Despite the dozens of billboards along California highways, commercials and other public service announcements, some people are still texting and driving. Texting and driving is a form of distracted driving, and it only takes one second of not paying attention to cause major injury, death or property damage.
In fact, 80 percent of car accidents are due to distracted driving, including texting driver car accidents in Redding, CA. If you or a loved one has been injured thanks to a distracted driver, call a personal injury attorney right away. Here’s what you need to know about your legal options and injuries.
California hands-free laws
California’s driving laws ban texting and driving or talking on the phone and driving, unless the driver is using hands-free technology. This could be Bluetooth-enabled speakerphones, voice commands or headsets. As long as you’re not using your hands to hold the phone up to your head or type texts, you can legally make calls and send texts. There are some exceptions, such as for calling 911 or while driving on private property. However, drivers under 18 years of age are not allowed to text or call anyone while driving, under any circumstances.
If someone is caught texting and driving, they’ll receive a ticket. Fines range from $20 to $1,000, and may include time in the county jail if you fail to respond to your ticket.
Texting and driving personal injury lawsuits
What happens if you were hit by someone who was clearly texting and driving? First, make sure that you contact a reputable personal injury attorney. They can help evaluate the facts of your specific case and tell you whether you’re likely to receive compensation.
If you sue the distracted driver in civil court, it will likely be under a theory of negligence. To prove the driver was negligent, you’d need to show that they had a duty of care (that is, a duty to obey traffic laws and pay attention to the road), they violated that duty and, as a result, you were harmed.
If you can prove that the driver was texting without hands-free technology, this creates a presumption of negligence. (This is also known as negligence per se.) That’s because the driver was already violating a law, which means they were violating their duty of care. It will be incumbent upon the defendant to show they were not negligent, rather than the other way around.
Sometimes it’s difficult to prove that a driver was distracted. Your attorney may be able to request phone records, surveillance footage and witness testimony to help bolster your case. If they are able to show that you were hit due to the defendant’s distracted driving, you should be able to recover financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and more.
Working with a personal injury attorney is the best way to determine if you have a good texting and driving car accident case in Redding, CA. Call the Law Offices of Max G. Arnold, Inc. to arrange a consultation.
Categorised in: Personal Injury Lawyer