Of all the advancements in technology for drivers in recent years, one of the most consequential has been the rapid increase of cell phones. Virtually everyone has a smartphone that allows them to be in constant contact with friends and family at the click of a few buttons. While this is certainly a great way to stay in touch with loved ones, it can also create issues when you’re behind the wheel.
Texting and driving is a dangerous practice that can lead to serious accidents on the road. San Francisco, like many other cities, has seen its fair share of accidents caused by distracted drivers who were texting at the time. When this happens to you or a loved one, you could be facing severe, long-term injuries.
Experienced Legal Guidance For San Francisco Car Accident Victims
Being involved in a car accident, no matter what caused it, can be a stressful experience. At The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan, our team has the experience and knowledge to guide you through this difficult process. While texting and driving is dangerous, it’s unfortunately extremely common on San Franciso’s roads. When you or a loved one have been injured in an accident where the other driver was texting and driving, you have rights and options. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more.
Hazards of Texting and Driving In San Francisco
Like most other cities in the country, San Francisco has seen an increase in accidents because of texting and driving. Legally speaking, texting and driving falls under the category of distracted driving. While this is a broad category, texting and driving is by far the most common way that drivers become distracted while driving. According to a 2021 study from The Zebra, 16.2% of drivers have admitted to texting while driving.
As it relates to San Francisco specifically, there are a number of factors that only increase the hazardous nature of texting and driving. These factors include:
- High traffic density – San Francisco is a densely populated city, and its streets are often congested with heavy traffic. Texting while driving in such an environment can be especially dangerous as it requires the driver to take their attention away from the road, which can increase the risk of accidents.
- Narrow and winding streets – San Francisco is known for its narrow and winding streets, which can make driving challenging even under ideal circumstances. Texting while driving on these streets can be particularly hazardous as it requires the driver to maneuver through tight spaces while also trying to send or read text messages.
- Pedestrian-heavy areas – San Francisco is a city with many pedestrian-heavy areas, such as downtown and popular tourist spots. Texting while driving in these areas can be extremely dangerous as it can increase the risk of hitting pedestrians who may be crossing the street or walking along the sidewalk.
- Steep hills and inclines – San Francisco has many steep hills and inclines, which can make driving difficult even for experienced drivers. Texting while driving on these hills can be hazardous as it can distract the driver from paying attention to the road ahead and may cause them to lose control of the vehicle.
- Strict laws and penalties – Texting while driving is illegal in San Francisco and can result in fines, points on the driver’s license, and even license suspension. These strict laws and penalties are in place to discourage drivers from engaging in this dangerous behavior and to promote safer driving practices.
Not only do these factors directly contribute to texting and driving accidents in San Francisco, the fact that virtually every driver you’ll come in contact with–including yourself–likely has a cell phone. While there is always the temptation to send a text while you’re driving, looking at exactly how a distraction causes an accident can be helpful as you make your way around the city.
How Does Texting and Driving Cause Accidents in San Francisco?
It may seem obvious, but texting and driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents in San Francisco. The reasons for this aren’t complicated: being distracted for even a split second reduces your reaction time and takes your eyes off the road. But there are other ways that texting and driving leads to accidents, such as:
- Swerving – If a driver is texting and suddenly swerves to avoid an obstacle in the road, they may overcorrect and lose control of their vehicle, causing an accident.
- Running red lights or stop signs – A distracted driver may not see a red light or stop sign and may continue driving, causing a collision with other vehicles or pedestrians.
- Rear-end collisions – When a driver is texting, they may not notice that the vehicle in front of them has stopped or slowed down, resulting in a rear-end collision.
- Lane drifting – A driver who is texting may unintentionally drift out of their lane, potentially causing an accident with another vehicle.
- Inability to recognize hazards – A distracted driver may not be able to recognize potential hazards in the road, such as construction zones or hazardous weather conditions, increasing their risk of an accident.
Overall, texting and driving can lead to a variety of dangerous situations on the road in San Francisco and beyond. What’s worse, every car accident that is caused by texting and driving usually leads to injuries for drivers, pedestrians, and others that share the road.
Texting and driving accidents can result in a variety of injuries, ranging from minor to severe or even fatal. Some common injuries that can occur in texting and driving accidents include:
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Cuts and bruises
It is important to seek medical attention after a car accident, even if you do not think you have been seriously injured. Some injuries, such as whiplash and TBIs, may not show symptoms right away but can become more serious over time. It is also important to seek legal guidance from our team if you have been injured in a texting and driving accident so we can help you through the claims process
How To Recover Damages In a San Francisco Car Accident Claim?
California law provides accident victims with the ability to file a claim against the person who is at fault for the accident that causes injuries or other damages. Obviously, when the other driver was texting and driving, they will fulfill the requirements for acting negligently behind the wheel, which makes them liable for any damages.
At that point, consulting with our team can help you begin the recovery process. As for the actual claim, here is a general guide to the recovery process:
- Gather evidence – After the accident, your first priority should be getting to safety and getting medical attention for any injuries. After that, collect as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This can include photos of the accident scene, damage to the vehicles involved, and any injuries you have sustained. You should also obtain contact information from any witnesses to the accident.
- Filing an insurance claim – Our team has extensive experience in handling car accident claims, which includes filing an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- Negotiate a settlement – Once we determine the viability of your case, we can help you negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, the next step may be filing a lawsuit.
- File a lawsuit – If a lawsuit is necessary, your attorney will file the lawsuit and represent you in court. In a lawsuit, a judge or jury could potentially determine the amount of damages you receive. Also, any lawsuit must be filed within the statute of limitations for an injury claim, which is two years from the date of the accident.
It’s important to understand that the recovery process after a texting and driving accident can be complex and challenging. However, working with our team can take the burden from you, and allow you to focus on your physical and emotional recovery.
MJQ Law Will Stand Up For Your Rights
When you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident caused by texting and driving, it can be extremely frustrating due to the fact that the accident was probably entirely preventable. Still, your injuries and damages that were caused by the accident are very real and require compensation. At The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan, our team of experienced San Francisco car accident lawyers can use our expertise to stand up for your rights and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free initial consultation to start the recovery process.