Distracted driving happens whenever someone operates a motor vehicle while dividing their attention between the road and something else. It is a dangerous practice because even a brief moment of inattentiveness could lead to a serious crash.
Suffering injuries in a distracted driving car accident in Corona could result in physical pain and disability, emotional trauma, and unexpected demands on a family’s finances. Under the law, the inattentive driver might be liable for your losses. To protect your legal rights, speak with a trustworthy car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
The Responsibility of the At-Fault Driver
When a vehicle accident occurs, the at-fault driver is responsible for paying the losses of anyone else involved in the crash. These losses might include medical costs, lost earnings, damage to the vehicle and other property, and incidental expenses associated with the accident.
California Vehicle Code §16056 requires all drivers to have liability insurance with minimum coverage of $15,000 bodily injury to one person, $30,000 aggregate for bodily injury to more than one person, and $5,000 for property damage. However, this minimum coverage will likely not be enough to cover the losses from a major collision.
When insurance coverage is inadequate, a plaintiff could bring a lawsuit against the at-fault driver seeking further compensation. An experienced lawyer could advise a plaintiff on whether a lawsuit is a viable option in his or her particular circumstances.
Party Seeking Damages Must Prove Negligence
A successful lawsuit requires an injured person to prove that another party was negligent. A simple definition of negligence is the failure to use the degree of caution that a reasonable person would use in similar circumstances.
In car accident cases, a violation of law could be considered negligence per se, which means that the plaintiff is entitled to a presumption the defendant was negligent. Defendants can present evidence rebutting the presumption but establishing negligence per se could make it easier to prove negligence.
If the plaintiff’s attorney cannot show that the defendant violated a law, they still have the opportunity to prove negligence. If the plaintiff presents evidence showing the defendant engaged in any risky activity while driving, whether the activity is against the law or not, the defendant could be found negligent for a distracted driving car accident in Corona.
Distractions That Could Lead to a Crash
Cell phone usage is what most people think of when they hear distracted driving. Drivers are three times more likely to get into an accident if he or she uses a cell phone while operating a vehicle.
However, anything that divides a driver’s attention could be distracted driving. If an activity requires a driver to remove a hand from the steering wheel, shift their eyes off the road, or focus on anything but driving, it is a distraction that could lead to an accident. Activities that might qualify as distractions and lead to a car accident in Corona include:
- Smoking, eating, or drinking
- Applying makeup, shaving, or styling hair
- Searching for something in the vehicle
- Watching a movie or video
- Adjusting a radio or sound system
- Conversing with passengers
- Supervising or disciplining children
The law specifically prohibits drivers from using electronic devices while operating their vehicles unless the device is in hands-free mode. An injured person could present a driver’s violation of this law as evidence of negligence per se. However, other forms of distraction are also negligence. A legal professional could use the driver’s divided attention to establish that the driver was not exercising reasonable care when he or she got into the accident that injured the plaintiff.
Rely on a Corona Attorney to Handle Your Distracted Driver Claim
While you recuperate from a distracted driving car accident in Corona, you do not want to be fighting with an insurance company. Trust a local injury attorney to negotiate a settlement and, if necessary, take the at-fault driver to court. There is a limited time to act, so do not delay. Reach out today to schedule a meeting with a knowledgeable advocate.