Murrieta Distracted Driving Lawyer
Cell phones are a constant source of distractions, both the annoying distractions of endless notifications announcing the arrival of yet another promotional email or the publication of yet another gloom and doom news story and the welcome distractions of entertaining memes and Tik Tok dances. The fact that phones are constantly distracting the people around you is merely an annoyance except when those people are operating motor vehicles. Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents. Although California has enacted laws to deter distracted driving, cell phones and other distractions still contribute to many injury accidents each year. The Murrieta vehicle accident lawyers at Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP can help you if you got injured when a distracted driver hit your car.
California Distracted Driving Laws
Cell phones and other wireless devices are not the only causes of distractions behind the wheel; children and pets in the car can also divert drivers’ attention from the road. California’s distracted driving laws apply specifically to the use of cell phones. It is against the law to talk on a phone in the car unless the phone is in hands free mode, such as if it is connected by Bluetooth to the car’s audio system. The base rate for breaking this law is $20 for a first offense and $50 for a second offense, but many drivers who receive citations for distracted driving get other fees added to the base fee. If you get two distracted driving tickets in a three-year period, your car insurance premiums will increase.
Similar penalties apply for drivers who write text messages or otherwise enter text on their devices, such as when using a search engine or navigation app. It is fine to press buttons on the display screen of your car’s audio system, such as to have the system read a text message to you. It is also legal to use a cell phone in handheld mode if you are making a 911 call. Drivers under age 18 may not use cell phones when driving except to call 911, even if the device is in hands-free mode.
What to Do if You Get Injured by a Distracted Driver
If someone crashes into your car because they took their eyes off of the road for one second, they can cause serious injuries that result in tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, if not more. Getting the car insurance companies to pay enough to cover the medical bills and other expenses you incurred because of the accident is not simple. Whatever you do, do not sign to accept an insurance settlement offer if it is not enough to cover your accident-related losses. Instead, contact a car accident lawyer, who can help you negotiate with the insurance company or prepare to file a lawsuit.
Contact a Murrieta, California Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
Gibbs & Fuerst is a personal injury law firm that helps clients throughout southwestern California recover damages after being injured in preventable accidents. Contact Gibbs & Fuerst LLP in Murrieta, California to discuss your distracted driving accident case.