If you are injured in a traffic accident in California because the other driver was talking or texting on a cell phone at the time of the accident, you very likely have grounds for a personal injury claim. You can probably recover your medical treatment costs, lost wages, and other expenses, but you’ll need the help and advice of an experienced Fresno car accident attorney.
Several California laws address the use of cell phones by drivers. Drivers may not use a handheld phone while driving. An exception to the law allows emergency calls to police, fire, and medical emergency service providers.
Another California law restricts the use of hands-free cell phones while driving. Drivers 18 and over may use hands-free phones while driving. Earpieces cannot cover both ears. The law allows drivers over 18 to use the speaker phone function of a wireless phone. Drivers under age 18 may not use a wireless phone, laptop, or any other electronic device – either handheld or hands-free – to speak or text while driving. The only exception is for emergency calls to the police, fire, or medical authorities. A separate California law forbids texting while driving. No California driver may write, send, or read text-based communications including text messages, instant messages, and email.
Cell phones are just one source of distraction for California drivers. Distractions while driving can include eating and drinking, grooming, tending to pets or children, and trying to read a map, operate a GPS device, or adjust a radio or mp3 player. It cannot be said enough; when you drive, keep your eyes on the road and focus on driving. If you don’t, you could very likely find yourself on the wrong end of a personal injury lawsuit – and that’s if you’re lucky. An estimated 424,000 people were injured in wrecks involving distracted drivers in the U.S. in 2013. If you are injured in a collision with a distracted driver in California, discuss your rights and options immediately with an experienced Fresno car accident attorney.