The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer Are in Full Swing
According to one advocacy group, teen driving fatalities increase 26 percent between June 9 and September 12.
Distracted driving causes more than half these wrecks. Since passengers are the leading cause of distracted driving crashes, many states, including California, have graduated drivers’ license programs. New drivers usually cannot carry passengers in their vehicles. Drug and alcohol impairment is a significant problem among teen drivers as well. Substance consumption that might not affect adults could seriously impair teens.
“Not only are teens themselves more likely to die in car crashes, they also have the highest rates of crash involvement resulting in the deaths of others, including passengers, pedestrians or occupants of other vehicles,” remarked MADD founder and safety advocate Candace Lightner.
Why Do Lawyers File Injury Claims?
Very few people maliciously seek to hurt other motorists. But most car crashes are intentional, at least to an extent. Drivers intentionally speed, have too much to drink, don’t watch the road, and so on. We all make such mistakes, and we must all accept responsibility for the mistakes we make.
Part of that responsibility includes paying compensation for damages. If you carelessly throw a ball and break a window, you must pay for the window. Likewise, if you carelessly drive a car and cause a crash, you must pay compensation for medical bills and other economic losses.
There’s a legal aspect as well. Financial damages must place victims in the same position they would have been in if they hadn’t been in an accident. So, the compensation must include items like pain and suffering, loss of consortium (companionship), emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment in life.
Furthermore, many injury claims involve vicarious liability. If Dad lets Junior use the car, and Dad knows Junior doesn’t have a license, Dad is responsible for damages. This theory, which is called negligent entrustment, makes Dad think twice before he hands Junior the car keys.
These damages are available, but only if a Los Angeles personal injury attorney proves negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not.
Not every driving mistake constitutes negligence. Distracted driving is a good example. As mentioned, passengers are the biggest distraction for teen drivers. If Junior briefly turned his head to speak with a passenger and he hit another vehicle, that’s probably not a lack of care. But if Junior was talking with passengers so much that he ignored the road, that’s different.
Evidence in a car wreck claim usually includes the police accident report, medical bills, and witness statements. Other proof, especially in distracted driver claims, includes device use logs and erratic driving before the wreck.
This evidence must be strong enough to rebut some common insurance company defenses, such as comparative fault. This legal loophole shifts accident blame from the at-fault driver to the victim. For example, an insurance company might admit that Junior was distracted, but blame the crash on the victim’s excessive speed.
Evidence is key here. There’s a significant difference between speeding 5mph over the limit and 20mph over the limit. Be careful on the road this summer. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.
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Sharona Eslamboly Hakim, Esq. is a successful personal injury attorney and the principal of the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim firm in Beverly Hills, California.