Texting and Driving Accident Case

How to Protect Your Rights and Maximize Your Compensation

One of the most dangerous and irresponsible behaviors on the road is texting while driving.

You are taking your eyes off of the road when you send or read a text for a few seconds. Five seconds of distracted driving at 55 mph is equivalent to driving the length of a full football field while keeping your eyes shut, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Texting and driving may cause serious consequences to you and other road users. This can cause collisions that are fatal and result in serious injuries or damage. You could face fines, points suspension or jail terms as a result; and this will also affect your car insurance, as rates can rise significantly following an accident.

You may be able to claim compensation from the person who was responsible for the accident if you were involved or affected in a texting-while-driving accident. However, seeking compensation for texting and driving accidents is not a simple process. Several factors and steps that will affect the outcome.

The Dangers of Texting and Driving

Distracted driving includes texting while driving. It also includes eating, drinking, talking with people inside your car, playing around with your stereo system or entertainment, fiddling with the navigation system or any other activity that distracts you from safe driving.

Texting and driving distract you in three ways: visually, manually and cognitively. Your attention is diverted from the road by looking at the screen of your mobile phone and taking one hand off of the steering wheel to hold or type the phone.

Driving while texting can affect your performance in some ways.

Reduce your focus and awareness on the road and traffic conditions

Increasing your reaction time, braking distance and error rate

Your judgment, risk perception and decision-making abilities could be impaired

You may also be at risk of serious health and safety issues if you text while driving.

Involvement in an accident that could result in injury, damage or death

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Could face legal penalties including fines, points, license suspension or jail time

Suffering psychological distress like guilt, shame or trauma

According to the NHTSA, distracted driving played a part in 8.5% of fatal accidents in 2019 which caused 3,142 deaths. Of those deaths, 385 (12%) were attributed to cell phone use while driving. Texting while driving was reported as the most frequent source of distraction by drivers involved in fatal crashes.

A study by AAA revealed that electronic use is the leading source of distraction for teen drivers. Teen drivers who text while driving are eight times more likely to cause an accident than those who don’t text at all while driving, making texting while driving just as hazardous as drunk driving. They have the same effect on your reaction time as drinking four beers in an hour and then driving.

AAA conducted another study that even if you stop driving and texting, your eyes will not recover immediately. It may take as much as 27 seconds for your mind to refocus after experiencing something stressful, no matter if that be at a stoplight or traffic signal. This phenomenon is called the hangover effect.

The Legal Aspects of Texting and Driving

Texting while driving is illegal in most states and jurisdictions; its legal implications depend on where an accident has taken place, but may include:

Federal and state laws and regulations that restrict texting while driving and penalties associated with its violation.

The civil liability and negligence claims that can arise from texting and driving accidents, and the damages that can be recovered.

Criminal and administrative penalties applicable in texting while driving cases as well as potential outcomes should be explored here.

As of 2021, texting and driving is illegal in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Texting while driving is considered a major offense in 41 states. This means that an officer can cite a driver for texting and driving even if they didn’t break any other rules. In 7states, it is a secondary offense. The driver can only be cited for texting and driving if they were pulled over for another violation.

All handheld device use while driving is illegal in the District of Columbia as well as in 24 other states. These are all primary crimes in these states. Drivers cannot use their phone in any capacity – including making or receiving phone calls, sending texts, browsing the web or navigating without using voice-activated technology or hands-free devices – while driving.

Some states also have special rules that apply to drivers who are of a certain age or profession. Some states also impose additional rules based on age or profession; for instance, drivers under the age of 18 in 37 states and the District of Columbia cannot use phones at all while driving.

Penalties may range from fines of $20 up to $500 and points added to your record, which could increase insurance costs or lead to license suspension. Other possible punishments could be jail sentences between one day and one year in length, as well as community service, probation or driver education classes.

Texting and driving may leave you vulnerable to civil liability and negligence claims if it causes or contributes to an accident that injures another person or property, including medical expenses, income loss, property damage claims and pain and suffering compensation claims.

