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Pursuing Compensation from a Distracted Driver in California

 Posted on September 15,2020 in Car Accidents

Santa Clara County personal injury attorney car accident

In 2018, an estimated 400,000 people in the United States were injured and almost 3,000 were killed in car accidents involving distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Distracted driving is a serious problem nationwide and in California, and if you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you need an attorney who understands the legal strategies that give you the best chance of obtaining the compensation you need and deserve.

Common Causes of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving refers to any situation in which a driver removes his or her attention from driving to focus on another task. One well-known cause of distracted driving is cell phone use, especially texting, which can remove a driver’s eyes from the road for five seconds or more. In California, texting while driving and any other handheld cell phone use is against the law. Other common distractions are not explicitly forbidden, but they can be dangerous, nonetheless. Some of the most frequent causes include:

  • Looking at a GPS device

  • Reading a map or directions

  • Interacting with a passenger

  • Adjusting the radio or other vehicle controls

  • Eating or drinking

  • Grooming or checking your appearance in the mirror

  • Looking at something outside of the vehicle

Demonstrating Liability in a Distracted Driving Accident

After an accident with a distracted driver, it can often be challenging to establish that the driver’s distraction caused the accident. Hiring an attorney soon after the accident often gives you the best chance of collecting the evidence you may need to show that the other driver was at fault. In many cases, the observations of a law enforcement officer recorded in a police report can be important evidence, as can the testimony of witnesses to the accident, including passengers in the distracted driver’s vehicle. In cases involving cell phone use, your attorney may be able to obtain the driver’s phone records to demonstrate that the driver was using the phone at the time of the accident.

It may not always be necessary to demonstrate the specific cause of the distraction in order to show that the other driver was negligent. For example, if the driver drifted into another lane or failed to stop in time to avoid a collision despite an adequate distance between vehicles, this alone may be considered a breach in the driver’s duty of care to others on the road, regardless of the reason.

Contact a Santa Clara County Personal Injury Attorney

If you were injured in an accident and you believe the other driver was distracted, Attorney John J. Garvey can help. He will assist you with thoroughly investigating the circumstances of the accident and gathering as much evidence as possible to demonstrate fault so you can receive adequate compensation. Contact our knowledgeable and compassionate San Jose, CA car accident lawyer today at 408-293-7777 to schedule a free consultation.




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