Victims of Distracted Driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,166 people in 2017. The NHTSA also estimated about 481,000 drivers use their cell phone while driving, creating an enormous risk for deaths and injuries. These accidents are almost always preventable, which is what makes the data so frustrating.
The state of California contains some of the most famous tourist sites in the world. Its popularity amounts to hundreds of people huddling sidewalks and crossing streets at all hours of the day. If a driver spontaneously decides to cross the street, the driver of the car better be ready to hit the brake. Similarly, the city of Los Angeles has a high traffic rate, and slower traffic can amount to quite severe rear-end collisions with distracted drivers on the road.
Whether it was the urge to reply to that text on the cellphone or click on a specific song on that playlist, distracted driving is deadly without question. Pursuing a distracted driving case with the support of an attorney is always recommendable since they’ve worked with a similar situation before and can guarantee better results than filing without representation.
Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles
The attorneys at Yarian & Associates, APC understands the hardships with injuries from an accident caused by a distracted driver. Even if your insurance ignores the fact that the other driver was clearly distracted, you don’t have to. Levik Yarian is an experienced attorney who know the ins and outs of distracted driving and can represent your case.
Yarian & Associates, APC will analyze your case and let you know if it’s worth pursuing under a court of law. You can call (844) 291-1911 to schedule a free case evaluation. Yarian & Associates, APC represent clients in areas such as Glendale, Los Angeles, Visalia, Riverside, Fresno, Irvine and San Bernardino.
Overview of Distracted Driving
- What is Distracted Driving?
- Filing For Injury Against an Insurance
- Proving the Driver was Distracted
- Additional Resources
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is anything that keeps your attention away from the road while driving. Most equate distracted driving to talking or texting on the phone. However, many people fail to realize eating, adjusting music, or inputting directions into a GPS can cause just as much harm as sending a text.
Driving distractions can be divided into the following categories:
- Visual: Visual distractions are the most common type of driving distractions. Taking your eyes off the road alone puts you at high risk for causing an accident. This includes looking at a cellphone or staring at some other object or person inside the vehicle.
- Cognitive: Cognitive distractions involve the driver mentally exiting himself or herself from their physical environment. In this case, you’re on auto-mode and aren’t focused on the current task of driving. Taking your mind off the road decreases focus and slows down reaction time to sudden actions. Common examples of cognitive distractions include daydreaming or expressing deep emotions.
- Manual: Manual distractions involve taking your hands off the wheel or moving your foot far from the brake. When this happens, a vehicle is prone to swerve or collide with another vehicle due to slow response time. These types of distractions include eating, putting on make-up, or moving your foot away from the brake or accelerator.
Looking at a cellphone is unique because it combines all three types of distractions. Looking at text messages or directions distracts your hands, eyes, and mind off the road for around five seconds. Five seconds equates to driving the length of a football field.
Filing for Injury Against an Insurance
You should not have to pay for the medical bills and auto repairs incurred from a collision caused by a distracted driver. California law requires all drivers to have a $30,000 minimum for bodily injury coverage per accident and $5,000 minimum of property damage liability coverage. If the negligent driver has auto insurance, you can file a third-party claim with his or her insurance company and seek compensation for injuries and property damage. However, negotiating with insurance adjusters means dealing with people who work in the best interest of his or her clients and their insurance company, not yours.
The insurance’s maximum amount might not even cover severe injuries or lasting damage. When this happens, you have the right to sue for the remaining amount you need to heal. You will have to submit various types of documents such as accident reports, medical records and auto repair bills for documentation. Filing a distracted driving claim alone can result in a lower payout. You increase your chances of higher compensation by working with a personal injury attorney. They can make sure all the necessary paperwork is submitted. A personal injury attorney will negotiate on your behalf and make sure you receive sufficient compensation.
Proving the Driver was Distracted
California is a no-fault state, so you will have to prove the other driver was responsible for the accident before their insurance company pays for your damages. Distracted driving is a nuance of its own, and it’s difficult to prove without legal counsel.
California’s Vehicle Code 23123.5 explains the prohibition of distracted driving actions, including looking at a cellphone or wireless communicator, and its offenses. A lawyer will go by this law to perceive a case involving a driver using his cellphone while on the road. However, other distractions might have been present too.
Distracted driving evidence can include the following:
- Social media activity right before the accident
- Debit or credit card transactions from recently purchased food or drinks.
- Food wrappers, open cups, or spills may also indicate the driver was recently eating or drinking.
- Lack of braking or swerving to avoid a collision
- Footage from security cameras, depending on where the collision took place. This footage can show the driver being distracted before the accident.
- Information from a programmed event data recorder (EDR). Commercial trucks and new model cars have EDRs that record engine speed, changes in speed and use of breaks.
Distracted Driving | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Follow the link to view distracted driving facts. You can find patterns between distracted drivers and accidents. You can also find tips to help reduce electronic device use while driving.
Just Drive | California Office of Traffic Safety– Visit the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) website to learn about the state of California’s initiative to reduce distracted driving. You can gain access to tips and facts surrounding texting and driving. OTS is responsible for implementing highway safety programs in California.
Personal Injury Lawyer for Victims of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving claims lives. It’s not just texting and driving either. There are multiple ways a driver can be distracted on the road. A personal injury attorney’s expertise can serve to find all the supporting evidence. Yarian & Associates, APC has decades of experience assisting clients with personal injury issues.
Yarian & Associates, APC will keep you up to date throughout the entire process and stop at nothing to ensure you receive what you need to heal. Getting started is easy. Call (844) 291-1911 to schedule a case evaluation. Yarian & Associates, APC represents clients in areas such as Los Angeles County and Tulare County.