To recover compensation from a texting driver, the injured party must prove four elements:

Texting drivers have a legal obligation of care towards those they injure; that is, they are expected to drive safely to prevent harming others and remain compliant.

Texting drivers have breached their duty of care by acting negligently or irresponsibly and violating traffic laws or rules of the road.

Texting while driving is considered a breach of duty, and this caused the accident. This means there was a clear and direct link between texting and the collision.

Accidents often result in injuries and damages to those involved, meaning they suffered actual and measurable losses due to the accident.

Texting and driving can also result in criminal charges in some cases, especially if the accident causes serious injuries or deaths. Depending on the state or jurisdiction, the texting driver may face charges such as:

Texting while driving is considered a breach of duty, and this caused the accident. This means there was a clear and direct link between texting and the collision.

Accidents often result in injuries and damages to those involved, meaning they suffered actual and measurable losses due to the accident.

Accidents often result in injuries and damages to those involved, meaning they suffered actual and measurable losses due to the accident.

These charges can result in fines, prison time, suspension of licenses or license revocations, community service or probation.

The defenses for these charges may include:

Lack of evidence: challenging the validity or reliability of the evidence presented by the prosecution.

Mistake of fact: claiming that the texting behavior was not intentional or voluntary, but rather accidental or coerced.

Necessity or emergency: claiming that the texting behavior was justified by a situation that required immediate action or communication.

How to Protect Your Rights in a Texting and Driving Accident Case

You may be entitled to compensation from the person who caused an accident if you were involved or affected by one. To protect your claim and to preserve your rights, you must take certain actions and steps after the accident.

Report the accident

as soon as possible to both police and your insurance provider. In an emergency, always call 911; otherwise exchange information with drivers regarding their identities, addresses, phone numbers and vehicle registration/licensing numbers as soon as possible after an accident has taken place. Cooperate fully with authorities by giving an honest account of what occurred – they may require you to provide accurate details. Inform your provider of what has occurred too so they can follow any necessary guidelines or instructions from them regarding claims settlement or claims payment.

Seeking medical attention

as soon as possible and keeping accurate records can be essential to proving damages and injuries sustained. Even if your injuries seem minor at first glance or worsen over time, seeking medical care as soon as possible afterward should still be pursued for optimal recovery. Keep all documents related to medical visits such as invoices, receipts and reports to prove these.

Gathering evidence

to support your claim, such as photos, videos, witness statements, police reports, phone records, etc. It is important to collect as much evidence as possible to prove the other driver’s texting while driving, and that it caused or contributed to an accident. You should take photos or videos of the scene of the accident, the vehicles involved, the road conditions, the traffic signs or signals, and any injuries or damages. Get the contact details of all witnesses, including those who may have seen or heard the accident. Lastly, obtain copies of both police reports as well as phone records that will detail all texts/calls sent or received around or during this incident.

Hiring a lawyer

to represent your interests and handle the legal aspects of your case. After the incident occurs, immediately hire an experienced texting-while-driving lawyer who can protect your rights and interests during the legal process by investigating, gathering evidence to establish fault and liability, calculating damages and seeking compensation for actual losses sustained; they can even negotiate a fair settlement or court verdict. If the insurance company does not pay you fairly, a lawyer can help you file a suit.

How to Maximize Your Compensation in a Texting and Driving Accident Case

Compensation for texting and driving accidents depends on the severity of injuries sustained by victims as well as the liability of the parties involved. Typically, victims can seek reimbursement for:

Medical expenses

Refers to past and future costs related to hospital bills, surgery procedures, medications prescribed or assistive devices that might be required.

Lost wages

This refers to past and future income losses due to incapacitation from injuries or reduced earning potential as a result.

Pain and suffering

This includes physical pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life and other non-economic damages caused by the accident.

Property damage

Refers to costs related to repairing or replacing vehicles and other properties damaged in an accident.

Punitive damages

As an unusual form of compensation for reckless or malicious acts committed against others, punitive damages may be awarded as a means to punish defendants as well as deter any future incidents involving similar behavior.

