Distracted Driving Accidents
As an experienced personal injury lawyer, Stephen M. Fuerch helps clients secure compensation for harm caused by a distracted driver. Attorney Fuerch has diligently advocated on behalf of injured individuals and their families for over 35 years, striving to resolve legal disputes efficiently. Whether your case requires litigation or mediation, Pleasanton distracted driving accident lawyer Stephen M. Fuerch is committed to providing aggressive and thorough representation.Pursue a Claim for Compensation After a Distracted Driving Accident
Pursuing a legal claim for damages after a car accident is a method to hold a negligent driver accountable. A driver who exhibits unreasonable or careless behavior behind the wheel may be held legally accountable for any resulting harm. In many lawsuits following a vehicle collision, the victim alleges that the defendant driver was negligent.
Negligence is a failure to use reasonable care to prevent foreseeable harm. The elements of a negligence claim are duty, breach, causation, and damages. First, the victim plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant driver owed them a duty of care. Next, this duty must have been breached by a certain action or failure to act. Finally, this breached duty of care directly must have led to the plaintiff’s injuries.
A duty of care is owed by all drivers to others on the road. Avoiding foreseeable harm takes different forms, but it includes maintaining attention on the road. The law dictates that drivers are held to the standard of a reasonable person under similar circumstances. A distracted driving accident attorney in the Pleasanton area can gather evidence to prove that a driver fell short of this standard.
It is unreasonable for a driver to exhibit behavior that places others at risk, such as texting behind the wheel or applying makeup while operating a vehicle. When a driver engages in distracted behavior that leads to a crash and resulting damages, they may be liable to the victim.
In some situations, negligence may be inferred when a driver violates a safety law, and this directly causes an accident. This is called negligence per se. The injured plaintiff must be in the class of people who were intended to be protected by the safety statute. An example may be a driver who collides with another vehicle while using a cell phone. California law prohibits using a cell phone in your hand while driving, although drivers can rely on their devices in a hands-free manner. The law protects others on the road, including pedestrians. Violating this law may create a presumption of a breached duty of care. A Pleasanton distracted driving accident attorney thus may be able to argue that the defendant was negligent per se.
After setting forth evidence of a breached duty of care, causation is the next element of a negligence claim. Causation is also known as “but for cause,” since the accident would not have occurred but for the defendant’s negligent or illegal conduct. Causation may be shown through witness statements, police records, and other evidence indicating that the defendant’s conduct directly led to the crash.
Finally, damages that may accompany a successful negligence claim include the losses and costs that the plaintiff suffered from the crash. Expenses may include medical bills, medications, wages missed from work due to injuries, and emotional pain and suffering. Distracted driving accidents can lead to serious harm, including loss of limbs, broken bones, and even paralysis and death. A plaintiff is entitled to recover their past as well as their future costs following the accident.Comparative Negligence According to California Law
California law follows the pure comparative negligence doctrine. When a victim is determined to have been partly responsible for the accident that caused their injuries, their damages may be reduced by their corresponding percentage of fault. For example, if a distracted driver runs a red light and causes a T-bone collision, injuring the victim, that driver may be deemed 70% at fault for the collision. The victim may be deemed 30% at fault if, at the time of the crash, they were driving above the speed limit.Contact a Skilled Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in Pleasanton
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a car crash, Stephen M. Fuerch can assist. To contact our office and schedule your free consultation, reach us by phone at (925) 463-1073 or complete our online form. Attorney Fuerch represents people in Pleasanton, Hayward, Fremont, Walnut Creek, Dublin, San Ramon, and elsewhere in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.