California accident attorneys build cases under distracted driving laws.

California  – August 19, 2021

A motor vehicle driver’s primary responsibility is to pay attention to the roadway and surroundings.  If distracted driving can be proven by a California wrongful death attorney in a case for negligence utilizing California cell phone distracted driving laws, then penalties may be more severe. California has had distracted driving laws on the books for over ten years and those laws allow for damage compensation when a driver’s use of a cell phone causes a vehicle accident.

Illegal phone use.

The 2016 Assembly Bill 1785  was meant to discourage drivers from holding an electronic device while operating a vehicle.  California highway patrol is diligent in their efforts to decrease injuries and fatalities caused by distracted drivers through the issuance of driver citations.  California laws prohibit ALL drivers from texting, or using a handheld cell phone while driving, unless it is a hands-free device.  The only exceptions for cell phone use are to make emergency calls to law enforcement, a medical provider, the fire department, or other emergency services agencies. The fine for a first time texting or cell phone violation will cost a minimum of $162, and increases with additional violations.

A hands-free system requires the phone to be mounted on a dashboard, or windshield in order for the driver to maintain visibility of the road, and the phone must be activated, or de-activated with the single swipe of a hand movement according to California law.  A car accident attorney can explain how this may impact an accident case outcome.  Other driver distractions include eating, grooming, tending to small children, reaching for objects, tampering with automobile touchscreens, and any other task that involves a reduction of attention to the act of safe driving.

Car Insurance and liability.

California is considered a fault, or tort state requiring drivers to have a way to cover costs related to damages, or injuries caused in a car accident. Purchasing liability car insurance is the simplest and most common way people choose to meet this requirement. California drivers must take responsibility for their willful actions, and accidents that occur during ordinary circumstances.  Drivers who are found to be at fault will have to compensate the accident victims.   


Accident lawyers will utilize California and federal laws to build a case that results  in a comprehensive fiscal award to address accident-related expenses, and negative life changes that will impact a person’s ability to work and maintain financial stability.  Fiscal recovery is meant to compensate for economic, and non-economic losses, as well as those punitive damages allowed under California law.  Accident victims should speak to an attorney soon after a life-changing encounter caused by another person’s negligent actions.

Wrongful death.

California personal injury attorneys research case specifics to determine if negligence was the cause of an accident resulting in a wrongful death. A wrongful death legal action can be initiated by loved ones after a person dies because of the negligent, reckless, or deliberate act of another.  Damages in these lawsuits can include:

  • Medical bills and burial expenses
  • Compensation for lost wages
  • Compensation for pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages.

Talk to an attorney.

Seek counsel at Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates immediately after a fatal accident ,where a driver was ignoring the California “hands-free” cell phone laws. for guidance on how to navigate through the tragic period.  They can proceed in filing wrongful death actions (within the two-year period from the date a person died) that will enable compensation to pay bills related to funerals, emergent hospital care and negative financial impacts to family members.

Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates, a Professional Law Corporation
501 West Broadway, Suite 1650
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-233-8021
Fax: 619-233-3730