to determine which damages you may be able to claim as personal injuries. They can then help you file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation.
You Have a Limited Time to Claim Compensation
Should you decide to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, you must do so within two years since the accident occurred. This is a statutory deadline all plaintiffs must abide by if they want to recover their damages or real property, and it is written in the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1.
If you are interested in filing a lawsuit, it is better to act as soon as possible so that you file on time. Call Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices at (888) 522-6291 right away so we can evaluate your case and determine if you are eligible to file. A Los Angeles texting and driving accident lawyer from our team can take appropriate steps to start the legal process for your case.
Call Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices About Your Accident Today
If a distracted driver hit your vehicle and caused you injuries, you might be entitled to receive compensation from them. You can work with a Los Angeles texting and driving accident lawyer from Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices to file an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurer. Alternatively, you might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the distracted driver if they refuse to negotiate with you.
Call our office at (888) 522-6291 if you want to learn more about how we can assist you with your case. We can also answer any other questions you might have. The first consultation is free.