As a business owner, keeping informed about the finer points of employment law is important. If you're getting ready to hire your first employees, you need to be sure that you understand exactly what you can and cannot do. Don't risk getting yourself into legal trouble by asking the wrong question at the interview or making an off-hand comment that's considered legally unacceptable. I created this site to give you the basics of employment law expectations. I hope that the information here helps you to understand what you should and shouldn't do as you're interviewing and hiring your first staff members.
When a car accident attorney pursues a case against a driver who was distracted, the logic that is oftentimes applied is what's called negligence per se. This is a legal inference of negligence that's drawn from what might otherwise be a reasonable action. For example, most folks would consider it reasonable to change the track playing on their vehicle's radio. That reasonableness argument, however, becomes negligence per se when the person proves to be so distracted that they cause an accident.
Negligence per se can be a somewhat tricky argument to make in certain circumstances. Let's look at how a car accident lawyer would try to address these concerns while assisting a client with a claim or suit.
A Violation of a Safety Regulation
Generally, for an action or inaction to be negligence per se, a violation of an established safety regulation has to occur. Suppose someone was talking on their phone and completely ignored a red light, leading to a side-impact accident with another vehicle. This might be interpreted as negligence per se because the driver willingly engaged in conduct that incapacitated their ability to respond promptly to a traffic control device.
Different states handle the question of inferring negligence differently. In some states, the inference is the end of the subject once it's established. That means the driver is found to be negligent at that moment. In other states, though, the finding is merely considered evidence that's added to the pile to show potential negligence.
How Negligence Per Se and Distracted Driving May Be Proven
One of the best things you can do in the aftermath of an incident is to take pictures of the scene. Try to find any skid marks at the scene and photograph them. Make sure to get images of both cars.
If you are unable at the time to take pictures, ask someone at the scene or a friend to get them. Failing that, try to get to the scene after the fact and get photos. Your car accident lawyer can ask the police for photos, too, but don't depend on the cops to capture all of the angles.
With some idea that the defendant did not respond soon enough, there is an argument for seeking other evidence. Traffic cameras are good sources of video. A car accident attorney may also be able to demand cellphone logs from a discovery request. Put together, these bits of evidence may show what the defendant was doing at the time of the incident.