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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:

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San Jose personal injury attorneyAmerica is full of busy people. There are workers rushing to their jobs, and parents shuffling their children off to school and soccer practice. Then there are those who are running late to a doctor’s appointment, or in a hurry to get to the airport. Unfortunately, all that hustle and bustle means that some drivers are going faster than they should. That can increase their risk of causing an accident, and may also lead to more serious injuries for victims. If one has happened to you or someone you love, know your rights, including your right to pursue full and fair compensation.

Respect for Speed Limits is Deteriorating

While most people do recognize that speed limits are the law and not a suggestion, researchers suggest there is an erosion of respect for those laws. In fact, a 2002 study found that one-third of drivers admitted to regularly driving at least 10 miles an hour faster than other road users. These were all self-reported incidents, which suggests the numbers could be much higher.

In a more recent study, researchers from Purdue asked 988 drives a single question: at what point did they feel like speeding became a personal threat to them or their family. They were given three options to choose from: 5, 10, and 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. Nearly half (43 percent) said they felt safe driving up to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. Another 36 percent asserted that safety did not become a concern until they exceeded 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.

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San Jose car accident lawyerThere are nearly 29 million automobiles registered throughout the state of California but despite the mandates of California Vehicle Code (CVC §16058), California currently ranks in the top five of states with the highest percentage of uninsured motorists. This is not welcome news for those traveling the coastal roadways and falling victim to experiencing a car accident with the nearly 25 percent who do not carry auto insurance. Not only can this lead to possible legal and insurance complications, but it is against California law to drive without at least the mandated minimum state insurance requirements.

In addition, an estimated one in three California drivers are either uninsured or underinsured drivers, even though California offers additional coverage to protect all drivers against damage or personal injury due to an at-fault driver with no or less than adequate insurance coverage. While, in this instance, a non-fault driver can submit his or her claim to their personal insurance carrier, often the compensation does not fully cover all liabilities.

Although it seems unfair that you as the victim would need to make a claim against your own insurance, the uninsured at-fault driver will be the one facing heavy fines, vehicle impoundment and license suspension. Most often, in these circumstances, a civil lawsuit for damages and personal injuries will be in their immediate future. As a result, this could lead to the loss of all viable assets and, sometimes, personal bankruptcy.

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San Jose Auto Accident LawyerThe moment you are involved in a car accident, your to-do list instantly begins to grow. After you have assessed the situation, addressed any injuries, notified authorities, and exchanged insurance information with the other drivers, it is time to handle the collision report and account for any citations and fines you might have received due to the crash.

The Purpose of the Report

The collision report process begins at the scene of the accident. Its purpose is to accurately document all of the details that led up to and caused the crash. These details help assist Highway Patrol and the other drivers and their insurance companies with the case. Everything from the traffic and weather conditions to the time of day, as well as witness accounts, are important details and should be noted for the report. It is also important to make note of any events that led up to the crash, as these details give everyone involved a clearer picture of how the collision actually unfolded and why.

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