Can I sue someone that was texting while driving when they hit me?
If you haven’t seen the recent AT&T commercial showing an accident in reverse caused by a driver texting, you can watch it here. Although the video can be considered graphic, it also drives home a very important point: Texting while driving is dangerous.
Texting takes a driver’s eyes off of the road for an average of five seconds. That means that if you are traveling at 55 mph, your eyes will be off the road for the entire length of a football field!
Even though California has banned the hand-held use of cellphones for talking or texting while driving, there are still many accidents caused by this. Nearly 80% of vehicle crashes in California involve some sort of driver inattention. Texting while driving and talking on a phone while driving are the top driver distractions contributing to crashes in California.
If you are involved in an accident, you should always assess yourself for potential injuries. If you have any injuries or damage to your vehicle, you will want the professional services of an experienced auto accident attorney. Given the statistics cited above, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that your two-car accident might have involved a distracted driver who was texting while driving.
California follows the comparative “fault” system. This means that someone — or more than one person — was at fault for an accident and the fault must be determined from the facts of the accident. It also means that even if the other driver was mostly at fault for the accident, your judgment could be reduced by any fault found on your part in causing the accident.
Suing another driver for being a careless or a distracted driver who caused the accident while texting will require you to prove that the other driver was texting while driving, or that texting while driving contributed to the accident in some way. Moreover, you will also need to prove that any injuries you incurred were the result of the accident, as well as any lost income and any future medical expenses that will be related to the injury.
The injuries can make for a complicated case, as each injury must be explained in detail along with any doctor’s notes or orders. The other side might rebut injury evidence by claiming it isn’t related to the accident in any way. This is where an attorney can be of help: An experienced auto accident attorney will know what types of evidence to procure for these complex lawsuits.
It is also important to note whether the driver was working for an employer or not at the time of the accident, as this can shift responsibility and liability. An employer might be legally responsible for a car accident caused by an employee if the employee was on a work-related errand at the time of the accident. In such an accident, the injured person is more likely to sue the employer, rather than the employee-driver, because the employer typically will have more money to pay a settlement or lawsuit judgment, often referred to as “deeper pockets” by lawyers.
If you have been in an auto accident in the Pasadena area recently, call the experienced attorneys at Andrew Ritholz Law today!