Texting While Driving Car Accidents in Bakersfield

Donald Colvin, Esq

Texting while driving car accidents in Bakersfield can lead to devastating injuries and property damage. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident involving a driver that was distracted by using a cellular device, you could potentially have a claim for negligence.

We care about you. We care about your case. Let us give you the personal attention you and your case deserve. Call today to work with a trusted car accident attorney.

Texting While Driving is Illegal

Proving negligence under state law first requires that the plaintiff show that the defendant breached a duty of care owed to the victim. For example, drivers have a general duty to obey state traffic laws.

If the plaintiff can show that the defendant caused an accident in Bakersfield because they were texting while driving, that evidence can help establish that they breached their duty of care.

The state has various laws prohibiting the use of cellular devices while operating a motor vehicle. For example, Cal. Veh. Code § 23123 generally prohibits driving while using a wireless telephone or electronic device unless the device is configured for hands-free use.

Additionally, Cal. Veh. Code § 23123.5 prohibits driving while holding and operating a wireless phone or electronic device, unless the device is configured for voice-operated or hands-free capabilities.

If the driver is under 18 years old, Cal. Veh. Code § 23124 prohibits them from using a wireless phone in any capacity. This rule applies even if the phone is configured for hands-free use.

A Bakersfield attorney can help obtain evidence to prove that a defendant was using their wireless device during an accident, such as police reports, photos or witness testimony.

Victims must file their negligence action within two years from the date of the injury under Cal. Civ. Pro. Code § 335.1, or the court could dismiss the claim.

A Plaintiff’s Contributory Negligence Can Impact Their Claim

Since many car accidents involve situations where more than one party is at fault, a common defense in personal injury actions is that the plaintiff’s contributing negligence led to their damages.

The state follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence when more than one party is at fault for the texting while driving car crash in Bakersfield, according to Li v. Yellow Cab Co., 13 Cal.3d 804 (1975). When a plaintiff is found to have contributed negligence, the doctrine limits their ability to recover damages in proportion with their percentage of fault.

If a plaintiff is found 50 percent negligent, the doctrine permits them to recover up to 50 percent of the damages sought in their lawsuit. It is important to note that a plaintiff is not prohibited from recovering damages even when they were 99 percent at fault. In such a case, the court would allow them to recover up to one percent of the damages sought.

A Victim’s Negligence Claim Survives Their Death

If a Bakersfield victim dies due to injuries from an accident caused by texting while driving, an attorney can advise their surviving relatives on filing a lawsuit pursuant to the state’s wrongful death statute under Cal. Civ. Pro. Code § 377.60.

Specifically, the statute allows surviving relatives to file the claim if the decedent died due to neglect or wrongful actions.

The statute applies to the decedent’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, children, grandchildren of deceased children or parents to bring the claim to recover damages. The executor of the decedent’s estate can also bring the action on behalf of their heirs.

The statute allows the surviving family members to recover compensation for burdens like medical costs, funeral expenses, loss of consortium with a partner or lost income. The surviving relative or estate must also file the wrongful death action within two years under Cal. Civ. Pro. Code § 335.1.

Contact a Bakersfield Lawyer Soon For Texting While Driving Crash Questions

Please do not delay reaching out to one of our knowledgeable attorneys concerning texting while driving car accidents in Bakersfield. Delays in filing your claim could result in the court dismissing the lawsuit.

An attorney can advise you on the best strategy for your personal injury claim and help you obtain evidence such as police reports or witness testimony. Call today.