Statistics show that, in 2020, more than 3,100 people died in accidents where a driver was distracted. Roughly 13-15% of all injury accidents are incidents where distracted driving played a role. If you are someone who has been hurt (or a loved one has been killed) in a distracted driving crash, the law allows you to seek relief through the court system. An experienced San Mateo intersection accident lawyer can help you identify your legal options and select the best path for you.
People most commonly associate distracted driving with texting while driving or perhaps live-streaming while behind the wheel. The reality is, however, that your SMS or social media apps are far from the only things that can lead to distracted driving, as a recent local collision covered by Patch.com illustrates.
The crash occurred at the intersection of El Camino Real and 31st Avenue, in the Hillsdale neighborhood near the mall. According to the San Mateo Police Department, a driver heading northbound on El Camino Real became distracted by a GPS device and triggered a multi-vehicle crash at the intersection.
The police, in a social media post advising readers about the traffic incident, stated thusly: "GPS is a helpful aid for navigation. But GPS can quickly become a distraction if you focus on the GPS screen rather than paying attention to other vehicles, pedestrians, or motorists who are sharing the road. Drive safe, San Mateo."
According to the California Highway Patrol, using a phone while driving increases your chances of being involved in a collision by a whopping 400%. That number swells to 2,300% percent if you're texting while driving. As the CHP points out, most crashes take place in less than three seconds. On the other hand, the average person requires 4.6 seconds to read or send a text.
Swift Action to Protect Your Legal Rights and Options
As is true of any auto accident case, a distracted driving case requires strong evidence to produce a fully successful result, which is why retaining the right legal team is so important. A skilled legal advocate can quickly get an investigative team to the crash scene to collect forensic evidence. Additionally, there's the matter of police reports and eyewitness testimony. If the driver who hit you admitted to a witness or a police officer that he/she was tuning the radio, using their cell phone, or interacting with their GPS, that statement might make for powerful proof that the other driver was negligent and liable for the harm he/she caused you.
Your case may require seeking compensation from the other driver's insurer. Depending on the extent of the harm you suffered, you may also need to seek a payout from your own insurance company (under your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.) Insurers are frequently uncooperative in paying out claims so, whether you need to interact with one insurance company or more, having a legal advocate familiar with taking on the insurance companies is crucial.
The experienced San Mateo personal injury attorneys at Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP are here to help you recover the compensation you deserve for the harm you've endured. We work swiftly and determinedly to ensure that our clients' legal interests are protected to the fullest at all stages of the process. Contact one of our helpful attorneys at 650-345-8484 or through our website to learn more.