Texting and Driving Car Accidents
Texting and driving is one of the most dangerous behaviors motorists can engage in behind the wheel. When motorists send or read texts while they are driving, they take their hands off the wheel, their eyes off the road, and their focus off of driving. This is a very common cause of car accidents in Texas, and crash victims can demand justice when they are hurt by a distracted driver.
At The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian, we have extensive experience successfully recovering full compensation for people who have been seriously hurt by distracted drivers. We have the skills and the recourses to investigate these complex accidents and prove who should be held liable.
Texas Laws on Texting and Driving
It is against the law in Texas to send or read texts while driving. Some cities within the state have passed even stricter laws that prohibit drivers from even holding their cellphones or using them at all while driving. Throughout Texas, drivers who have a learner’s permit cannot use a handheld phone for the first six months that they drive, and all drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cellphone at all. When a motorist is within a school zone, he or she is also prohibited from using any handheld device while driving.
Dangers of Texting While Driving
A driver who looks down for even a couple of seconds to glance at a text puts everyone on the road around him at risk. Texting is particularly dangerous because it involves multiple types of distractions:
- Manual distractions: Manual distractions are those that require a driver to take his or her hands off of the steering wheel, such as picking up a phone to send a text. When a person’s hands are not on the steering wheel, the driver is no longer in control of the vehicle. Texting drivers cannot swerve to miss a person or other car in front of them, and they may veer into another lane and hit someone.
- Visual distractions: A visual distraction occurs when a driver takes his or her eyes off of the road ahead. This is also extremely dangerous because drivers may not notice when they are approaching people, cars, or other obstructions. Drivers who are not looking ahead of them may also miss important traffic signs and signals, such as red lights.
- Cognitive distractions: These types of distractions involve drivers taking their minds and focus off of the road. When drivers are not paying attention and are thinking about something else, such as texting, it can cause a number of problems. They may miss traffic signs and signals, fail to see approaching vehicles or people, and otherwise drive dangerously.
These dangers pose a great risk to everyone on the road, which is why no driver should text while behind the wheel.
Compensation for Victims in Texting While Driving Cases
There are two main types of compensation available in texting while driving cases:
- The first is economic damages. These damages have a concrete dollar value. Economic damages include compensation for medical bills, lost income, property damage, loss of household services, and vocational rehabilitation.
- Non-economic damages do not have an actual dollar value, and they are more difficult to quantify. These damages may include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Another type of damages, known as punitive damages, are sometimes available in personal injury claims. These damages do not compensate the accident victim for losses. Instead, they are meant to punish the defendant for extremely reckless behavior.
How Long Do You Have to File a Distracted Driving Accident Claim in Texas?
Accident victims have only a limited amount of time to file a personal injury claim in Texas. The statute of limitations in Texas gives accident victims two years from the date of the crash to file a claim. Property damage claims also have a statute of limitations of two years, as do wrongful death claims. However, the clock on the statute of limitations starts ticking in wrongful death claims on the date of the death, which is sometimes different from the date of the accident.
How a Lawyer Can Help After an Accident
There are many ways a lawyer can help an injured victim who was hurt by a distracted driver. An attorney will conduct an investigation, collect evidence, and deal with the insurance company on your behalf. An attorney can retrieve certain types of evidence that are crucial to proving these claims. For example, an attorney can subpoena a driver’s cellphone records to determine if the person was texting and driving at the time of the crash. A lawyer will also speak to nearby businesses that may have video surveillance that captured the accident. This can also help prove that the driver was texting at the time of the crash.
An attorney can also help fully evaluate your claim, including calculating non-economic damages, so you are seeking the full amount of compensation you deserve.
Injured by a Texting Driver? Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If you have been hurt in an accident caused by a motorist who was texting and driving, you need to seek legal advice as soon as possible. At The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian, our Texas car accident lawyers can help. We will conduct a full investigation of your claim, collect the necessary records, and take care of every detail of your case while you focus on your recovery.
Contact us now to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable auto accident attorneys.