The United States Department of Transportation states that “In 2020, 3,142 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.” Distracted driving includes anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road and their surroundings even just for a few seconds. Common examples include; eating and drinking, talking, messing with the radio, fiddling with navigation systems, and most commonly, using a cell phone. The use of a cell phone while driving is illegal, and can also cause extreme danger to you and those on the road around you. Even though a driver might only be taking their attention and eyes off the road for a few seconds, this is enough to cause an accident that injures or kills other people resulting in texting while driving accident claims.
Currently, 48 states have a strict ban on texting while driving for all drivers. If you are caught, there are various possible consequences:
- Monetary penalty/fine
- Suspended license
- Increased insurance costs
- A prison sentence (in instances with injuries/death)
In some states, the texting law only applies when vehicles are moving. Meaning that texting or phone usage at a red light is allowed. In addition to this law, drivers are unable to text and email while driving but are allowed to access navigation and search for contacts on their phone. As a car accident lawyer like one at Schehr Law can explain, this makes it hard for officers to know if an individual is texting or using navigation while driving without obtaining a search warrant.
Texting While Driving Accident Claims
Texting while driving accident claims are very complex cases and include a grey area for liability. If pulled over by an officer who claims you were texting while driving, you are not required to hand over your phone. They would need to obtain a search warrant to access the information on your phone, which does not happen every time someone is pulled over.
As mentioned earlier, liability can be unclear in these cases until phone records are obtained. A person who is texting and driving is negligent and at least partially responsible for the collision. If an incident occurs and phone records need to be requested, it is important to reach out to an experienced attorney. An experienced attorney will be able to obtain these records and will know what steps to take to build a strong case where texting or cell phone use was involved in the accident.
There is a possibility that the negligent driver would be ordered to pay for damages or losses such as:
- Any medical expenses, including an ambulance, treatment fees, hospital bills, physical therapy, etc.
- Pain and suffering and emotional distress
- Any damage to property, including car repair, and any other personal property that was destroyed in the accident
- Any incidental expenses, such as crutches, care, a rental car, and any over-the-counter medications necessary