Four pedestrians, including two young brothers and their grandmother, were fatally struck by a car during a nighttime stroll along a California roadside northeast of downtown San Diego. Police discovered an injured 10-year-old and his 11-year-old brother, who was pronounced dead at the scene along with an unidentified 33-year-old man.  The injured boy and his 50-year-old grandmother, who was also hit by the car, were taken to the hospital, but died despite life-saving efforts.  Witnesses stated that it looked like the driver of the car that hit them was on her phone at the time of the accident.  If distracted driving can be proven, there may be a case for negligence supported by California cell phone distracted driving laws.

Distracted driving.

Driver distractions include eating, grooming, tending to small children, reaching for objects, tampering with automobile touchscreens, and any other task that involves a reduction of attention to the act of safe driving.    California has had distracted driving laws in place for over ten years now and those laws support damage claims when a driver’s use of a cell phone plays a major role in a vehicle accident.  The 2016 Assembly Bill 1785  was meant to discourage drivers from holding an electronic device while operating a vehicle.  California highway patrol is diligent in their efforts to decrease injuries and fatalities caused by distracted drivers through the issuance of  tens of thousands of citations in 2019.

Car Insurance and liability.

California law requires that drivers have a way to cover costs related to damages or injuries caused in a car accident. Purchasing liability car insurance is the simplest and most common way people choose to meet this requirement.

Comparative Negligence. 

Under California law, everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury or wrongful death occurrence during the course of ordinary care. This means that if a driver is responsible for any part of activities that led to injury, the compensation will be adjusted in accordance with a percentage of fault assigned to each driver.

Hire an attorney.

Seek counsel at Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates immediately after a fatal accident caused by a driver  ignoring the California “hands-free” cell phone laws. An attorney can help you to navigate through the tragic period of losing loved ones.  They can proceed in filing wrongful death actions (within the two-year period from the date a person died) that will enable compensation to pay bills related to funerals, emergent hospital care and negative financial impacts to family members.

Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates, a Professional Law Corporation
501 West Broadway, Suite 1650
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-233-8021
Fax: 619-233-3730

 

 

Sources.

 

https://www.chp.ca.gov/PressReleases/Pages/Thousands-of-Distracted-Drivers-%E2%80%98Caught-in-the-Act%E2%80%99.aspx

https://statelaws.findlaw.com/california-law/california-negligence-laws.html

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB1785

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