According to the Centers for Disease Control, eight people are killed and over 1,000 people are injured each day in the United States in a distracted driving accident. These are crashes that occur because one or more drivers were doing something that took their attention away from the important task of driving. If you are injured in this type of crash, you should not hesitate to explore your options with a car accident lawyer. Victims can consult Sacramento car accident attorney Travis G. Black to help determine whether they should bring a lawsuit for damages.
Holding a Motorist Accountable for a Distracted Driving Accident
Acts that may distract a driver include texting, making phone calls, searching a map or typing into a navigation system, eating, drinking, grooming, or adjusting the radio or another music player. Any of these acts may be considered negligent. In order to prove negligence, you need to show that the defendant failed to use reasonable care, and this failure was the cause of your injuries. Generally, acts that take attention away from watching the road and reacting to dangers are considered distractions, and succumbing to those distractions is likely to be seen as negligent by insurance adjustors or a jury.
However, in some cases, both drivers are distracted, and in that situation, both drivers may have negligently caused an accident. California follows the rule of pure comparative negligence. This is a rule that requires a jury to evaluate all of the facts and determine each party’s degree of fault for the accident.
A plaintiff’s compensation award will be reduced by a sum equal to their degree of fault. For example, if you were speeding, another driver was texting while driving, and you crashed into each other at an intersection, the jury may assign you 25% of the fault for the accident. If your damages are $200,000, you may be able to collect $150,000 from the defendant. This analysis is more complicated when there are multiple distracted drivers responsible for a crash.
In California, you may hold defendants jointly and severally liable for economic damages, although each defendant is only responsible for the amount of noneconomic damages that is equal to their degree of fault. This means that you may recover 100% of your economic damages from a single defendant, even if three parties were to blame for your injuries.
Damages arising out of a distracted driving accident may include medical expenses, lost earning capacity, scarring, disfigurement, mental anguish, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and rehabilitation. In some cases, it is necessary to retain experts to provide opinions about your damages, such as items like future wage loss due to injuries sustained in an accident.
Consult a Folsom Car Accident Attorney
If you have suffered injuries in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you should retain an experienced Folsom car accident attorney. Travis G. Black formerly worked in the insurance industry and understands how adjustors may respond to your claim. You should call us before talking to them. Our Folsom firm offers perceptive legal counsel and works hard on behalf of victims who need a Sacramento car accident attorney. Contact us online or call Black & DePaoli at 916-962-2896 for a free consultation.