What You Need To Know When Involved In A Car Accident While Texting in California

July 31, 2023

What You Need To Know When Involved In A Car Accident While Texting in California

In today’s digital age, it is no surprise that distracted driving has become a major concern on the roads. Texting while driving is one of the most common and dangerous forms of distracted driving, as it takes your eyes off the road and diverts your attention away from the task at hand. If you find yourself involved in a car accident while texting in California, there are several important factors you need to be aware of. Let’s explore what you need to know in this situation.

1. Contributory Negligence Laws

California follows the rule of pure comparative negligence when determining liability in car accidents. This means that even if you were texting while driving and share some fault in the accident, you can still seek compensation for your damages. However, your percentage of fault will be considered, and it will reduce the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault for the accident, you will only be able to recover 80% of the total damages.

2. California’s Cell Phone Laws

In California, it is illegal to send, read, or write text messages while operating a vehicle. This applies to all drivers, regardless of age. Violations of this law can result in fines and possible points on your driving record. Additionally, California law also prohibits holding a cell phone while driving, even if it is not being used. Drivers are required to use hands-free technology such as Bluetooth or voice commands to operate their phones while driving.

3. Reporting the Accident

After a car accident, it is crucial to report the incident to the appropriate authorities. In California, you are legally required to report an accident to the California Highway Patrol or local police if it involves injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000. This report will be vital when filing an insurance claim or seeking legal action.

4. Gathering Evidence

When involved in a car accident while texting, it is crucial to gather as much evidence as possible to support your case. This includes taking pictures of the scene, documenting damages to all vehicles involved, noting any injuries, and getting contact information from witnesses. Additionally, if you were texting at the time of the accident, it is important to preserve any evidence that shows your cell phone activity, such as call logs or text message records.

5. Seeking Medical Attention

Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it is essential to seek medical attention after a car accident. Some injuries may not become apparent until hours or days later. By seeking medical attention, you not only ensure your well-being but also have a documented record of your injuries, which can be crucial when filing an insurance claim or pursuing legal action.

6. Contacting an Attorney

If you have been involved in a car accident while texting, it is advisable to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. They can assess your case, guide you through the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and help you seek fair compensation for your damages. An attorney will be familiar with the specific laws and regulations regarding distracted driving in California, and can provide you with the necessary guidance.


Being involved in a car accident while texting in California can have serious legal and financial consequences. It is important to remember that California follows the rule of pure comparative negligence, and even if you were texting, you may still be eligible for compensation. Familiarize yourself with California’s cell phone laws, report the accident to the appropriate authorities, gather evidence, seek medical attention, and consider consulting with a personal injury attorney. By knowing your rights and taking the necessary steps, you can navigate the aftermath of a car accident while texting in California more effectively.

Got Questions? Let Us Help!

Welcome to The Law Offices of Max G. Arnold, Inc., where we proudly apply over 35 years of legal experience. After completing law school in just two and a half years, Max G. Arnold dove into personal injury law, determined to help those in need fight for their rights. He knows the best strategies to use to help personal injury victims win cases with integrity. The Law Offices of Max G. Arnold, Inc., now partnered with son Barrik Arnold and Brian Michael Pratt, tout a detailed understanding of all of the legal obstacles that you may face and uses their unique experience to help individuals get what they deserve. We have three offices in Chico, Redding, and Santa Rosa, California. Contact us today to schedule an in-person case evaluation.

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