Trucking Accidents: Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous elements of driving in California today. Although cell phones are one of the most commonly cited distractions among drivers, distracted driving can take many forms. Regardless of what takes a driver’s attention off the road, devastating consequences are often the result. California has taken several steps to minimize distracted driving accidents on California roads, but these accidents can and do still happen every day.

Distracted driving is especially dangerous when large trucks are involved. Both truck drivers and drivers of passenger vehicles have a duty of care to drive responsibly and avoid distractions at all times. When drivers fail in this duty, serious accidents can occur.

The Law Offices of Michael R. Kaiser offers legal representation to anyone involved in a distracted driving accident. We understand how damaging these incidents can be when it comes to vehicle repair and replacement costs, medical bills for injuries, and pain and suffering.

Why Choose the Law Offices of Michael R. Kaiser?

When you have experienced an accident due to distracted driving, it is essential to secure legal counsel so you can determine your right to compensation for the resulting damages. The Law Offices of Michael R. Kaiser offers legal representation to clients in the Palm Springs area, including the communities of Palm Desert, Indio, the Coachella Valley, Riverside, San Bernardino, Morongo Valley and throughout the Inland Empire.

  • Attorney Michael R. Kaiser has more than 40 years of experience as an attorney, providing clients in all types of personal injury cases with robust legal counsel backed by tested experience and a wide network of professional contacts.
  • When clients do not have medical insurance, our firm can connect them to a network of rehabilitation specialists and doctors who offer treatment on a lien basis.
  • Our firm takes a client-focused approach to legal representation. Your attorney will take time to get to know you and your situation to provide the most comprehensive representation possible.
  • We offer free consultations so we can evaluate the strength of your case and the likelihood of securing compensation for your damages without making any financial commitments for representation.

The Law Offices of Michael R. Kaiser will work to secure a fair result for your case and still resolve your case as quickly and efficiently as possible. Attorney Michael R. Kaiser is not afraid of intense litigation when necessary.

Finding the right attorney can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of a distracted driving truck accident case in the Palm Springs area. Michael R. Kaiser understands the local laws that will pertain to your case and has the resources and experience to fully explore every available avenue of compensation.

What Every Driver Needs to Know About Distracted Driving

Distracted driving takes many forms, and these behaviors generally fall into one or more of three main categories:

  • Visual distractions which cause a driver to look away from the road ahead, such as roadside events, maintaining a conversation with a passenger, or reading a text message.
  • Manual distractions which require drivers to take their hands off the vehicle’s controls. Some examples include rummaging for an item in the car, adjusting the stereo or air conditioning, or thumbing out a text message on a phone’s keyboard.
  • Cognitive distractions which divert the driver’s attention and focus from driving. Daydreaming, worrying about an upcoming event, or fuming about a bad day at the office can all potentially become distractions while driving.

Today, cell phones are one of the primary causes of distracted driving accidents in the United States. The Insurance Information Institute reports cell phones contribute to about 14% of all fatal distracted driving accidents. California legislators have enacted laws that forbid the use of cell phones behind the wheel except through the use of hands-free attachments like Bluetooth headsets or car speaker connectivity.

Distracted Driving in Truck Accidents

Tractor-trailers are crucial to the U.S. economy. They are responsible for transporting billions of tons of cargo on a daily basis. Truck drivers have a duty of care beyond that of a typical private driver because they drive for business purposes. Truck drivers must refrain from engaging in distracting activities while operating their vehicles. When they fail to do so, the resulting damage can be catastrophic for everyone involved.

Truck drivers who drive too long without adequate rest put themselves and other drivers at risk should they fall asleep at the wheel or simply fail to react in time when faced with sudden changes in road conditions. Other drivers also have a duty to drive with care and avoid distractions, otherwise they may unintentionally cause accidents with tractor-trailers.

Potential Damages and Determining Responsibility for a Distracted Driving Truck Accident

Any distracted driving incident that leads to a truck accident will ultimately come down to a question of negligence, or the failure of one or more drivers to use reasonable care on the road. When one driver suffers injuries and economic damages due to another’s distracted driving, the injured party has the right to seek compensation for all damages resulting from the accident, including:

  • Medical expenses, including both short-term medical costs like ambulance or airlift fees and hospital bills and long-term costs for physical therapy or other necessary forms of rehabilitation.
  • Lost wages. When a plaintiff’s injuries prevent them from going back to work, they can sue for the wages lost during that time. In the event the plaintiff is too injured to return to work at all, they may secure compensation for lost future wages.
  • Property damage, such as vehicle repair or replacement costs.
  • Pain and suffering, which pertains to the physical pain and mental anguish the plaintiff experienced as the result of injuries and damages caused by the distracted driver. 
  • Punitive damages. While the plaintiff cannot directly seek punitive damages, the court may decide the defendant’s behavior exceeded the scope of typical negligence and award punitive damages to further punish the defendant.

Determining negligence in a distracted driving truck accident case may seem straightforward, but many different variables can complicate the process. The right attorney can help plaintiffs determine their rights to compensation and uncover the evidence and documentation necessary to make a compelling case.

Michael R. Kaiser can provide comprehensive legal counsel to Palm Springs area plaintiffs injured by distracted driving truck accidents. If you recently experienced such an accident and believe another party is responsible for your damages, contact the Law Offices of Michael R. Kaiser to schedule a free consultation about your case.