It’s hard to imagine that just 20 years ago most of us in American managed to live our lives without the use of a cell phone. Today, cell phones are everywhere and only gaining in popularity. Additionally, cell phones can now do everything from tell you the best route to your destination to let you watch a movie while waiting at the doctor’s office. While not everyone has one of the super high tech “smart phones”, all cell phones allow the user to send and receive text messages. Texting, as it has come to be known, has become the new form of communication for younger Americans. Texting, however, is not limited to the young – adults have taken to texting as well. The problem with this new and easy form of communication is that many people combine it with driving – with deadly consequences.
Texting while driving is illegal in 30 states and counting – and with good reason. In 2008, the last year for which reliable statistics are available, texting while driving was a contributing factor in almost 6,000 fatalities across America. Cell phone use in general contributes to as much as 25% of all vehicular accidents. While over half of all teenagers admit to texting while driving, a surprising 20% of all adults also admit that they text while driving. For some reason, that alert telling us that we have a message just seems irresistible. Likewise, that urge to send that quick message to someone seems as though it just can’t wait. Unfortunately, many innocent drivers and passengers pay with their lives for the need to send or read a text message.
Texting while driving is not just illegal -it is negligent. In the state of California, if texting was a contributing factor in the death of a loved one, you may be entitled to file as a claimant in a wrongful death lawsuit. Of course, a wrongful death lawsuit cannot turn back the clock and prevent the tragedy that took your loved one’s life, but it can hold the wrongdoer responsible and may provide financial security for you and your family. Under California law, the following people may be entitled to file as a claimant in a wrongful death lawsuit: spouse, parents, children, siblings, children of deceased brothers and sisters, grandparents, putative spouse, children of putative spouse, stepchildren and a minor that lived with the decedent and was financially dependent on the decedent. A wrongful death claimant may be able to recover compensation for the value of financial support she would have received if the decedent had lived, the value of household support she would have received and compensation for the loss of love, companionship, moral support, affection, and consortium. The only way to know whether or not you may be entitled to recover under a California wrongful death lawsuit as the result of a texting while driving fatality is to consult with an experienced California wrongful death attorney.
For a free and detailed evaluation of your potential California wrongful death lawsuit, please contact the law firm of Ledger & Associates by calling 1-800-300-0001 or by visiting them online at www.ledgerlaw.com.