Safe driving requires motor vehicle operators to focus their full attention on the road. Individuals who multitask while behind the wheel put themselves, their passengers, and the occupants of other vehicles at risk.
Using a cell phone to send text messages is an especially dangerous but all-too-common occurrence. If you were involved in a texting while driving car accident in Corona you might have legal recourse against the driver who was using his or her phone. Consult a seasoned car accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash to review your legal options.
Seeking Damages After a Vehicle Crash
Corona drivers must carry minimum liability coverage of $15,000 for personal injury to one person, $30,000 aggregate for injuries to multiple people, and $5,000 for property damage. If a driver has minimum coverage, an accident with only slight damage to a vehicle and minor injuries could still exhaust the available insurance.
If an individual’s injuries or property damages exceed available coverage limits, he or she has the right to sue other involved parties for damages. Proof of negligence triggers the responsibility to pay damages.
Establishing negligence requires proof that the defendant failed to observe reasonable caution and the specific failure led to the plaintiff’s losses. A Corona lawyer could investigate a car crash to identify negligent parties and gather evidence of texting while driving or other broken rules.
Illegal to Text While Driving
Most states have laws regulating texting while driving, but California Vehicle Code §12321.5 bans using handheld electronic devices for any purpose, unless they can be operated in a hands-free mode. Drivers under 18 may not use devices even if they are configured in hands-free mode. A violation of this statute carries a fine but is not considered a serious traffic offense under the law.
However, if the texting driver gets into an accident, their violation of the statute could be evidence of negligence. An injured person seeking damages could assert that violating this statute is negligence per se. If so, he or she would not have to make a separate case showing that the defendant did not use reasonable caution.
The Importance of Quick Action
All states have laws called statutes of limitation that restrict the time for filing a lawsuit. A potential plaintiff from a texting while driving car accident in California has two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
There is much less time to act if one of the potential defendants is the state or a local government. Plaintiffs must file a notice of claim with the appropriate government office within six months of the incident or they lose their rights to sue. Units of government could have responsibility for a plaintiff’s injuries if:
- A public employee who was on the clock was involved in the accident
- One of the vehicles was owned by the state or a local government
- Poor road design or maintenance was a factor in the crash
- Faulty traffic control measures or devices played a role in the accident
Statutory timeframes aside, it is advantageous for an injured person to seek legal representation right away. An attorney could determine all likely sources of insurance coverage to increase the chances that the plaintiff’s compensation will be sufficient to cover their losses. A lawyer could also offer advice about the adequacy of any settlement offer and handle negotiations to relieve an injured person of that burden.
Trust a Corona Attorney with Your Texting Driver Car Accident Claim
Car accident law in this state is complex and getting the compensation you deserve could be difficult for someone without significant experience in the process. Do not try to handle your claim alone. If you suffered injuries in a texting while driving car accident in Corona, a local attorney could be a valuable ally. Schedule a consultation today.