A Los Angeles man recently learned the dangers of driving with your feet. A Snapchat video shows the 21-year-old man joking around with his friends and navigating a moving vehicle with nothing but his feet. The car was involved in a serious crash with another car moments later. Several people, including the driver and his passengers, suffered injuries in the accident.
As technology becomes more advanced, more drivers are becoming distracted behind the wheel. Distracted driving is considered as any “activity that diverts attention from driving.” According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,477 deaths and nearly 400,000 injuries were the result of distracted driving practices in 2015. Commonly reported distracted driving practices include:
- Talking on the phone
- Changing the radio station
- Having conversations with passengers, and
- Working a navigation system.
Young people are increasingly attached to social media. Unfortunately, many young people fail to put their social media habits on hold while they are behind the wheel. This problem has been compounded by the popularity of posting videos of yourself doing ridiculous things. For instance, some people may think that it is funny to film themselves driving a car with their feet and posting that for their entire social media world to see. Drivers who engage in this distracting behavior are more likely to cause and be injured in serious accidents.
Liability for Distracted Driving
If you drive while distracted you can be held financially responsible for any injuries that you cause. Distracted driving is considered a form of negligence. When you get behind the wheel you assume an obligation to drive safely and ensure the safety of others. Engaging in distracting behaviors – such as texting or Snapchatting, is a breach of this duty. Victims who are harmed as the result of another person’s negligence can recover monetary compensation for their injuries.
Damages Recoverable for Distracted Driving Injuries
If you are injured because of a distracted driver you may be able to recover monetary damages. The specific damages you will be awarded will depend on the types of injuries you have suffered.
Economic damages help to compensate accident victims for the financial costs they suffer because of an accident. These can include present out-of-pocket expenses and projected future expenses. Economic damages help to compensate a victim for:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Medical devices
- Lost income, and
- Reduced earning capacity.
Non-economic damages help to compensate victims for the physical, emotional, and psychological injuries they develop because of an accident. These injuries do not necessarily cost a victim anything, financially-speaking, but still affect their day-to-day lives. Non-economic damages are frequently awarded to compensate for a victim’s:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement and scarring, and
What Happens If a Distracted Driver is Arrested?
Does your ability to recover compensation change if the distracted driver who caused your accident is arrested, charged, tried, and convicted of a crime? Civil and criminal cases can proceed simultaneously. However, a defendant may try to get the civil case suspended until the criminal matter has been resolved. This will not affect your ability to get the money you need. It is also important to know that if the driver is incarcerated, the statute of limitations can be tolled until he or she is released. California allows the statute of limitations for your case to be flexible in these situations. The state does not want to punish you just because the driver is caught up in criminal matters.
Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured because of a distracted driver in Los Angeles it is important to understand your legal options. Call the car accident attorneys at Citywide Law Group to learn about the benefits of filing a personal injury claim for damages. Our team of attorneys can help to make sure that you are properly compensated for your accident-related injuries. You may have a limited amount of time to act, so do not hesitate to call us now.