Texting While Driving and Negligence in California

By February 23, 2011 January 10th, 2018 Attorney-Lawyer

Cell phones have become an ever-present part of everyday life in America. Young or old, it’s hard to find anyone in the United States that doesn’t own a cell phone anymore. We depend on them to stay in touch with our office and our loved ones. We send and receive e-mails, check in with our kids and even use them to get directions. Cell phones have also spawned an entirely new way to communicate – texting. Text messaging – or texting – has become an easy and quick way to check in or ask a question. The problem is that texting has become too easy. Texting while driving, more specifically, has become too easy. Because texting can be done relatively quickly, many drivers have become accustomed to reading or sending that “quick” message while driving. Most think that the few seconds it takes to accomplish the task are not significant and that they are actually concentrating on driving at the same time. Legislatures, on the other hand, disagree and have made texting while driving illegal in 30 states as of January, 2011 – including California – with more likely to follow. The reason for the bans on texting while driving is that texting while driving can be the worst form of distracted driving. A driver that has caused or contributed to an accident because she was texting while driving can be held liable in the state of California as texting while driving can be considered negligence.

In the state of California, in order for a victim to recover compensation for injuries suffered in an automobile accident he must prove that the driver of the other car was negligent. Negligent is a legal term that basically means “at fault”. While negligence requires the victim to prove four elements (duty of care, breach of duty, causation and damages) the most important where texting is concerned is the breach of the duty of care. As a general rule, courts have held that any driver operating a vehicle on a public roadway owes a duty of care to the other motorists and passengers. A motorist is required to use reasonable care to prevent injury to other drivers or passengers under the circumstances to avoid breaching the duty of care. So, the question then becomes whether or not the other driver breached the duty of care. Texting while driving is a fairly clear example of the breach of the duty of care. The average victim has less than five seconds to recognize, react and avoid a collision. Considering that time frame, those two or three seconds that it takes to read or send a “quick” text message can be the difference between preventing an accident or causing an accident.

If you have been involved in an accident in California and know or believe that the other driver was texting while driving then you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you suffered due to the other driver’s negligence. If you would like a free and detailed evaluation of your potential personal injury accident case, please contact the experienced team at Ledger & Associates by calling 1-800-300-0001 or visit them online at www.ledgerlaw.com.

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