Despite the studies showing how dangerous it can be, and despite laws in many states banning it, people continue to talk on their cell phones while driving. The consequences can be not just dangerous, but deadly. Last August, Bradley Bachelor, 34, and the father several young children, was fatally injured in a vehicle crash. According to the police reports, Kristina Tedesco, 35, was driving her 2007 Chevy Equinox when she attempted to turn left into oncoming traffic and pulled out in front of Bachelor who was driving his 2003 Suzuki motorcycle. Bachelor was pronounced dead within the hour. Kristina Tedesco was not driving drunk, nor was she speeding. She was, however, talking on her cell phone. Police attribute her talking on her cell phone to causing the accident and she was charged with vehicular manslaughter as a result of the accident. One family lost a husband and a father as a result of a tragic accident that should never have happened.
Stories like this one are hardly the exception anymore. Turn on the news or open up a newspaper and you will see story after story of horrific accident that are the result of cell phone usage while driving. Statistics tell us that almost 3,000 people die each year as a result of accidents that are caused, at least in part, by drivers talking on cell phones. Talking on a cell phone while driving is a serious distraction to the driver. Unlike having a conversation with a passenger in the car, talking on a phone involves additional physical and mental distractions. Dialing can actually take your eyes completely off the road for seconds and we all know that it only takes a second for an accident to happen. Additionally, studies have shown that we are better able to tune out a conversation that is taking place inside the car than one taking place on a cell phone if necessary.
While the driver involved in the accident was charged criminally for her part in the accident, that may belittle consolation for the family of the victim. Many times, drivers that cause fatal accidents are simply given probation or found not guilty altogether. If you have lost a family member as a result of an accident involving cell phone usage, you may be able to file a Wrongful Death claim. Many times, a family is left without much needed financial or emotional support when someone is killed in a car accident. Unlike a criminal case, a Wrongful Death claim is filed in civil court. The burden of proof in a Wrongful Death case is on “beyond a preponderance of the evidence”. The significance of this is that it may be easier to prove that the driver was negligent (at fault) in a Wrongful Death claim than in a criminal case. If you are successful in a Wrongful Death claim, then the driver will have to compensate you financially for the loss you have suffered as a result of their negligence. Filing a Wrongful Death claim cannot bring your loved one back, but it may be able to help you and your family in the future.
For more information regarding Wrongful Death claims, contact an experienced California Wrongful Death attorney at the offices of Ledger & Associates – 1800-300-0001 or online at www.ledgerlaw.com