Driving requires focus and discipline. But today’s cars offer many distractions that can easily divert a driver’s attention from the road. Any activity that takes your eyes, hands, or thoughts off the task of driving could lead to a distracted driving accident with potentially deadly consequences.
While most drivers acknowledge that distracted driving is dangerous, far too many also admit to engaging in behaviors like texting while driving, eating, talking to passengers, and fiddling with their stereos behind the wheel. If an inattentive driver causes a crash and injures you in California, you have the right to hold them accountable through a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Get help from a Ladera Ranch distracted driving accident lawyer at Silverthorne Attorneys. Our law firm has seen how a momentary distraction can forever alter innocent people’s lives. We will help you pursue justice and compensation during this difficult time.
Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving involves operating a motor vehicle while your attention is focused on any activity other than driving. Common examples of distracted driving behaviors include:
- Talking on the phone
- Texting while driving
- Playing mobile games or web surfing
- Eating and drinking
- Personal grooming
- Getting dressed
- Talking to passengers
- Assisting children or pets
- Adjusting radios, climate controls, or GPS devices
- Reading billboards
Types of Driving Distractions
Researchers typically divide distracted driving behaviors into three categories:
- Manual distractions – Anything that causes you to remove one or both hands from the steering wheel while driving is a manual distraction. When drivers are manually distracted, they may not have enough time to adjust the wheel to avoid collisions.
- Visual distractions – A visual distraction is anything that diverts your gaze from the road ahead of you. When a driver is visually distracted, they are more likely to miss sudden changes in traffic flow and crash.
- Cognitive distractions – Driving requires consistent mental focus. A cognitive distraction is anything that takes a driver’s mind off the task of driving. When drivers are cognitively distracted, they may not notice their surroundings even though they appear alert.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting while driving is the most hazardous distraction because it involves all three types of distractions. Sending or reading the average text message takes roughly five seconds, which is long enough to cover the length of a football field while traveling at 55 miles per hour.
Texting and driving is illegal in Orange County, Ladera Ranch, and everywhere in California.
Evidence We May Use to Prove Distracted Driving
Winning a personal injury case requires compelling evidence and proof of negligence. The dedicated legal team at Silverthorne Attorneys commonly use the following types of evidence to prove negligence in California distracted driving accident cases:
- Police accident reports – When law enforcement responds to the scene of a car accident, they create reports containing important crash information, such as who was involved and whether anyone suffered injuries. A police report may also indicate whether a driver was ticketed for distracted driving.
- Photos and video footage – Pictures of the crash site can demonstrate the extent of the damage after a distracted driving wreck. Video footage from dashcams and traffic cameras may provide valuable evidence of what the at-fault driver was doing in the moments before the collision.
- Eyewitness statements – Witness testimony can provide an unbiased perspective on the other driver’s actions before and after the wreck.
- Cell phone records – Our Ladera Ranch attorneys can subpoena records from the driver’s cell phone provider to determine whether they were talking or texting while driving. It is against the law to use a handheld device behind the wheel in California.
- Driver’s social media history – If the other driver has an online presence, their social media history could show whether they were posting, commenting, or streaming online when the motor vehicle accident occurred.
- Expert witness testimony – Experts such as accident reconstruction specialists can analyze the evidence from the crash scene to determine how the collision occurred and who was at fault.
Demanding Compensation in Your Distracted Driving Case
Getting hurt in a Ladera Ranch car accident can result in sky-high medical bills, missed time from work, and other financial and personal losses. With the help of a knowledgeable attorney in Ladera Ranch, you can file a distracted driving accident claim to demand compensation for a wide range of losses, including:
- Past, current, and future medical bills
- Incidental expenses, like travel to and from medical appointments
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Lost in quality of life
The process usually starts with filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. It’s wise to talk to a personal injury attorney before you file. A lawyer in Orange County can place an appropriate value on your case so you are not under-compensated by the insurance company.
How Long Do You Have to File a Distracted Driving Accident Lawsuit?
You only have a limited amount of time to file a distracted driving lawsuit in Ladera Ranch. Under California law, claimants have just two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Paying attention to this statute of limitations is critical. If you try to file a lawsuit after the deadline, the court will likely dismiss your case. That means you lose the right to demand compensation for your losses, no matter how valid the case may be.
What Should You Do If Hit by a Distracted Driver?
If you suffered injuries in a Southern California distracted driving accident, you can protect your legal rights and kickstart your recovery by:
- Seeking prompt medical attention and following your doctor’s care plan
- Gathering evidence such as photos, driver information, vehicle details, and witness statements from the accident scene
- Keeping track of medical bills, bank records, and other documentation to prove the extent of your financial losses
- Limiting what you say to others about the accident, especially the other driver and insurance adjusters
- Avoiding social media activity while your accident claim is pending
- Contacting an experienced car accident attorney for dependable legal advice
How a Ladera Ranch Distracted Driving Lawyer Can Help You
At Silverthorne Attorneys, we can handle every aspect of your distracted driving accident claim for you. The process begins with a free consultation. You’ll sit down with an experienced injury attorney to discuss your case and review your legal options. Then we’ll develop a legal strategy to build a solid case, fight for maximum compensation from the insurance company, and restore your health and financial security.
Ready to get started? Call or contact us now for a free case review.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you in a free initial case review.