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Does a texting driver create grounds for a wrongful death suit? 

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2020 | Distracted Driving

People get into crashes across California every day by drivers distracted by technology. Mobile phones, social media and even devices built into the vehicle itself, like GPS, can keep someone from focusing on the safety-critical task of driving. 

Some of those crashes will tragically result in the loss of someone’s life. If your family has recently lost a loved one in a crash caused by a driver texting at the wheel, you may wonder about your rights as surviving family members. Does a driver texting provide grounds for a wrongful death claim?

When can you file a wrongful death claim in California?

State law allows surviving dependents like spouses, children and possibly parents to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the situation where death is the result of another party’s wrongful acts or negligence. Provided that you can prove negligence or misbehavior, you may have grounds for a civil claim. Such a claim can help your family reduce the impact of a loss on your lives. 

Texting at the wheel is a wrongful act in California

State lawmakers have long recognized the risk of focusing on a screen instead of the road. Drivers in California cannot legally use a mobile device with their hands while driving. Texting while driving is a wrongful act under state law, and it also is arguably a form of negligence because most people recognize the danger inherent in texting at the wheel. 

Provided that you have documentation of the digital distraction, you could very well bring a claim against the driver who put responding to a text message ahead of safety on the road.

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