In late 2017, Texas finally passed a statewide ban on texting and driving. While many cities, including Arlington, already had laws restricting how you can use your cell phone while driving, this is the first statewide ban in Texas. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) claims that one in five car crashes involves distracted driving, and Texas’ new ban on texting behind the wheel is a step toward eliminating this kind of distracted driving.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident that involved a texting driver, talk to an attorney today. The Arlington texting and driving lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm represent victims of texting and driving accidents and fight to get them compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. After a car accident, it is important to talk to an attorney about the compensation you might be entitled to and to never except an insurance payout without first discussing your case with a lawyer. For a free consultation with our attorneys, contact our law offices today (817) 476-1797.
Texting and Driving Laws in Arlington, TX
In September 2017, Texas passed a law to prohibit sending or reading electronic messages while driving your car. This means that any wireless communications sent as text on the phone are illegal instances of distracted driving. That includes text messages, emails, social media posts, and other communications. It also means that whether the driver is writing, sending, or reading the messages, they are still doing something illegal.
Texas’ state laws, however, do not prohibit other uses of a cell phone while driving. For instance, many use their cell phone as a GPS for directions or for playing music in their cars; these are still legal options. It is also legal to use your cell as a phone if you’re making the call hands-free or calling 9-1-1. Any other actions likely qualify as distracted driving and can lead to a ticket.
Arlington has actually had texting and driving laws since 2012. Because of this, drivers in Arlington should already be somewhat used to these rules, and police should be prepared to deal with texting and driving issues.
Suing for a Texting and Driving Accident
If you or a loved one was involved in an accident caused by texting and driving, the Arlington and Texas laws could help you win your case. Especially if you suffered severe injuries in the crash or you lost a loved one to the accident, it is important to consider taking your case to court. The compensation you can claim in court may be able to help support you and pay for your medical treatment. However, to get compensation, you first need to prove your case.
To prove a personal injury case, you must prove four things in court:
- The driver who injured you owed you a duty;
- The driver breached that duty;
- The breach caused your injuries; and
- You suffered harms the court can compensate you for (known as “damages”).
The duty, in the case of a texting and driving accident, is the duty to follow Texas’ traffic laws and refrain from texting behind the wheel. Texas’ law is designed to keep other drivers safe, so if someone violated the law and caused an accident, that law can be used to help demonstrate their breach.
The breach of texting and driving laws must also have directly contributed to the accident. That means showing that they caused the accident because they were using their phone. If you were both hit by a third vehicle, the texting might not be a contributing cause of the accident.
The damages that you can recover usually include three main areas of damages, but they can include any financial harms you suffered due to the crash. The three main types of compensation you may get are payments to cover your medical expenses, money to pay you back for any wages you missed, and direct compensation for your physical pain and mental suffering. When you go to trial, the court may also issue “punitive damages” to punish a driver who was especially negligent or dangerous, such as a driver that was texting and driving.
Should I File a Lawsuit for a Texting and Driving Accident?
In many cases, your insurance may cover your needs. However, texting and driving accidents are often fatal or cause serious injuries if the at-fault driver did not attempt to slow down or avoid the crash. Because of this, the other driver’s insurance may not be enough to cover your needs. An insurance claim may also not include damages for pain and suffering, punitive damages, or other damages you could be entitled to in a lawsuit. Talk to an attorney before accepting any settlements from insurance to ensure they fully cover your needs.
Arlington Injury Lawyer for Victims of Texting and Driving
If you or a loved one was seriously injured because of texting and driving, or if a loved one was killed in a texting and driving accident, talk to our attorneys today. The Arlington texting and driving lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm represent injured victims of car accidents throughout the Arlington area. For a free consultation on your case, contact our Arlington car accident attorneys today at (817) 476-1797.