If you were injured in an accident caused by a driver you believe was distracted, getting help from an experienced car accident attorney at Steven M. Sweat Personal Injury Lawyers is a good idea. Our experienced legal team of highly experienced distracted driving attorneys and legal staff understand how to investigate these types of claims to prove the liability of the distracted drivers. We work with experts and investigators to help to determine all of the factors that contributed to our clients’ accidents and might be able to recover compensation for your losses.
Why should you choose us?
When we accept representation in a car accident case, we focus on each client and work to build the strongest case possible showing the liability of the defendants. We start investigating our cases immediately and work hard to gather important evidence before it can be lost or destroyed. Our dedication and hard work on our clients’ behalf have helped us to recover hundreds of millions of dollars over the past 20 years. We have the experience and legal skills necessary to prove liability and recover compensation for our clients.
How much will you have to pay for an attorney?
After an accident in which you have been injured by a distracted driver, your family might be facing financial pressure because of your mounting expenses and income losses. While you might worry that retaining an attorney will be unaffordable, it does not have to be. The Steven M. Sweat Personal Injury Lawyers, APC accepts motor vehicle accident claims on a contingent-fee basis. This type of fee arrangement means that you will not have to pay money out of pocket to retain an experienced attorney. YOu will only have to pay your attorney’s legal fees if and when your attorney wins a settlement or verdict for you. At that time, your legal fees will be deducted from your settlement or verdict instead of directly from you based on your fee agreement. When you work with an attorney, you are also much likelier to recover more compensation from the insurance company than you might be able to secure without legal representation.
Proving a distracted driving negligence claim
Distracted driving claims in California are based on theories of negligence. This means that you will be required to prove that the other driver was at fault for your accident, injuries, and resulting losses. The burden of proof in negligence lawsuits is on the plaintiff and his or her attorney to show that the other driver was distracted while driving, and his or her actions are what caused your collision. To prevail on a negligence claim, you will need to prove four primary elements of the cause of action.
This first element your attorney will need to prove on your behalf is that the other driver owed a duty of care to protect you from injury in an accident. All motorists owe a general duty of care to others to drive cautiously and to obey all traffic laws to prevent accidents and injuries. For example, drivers owe a duty to others to keep their attention on the road while driving and to follow the distracted driving laws in California.
The second element your attorney will need to prove is that the driver did something to violate or breach the duty of care. This means that the driver knew that distracted driving could potentially be dangerous but negligently engaged in distracted driving anyway.
The third element that your attorney will need to prove is causation. The other driver’s actions in breaching the duty of care must have been the direct or proximate cause of your accident and injuries. If there was an intervening cause of your accident, you will not be able to recover damages.
The final element that you will be required to prove in order to prevail on your distracted driving claim damage. You must be able to present evidence that you suffered calculable damages to recover in a distracted driving claim. The damages you might have suffered include things like medical expenses, lost wages, property losses, physical pain and suffering, or others.
It is much easier to prove the elements of negligence when you have the help of an experienced attorney. Your lawyer can investigate your case and gather evidence to present a clear case showing the liability of the other driver. An injury attorney from Steven M. Sweat Personal Injury Lawyers understands how to gather the types of evidence that might be needed to prove each of the elements of a distracted driving claim to an insurance company or jury.
Common causes of distracted driving accidents
While car accidents can be caused by many different factors, distracted driving is a common cause and is preventable. This makes distracted driving accidents that injure or kill people all the more tragic since the drivers could have avoided causing them by maintaining their attention focused on the road instead of the distracting activity.
When you drive, you must coordinate your focus, vision, and motor reflexes to safely drive and avoid hazards on time. Anything that takes your visual, manual, or cognitive attention away from the act of driving can distract you and lead to an accident. Some of the most common causes of distracted driving accidents include the following:
- Sending or reading text messages
- Checking emails
- Having a conversation with a passenger
- Talking on the phone, including on a hands-free set
- Eating or drinking
- Reaching for a fallen object
- Looking at GPS
Driving while using smartphones
The advent of smartphone technology has led nearly everyone to own a smartphone. People in public tend to always be on their phones to have conversations, check text messages, look at social media, and perform other tasks. Unfortunately, many people are so tied to their phones that they fail to stop using them while they are driving. Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it removes a person’s manual, cognitive, and visual attention away from the road.
Because of the dangers of using phones while driving, California has enacted a law prohibiting the use of handheld phones while driving under Cal. Veh. Code § 23123.5. Despite this law, many people continue to use their phones while they drive. However, even though the law only prohibits the use of handheld devices, using a hands-free phone while driving is also dangerous. Driving while using a phone can severely reduce your reaction time and lead to accidents.
When drivers get into their vehicles, it is best for them to turn off their phones and store them out of reach. Removing the temptation a phone can pose might reduce the risk of being involved in an accident.
Teens and distracted driving
Teen drivers are the most inexperienced drivers and also are likelier to engage in risky driving behaviors, including texting while driving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers and young adults between the ages of 15 and 20, making up one-third of all of the deaths that occur within that age group. In many accidents involving teen drivers, other passengers are in the vehicle and are injured or killed. Teens are especially likely to engage in distracted driving and to cause accidents by texting while driving.
Teenagers also engage in other risky behaviors while driving, including checking social media or filming themselves live while driving on Facebook Live or TikTok. These types of activities while driving are very dangerous and have led to many tragic accidents.
The attorneys at Steven M. Sweat Personal Injury Lawyers have seen the results of distracted driving and the devastation it can bring to the victims and their family members. Parents should model good driving behaviors for their teens and make rules prohibiting the use of phones while driving.
Get help from an attorney at Steven M. Sweat Personal Injury Lawyers
Our law firm is focused on protecting the victims of distracted drivers who have been injured in accidents. If you have suffered serious injuries or have lost a close family member because of the actions of a driver you believe was distracted while driving, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit to recover compensation. To learn more about your rights and the merits of your claim, contact the Steven M. Sweat Personal Injury Lawyers today by calling 866-966-5240.