Some Newport Beach drivers have their attention diverted by smartphones, navigation systems or other in-dash touchscreens. Other drivers fail to pay attention to the road because they are talking to passengers, eating or drinking, combing their hair, or simply daydreaming.
Unfortunately, too many drivers do not recognize the danger of taking their hands, eyes, or attention off the road. It only takes seconds for a distracted driving accident to occur.
At Sam & Ash, we believe you deserve What’s Right after a collision caused by a distracted driver. That means having a knowledgeable, results-oriented attorney pursue full and fair compensation from the at-fault driver on your behalf. The attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law have extensive experience representing people in Newport Beach whose lives have been disrupted by serious injuries. We are ready to stand up for you.
Attorneys Sam Mirejovsky and Ash Watkins founded a personal injury law firm based on the principle of doing What’s Right for each client. They believe that attorneys who truly care about making a difference in their clients’ lives obtain better outcomes. The team at Sam & Ash Injury Law takes the time to get to know you, your concerns, and your goals. Sam & Ash Injury Law develops a personalized legal strategy aimed at securing the best results possible for you.
If a distracted driver injured you, you may have a right to demand accountability and just compensation for your medical bills and other accident expenses. Contact an experienced Newport Beach distracted driving attorney for help. Sam & Ash Injury Law offers a free case review to help you understand your legal rights.
What Damages Can Be Recovered with a Distracted Driving Accident Claim in Newport Beach?
If you’ve suffered injuries in a distracted driving accident in Newport Beach, you may be entitled to seek compensation for expenses and losses you have incurred or will incur in the future. This includes compensation for:
- Medical treatment and rehabilitation, which includes emergency care, surgeries and other medical procedures, prescription medication, and physical/occupational therapy
- Long-term care for permanent disabilities that result from injuries, including home health services, medical or mobility equipment, or home renovations to install accommodations
- Lost income from missed work during the recovery period from injuries
- Loss of future earnings if disabilities limit your ability to return to work or the type of work you can perform
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Reduced quality of life because of significant scarring or disfigurement
You may also seek compensation for property damage that you sustained in the accident, including repair or replacement of your car if it was totaled in the crash.
How To Prove Distracted Driving in Newport Beach
Unless a driver admits to being distracted in the moments leading up to an accident, it may be difficult for injured victims to prove that distracted driving occurred. However, certain types of evidence may be used to prove that a driver was distracted immediately prior to an accident. The types of evidence we seek include:
- Cell phone records showing the driver was using their cell phone in the moments prior to the accident
- Surveillance camera, or dashcam footage that may have caught a driver engaging in distracted driving behaviors
- Eyewitness testimony, including from other occupants of the vehicle or bystanders who could see into the vehicle
- Accident scene photos, including photos from inside the driver’s vehicle of things such as food or drink
What Causes Distracted Driving Accidents?
Some of the most frequent causes of distracted driving accidents in Newport Beach include:
- Cell phone use, including texting, emailing, or checking social media
- Eating or drinking
- Grooming or applying makeup
- Adjusting the radio, navigation system, or thermostat
- Interacting with other passengers or with pets in the vehicle
- Reading a map, or reading magazines, or books
- Watching video on a phone, tablet, or laptop
- Focusing on signs or other objects outside the vehicle
- Being engrossed by a radio show, podcast, or narrated book
- Daydreaming or thinking about other details in your life
Forms of Driver Distraction
Driver distraction comes in three basic forms: manual distraction, visual distraction, and cognitive distraction:
- Manual distraction – Manual distractions can occur with behaviors such as cell phone use, adjusting the radio, or reaching around the passenger cabin for an object. Anything that requires a driver to take one or both hands off the steering wheel is a manual distraction.
- Visual distraction – Visual distractions involve a driver taking their eyes off the road, or traffic around them. Visual distractions commonly occur when a driver sends text messages, looks in the mirror to apply makeup or groom, or checks email while driving.
- Cognitive distraction – Cognitive distractions involve a driver taking their attention and mental focus off the task of driving. A driver becomes cognitively distracted when they start thinking about things other than driving. Daydreaming or being engrossed by a radio show results in cognitive distraction. Texting while driving involves cognitive distraction because a driver must think about a text they are reading or writing.
Basic Problems with Driver Distractions
Although some drivers may think that taking a few seconds to read a text or to reach for something in the passenger compartment is harmless, even brief distractions create significant risks of motor vehicle accidents.
In the few seconds that it takes to read a text or social media post, a vehicle traveling at highway speeds will cover 100 yards or more. That equates to a vehicle traveling the length of a football field with the driver blindfolded.
A distracted driver may not notice that their vehicle is approaching a hazard or potentially dangerous situation, such as stopped traffic or a pedestrian crossing the street. The distracted driver may not brake or react quickly to avoid the traffic hazard. If the distracted driver fails to react, the collision may take place at full speed., leading to more serious injuries. If a distracted driver reacts to the hazard before a crash, there may not be time to avoid a collision.
Smartphone Use and Distracted Driving in California
In California, using a cell phone while driving is considered a significant distraction, since it typically requires the driver’s eyes, hands, and attention. It is against the law. California Code §23123.5 makes it illegal to drive while holding a cell phone. A mobile phone may only be used in a hands-free, voice-operated mode.
A driver may only use their hands to operate a cell phone if it is being used for navigation. However, the phone must be mounted on the dashboard or center console. The navigation feature also must be operated with a single tap or swipe of the finger. Violating this law can result in a fine of $20 for a first offense and $50 for second and subsequent offenses.
What To Do After a Distracted Driving Accident?
When you are involved in a distracted driving accident, you can take steps to protect yourself and your injury claim by:
- Documenting the accident scene, if possible, by taking photos or video of vehicle damage and the positions of vehicles after the crash, skid marks on the road, traffic signs at the scene, and weather/lighting conditions.
- Seeking medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. You should receive an examination by a health care professional who can diagnose any injuries you may have suffered in the crash.
- Following the treatment instructions and recommendations that your medical providers give you.
- Preserving copies of bills and invoices for expenses incurred from the accident, as well as records of your wages or income if you missed time from work due to your injuries.
- Keeping a journal to document your recovery as well as pain, emotional suffering, or negative impacts to your quality of life.
Make time to have an attorney at Sam & Ash Injury Law review the details of your Newport Beach car accident. Reach out to discuss how a distracted driving accident lawyer in Newport Beach can help you seek compensation from the driver who caused your injuries.
Partner with a Distracted Driving Accident Attorney in Newport Beach, CA
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver in Newport Beach, contact Sam & Ash Injury Law for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our personal injury attorneys in Newport Beach are committed to making a positive difference in our clients’ lives. That means providing qualified and compassionate counsel to you during your time of need, and aggressively seeking the fair compensation you need to move forward with your life. Call us now and let us fight for what’s right.