The amount of compensation that a victim can receive depends on various factors, such as:

  • The extent and duration of the injuries: Compensation will reflect this factor more heavily as the more serious and permanent the injuries become.
  • The impact of the injuries on the victim’s life: The more seriously an injury affects a victim’s daily activities, work performance or quality of life is affected, the higher their compensation will be.
  • The degree of fault of each party: Compensation may be decreased if one or both parties share some responsibility for an accident; for example if texting while driving or violating any traffic rules contributed. In such an instance, comparative negligence (also called contributory negligence depending on state laws) or contributory negligence will likely play a factor.
  • The availability and limits of insurance coverage: Compensation may depend upon how much coverage each party possesses; for instance, if one party only carries minimal or no insurance at all then recovery of full damages could be limited; depending on this scenario the victim may rely on their uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or file suit directly against that individual for full recompense of their injuries.

To maximize your compensation in a texting and driving accident case, you need to consider the following factors and strategies:

1

Calculating economic and non-economic damages involves taking an accurate accounting of expenses and losses that you have incurred as a result of injuries to yourself or others. Economic damages refer to tangible losses that are easily quantifiable, like medical expenses, lost income or property damage; non-economic damages refer to intangible losses that cannot easily be measured, like pain and suffering, emotional distress and lost enjoyment of life. You may need receipts, invoices, pay stubs tax returns as proof for economic damages while medical records testimonies photos videos etc for non-economic damages claims.

2

Proving fault and liability based on the evidence and arguments that show the cause and effect of the accident and how the other party was negligent or reckless in texting and driving. Evidence such as phone records, witness statements, police reports, photos and videos could all help establish that another driver was texting while driving at or around the time of an accident and their texting distracted from safe driving. Your defense strategy could involve employing traffic laws and rules of the road as evidence against another driver who violated their duty of care to you and other road users or using expert testimony to demonstrate how texting while driving compromised their driving performance and reaction time.

3

Negotiating with the insurance company or the court for a fair and reasonable settlement or verdict that reflects your true losses, and being prepared to file a lawsuit if necessary. As part of your texting and driving accident lawsuit, it may be necessary to negotiate with both an insurance company and the court to seek just compensation. Present evidence and arguments to them that will convince them they owe you what’s owed; reject any lowball offers or denials they make; file suit if they refuse or the statute of limitations expires if necessary.

Why do you need to seek legal help after a Texting and Driving Accident

Driving while texting is a serious crime that can lead to devastating consequences both for you and other road users. Be careful when texting and driving; any accident could leave you vulnerable to legal problems, medical bills and property damage. Seek legal assistance immediately following such an incident to protect yourself.

A lawyer can help you with the following aspects of your case:

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Protecting your rights

An attorney can advise on what steps should and should not be taken following an accident, including admitting fault or signing any documents without first consulting their legal representation. Furthermore, avoid talking with other drivers’ insurance companies directly as well as providing any statements. A lawyer will communicate directly with insurance adjusters on your behalf while advocating on your behalf to safeguard your interests.

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Investigating the accident

Lawyers can gather evidence to show that the other driver was texting while driving and caused it. This may involve gathering cell phone records, police reports, witness statements, photos, videos, expert opinions and expert witness opinions as evidence against them. A lawyer can also help preserve any evidence from your phone such as text messages, call logs or GPS data that might exist therein.

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Evaluating your damages

Hiring a lawyer to evaluate the full scope of your losses – such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage and any other forms of losses can help determine their true extent. A lawyer can also document injuries sustained during treatment as well as how it has altered life following an accident.

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Negotiating a settlement

Your lawyer can negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company or lawyer on your behalf to reach an acceptable settlement that covers your damages. They can advise on whether or not to accept their offer and its potential benefits or drawbacks.

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Filing a lawsuit

If a settlement cannot be reached, an experienced lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court. They can prepare and present your case, cross-examine witnesses, make arguments on your behalf and handle any legal issues that arise during trial – they can even appeal the verdict if necessary.

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Legal assistance after being involved in a texting and driving accident can make a substantial difference to the outcome of your case. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer immediately after experiencing injuries can help protect your rights, prove your case and recover any associated damages. Don’t delay in seeking legal advice after being hurt – contact one right now to get the process underway!

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