All drivers in California have a duty to exercise reasonable care while operating a motor vehicle. Even so, automobile accidents are a harsh reality of modern life. Typically (though not always), automobile accidents are caused because at least one driver was negligent in some way (driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, texting and driving, eating and driving, and more). There are a number of factors that can contribute to a finding of negligence under the California Vehicle Code. Continue reading to learn a few of the more typical situations of driver negligence and their effect on a potential lawsuit, as well as the factors that the judge or jury may look at in making a determination of fault.
Common Causes of Auto Accidents
One very common cause of auto accidents in today’s busy world is the failure to pay attention while driving. Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley drivers have a duty to keep a lookout for other vehicles and maintain control of the vehicle. Drivers that are texting, eating, operating a cell phone, or using an electronic music device while driving may all be found liable for failure to pay attention while driving.
Failure to Maintain a Reasonable Distance While Driving
Failure to maintain a safe following distance is also common reason for auto accidents, especially rear-end collisions and fender benders. Even rear-end accidents that at the time don’t seem too bad can result in long-term neck pain or back pain to the driver and passengers who were unexpectedly hit from behind. Under California law, a driver that is found to have failed to maintain a safe following distance from the car in front of them may be found liable for an accident that occurs and any resulting injuries or damage. Discuss this in detail with your San Fernando Valley auto accident attorney.
Illegal Turns and Car Accidents
Illegal turns and failure to signal are also common indications of driver negligence. Under California law, a driver is required to signal before turning or merging into a new lane or highway. Likewise, drivers must observe all posted signs and limitations. For example, a driver that makes a right turn on a red light when a “no right on red” sign is posted is likely to be found at least partially negligent in a resulting accident.
Speeding Can Lead to Car Accidents
A driver’s speed is a common source of negligence and contributor to automobile accidents. If an automobile operator is driving over the legal speed limit in a given area, the driver will likely be found at least partially liable for a resulting accident. However, if the driver can show that an accident would have occurred anyway (regardless of the fact that he or she was driving over the speed limit), then speed may not be found to be relevant to a finding of negligence. This is where it is important to hire an savvy auto accident attorney who is on your side and can argue defenses like this one.
For more information on how to recover financial compensation after being injured in a car accident caused by one of the examples of negligent or distracted driving above, contact personal injury attorney Barry P. Goldberg today.