What Are My Rights If My Accident Was Caused by Someone Who Was Texting & Driving?
Texting and driving is one of the most lethal forms of distracted driving. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most common. Most people do not recognize the danger of texting and driving upon immediate consideration. After all, you are only taking a brief glance at a text, or an email – what could be the harm?
Contrary to popular belief, texting while behind the wheel is nearly as dangerous as driving blindfolded. In the United States alone, it accounts for approximately 1.6 million collisions annually. If you have been a victim of a texting and driving accident, it is imperative to contact an experienced texting and driving accident lawyer at Reyes Law who will assist you in holding the offending motorist accountable. Here’s how to go about doing that.
The Dangers and Legality of Texting and Driving
In most states across the U.S., it is against the law to text or otherwise operate a mobile device while behind the wheel. The only time at which this is acceptable is if the vehicle is completely stopped and in a parked position in an appropriate area (e.g., a parking lot or curbside). Even on this basis alone, you have the right to file a lawsuit against an individual who is breaking this law. Unfortunately, many drivers do not respect such laws, and thus, endanger themselves and others.
This danger of this habit lies in its multifaceted inhibition to the motorist’s attention and reaction time:
- Cognitive ramifications: The driver cannot fully comprehend all environmental information due to their split attention.
- Visual impacts: Since the driver is looking at their phone, they are not paying attention to the surrounding environment. This is why this habit is compared to driving blindfolded.
- Manual effects: When someone is texting, they are blatantly ignoring that standard and reducing the efficiency with which they control their car.
There are several repercussions that can come about when an individual is engaging in this behavior. If you have been the victim of someone who was texting and driving, you must exercise the following rights:
- The right to pursue legal action and, thus, compensation.
- The right to legal counsel when filing a lawsuit.
Exercising Your Rights as a Victim of Texting and Driving
Whether the driver was issued a citation by police officers or not, you can exercise your right to file suit against them. A successful case will prove the following:
- The guilty driver was responsible for the action as a result of the three distracted driving effects listed above.
- The individual was texting at the time of the crash.
Note that, above, we state that most states outlaw texting and driving. Thirty states prohibit the habit for new motorists, while only 20 states outlaw it for all drivers. Before you pursue legal action, check your state laws to form the foundation of your case.
Proving liability in a texting and driving accident can pose quite a challenge. People tend to be relatively covert when engaging in this type of negligence, so you will need the help of a lawyer for your case. The lawyer will be able to issue a warrant to recover phone records, dashcam footage, and any other evidence necessary to win your compensation. Get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights as the victim of a texting and driving accident.