Cell phones have become increasingly entertaining and useful with the emergence of smartphones and their apps. However, these phones have proven to be distracting to drivers. Distracted driving is defined as engaging in any activity that diverts your attention from the road while driving. Examples include texting, emailing or otherwise using your phone; eating food; personal grooming or hygiene; and adjusting navigation, air-conditioning, or entertainment systems. These examples all have one thing in common: the driver’s eyes, mind, and/or hands are not engaged in driving.
If the at-fault driver was using a cell phone at the time of the accident, you may bring a claim for negligence per se. For negligence per se claims, your personal injury attorney must establish that the at-fault driver violated the law prohibiting cell phone use, and that this violation caused your injury. However, your attorney will need evidence of the at-fault driver’s use of a cell phone. As such, you should contact the police immediately after the accident, which will allow the police to issue a citation for the illegal cell phone use.
Additionally, there are certain important steps to take immediately after your accident. For example, you should take photographs of your damaged vehicle; take photographs of accident site; exchange insurance information with the other driver; file a claim with your auto insurance provider; and preserve all correspondence from the other driver and his or her insurance company. These steps are vital to establishing the other driver was at-fault for your injuries. Additionally, if you suffered any physical injury from the accident, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Distracted driving results in more than 400,000 accidents each year. However, the law entitles you to recover compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost income, loss of earning potential, and pain or suffering. Finally, in order to recover compensation for these damages, you must file a timely lawsuit with the Court. California requires that personal injury claims relating to distracted driving be filed within two years of the date of the injury. If you fail to file within this period of time, the Court will bar any recovery of compensation. Therefore, it is vitally important that you immediately retain an experienced car accident attorney after your accident.