In the state of Texas, it is illegal to read, write, or send messages while you are operating a motor vehicle. This includes both texts and emails.
If a driver who was texting causes an accident, the victim can demand compensation for the harm suffered. If this has happened to you or a loved one in El Paso, contact the car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC.
For more than three decades, our attorneys have been helping injured individuals and their families get the compensation they need to pay their medical bills, recoup lost wages, and move forward with their lives after severe accidents. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help After a Distracted Driving Accident?
When you’re injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, it’s essential to get treated by a doctor and seek legal advice immediately. These are two vital steps for protecting your right to compensation after a crash.
While you seek treatment and recover from your injuries, your lawyer will handle all of the legal legwork required to pursue a claim for compensation. Your lawyer will contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company to obtain a copy of their auto insurance policy. Your attorney will also review your own policy to determine all compensation options available to you.
Along with identifying all potentially liable parties, your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into your accident. Your legal team will collect a variety of evidence to support your claim, including:
- Police accident reports
- Witness statements
- Photos of the accident scene
- Video surveillance of the accident
- Cellphone records
- Your medical records
- Photos of your injuries
An experienced attorney will know what information and documentation insurance adjusters look for when evaluating an injury claim. Your lawyer will fight for a full and fair settlement, but be prepared to take your case to trial if a settlement cannot be reached.
If you are unfamiliar with insurance policies and auto accident claims, you may be taken advantage of by the insurance adjuster. A person without legal representation will often be offered a much lower settlement than someone with an experienced attorney on their side.
To learn how our team can help you, please contact us today. The consultation is free, and there is no charge unless we win money for you.
Compensation for Your Injuries
If someone caused your car accident while texting, you may be able to seek compensation for specific losses you have incurred. Being injured in a car accident can impact your job, finances, and overall ability to enjoy your life. The damages you may be compensated for include:
- Medical Expenses – This includes any treatment you need for your injuries, such as hospital visits, laboratory tests, surgeries, home health care, physical therapy, and prescription medications. If your injuries are permanent and you can prove you will need future treatments, you can seek compensation for those expenses as well.
- Lost Wages – You can seek compensation if you’re unable to work at all or have to cut back on the number of hours you work due to your injuries. This can also include any future lost wages due to a diagnosed disability resulting from your injury.
- Pain and Suffering – You can pursue compensation if your injuries cause physical pain that has disrupted your life.
- Mental Anguish – If your accident caused significant distress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, or any number of psychological problems that affect your daily life, your compensation might cover this damage as well.
The Dangers of Texting While Driving
Texting and driving accident statistics show an alarming amount of people text while they drive. Even more surprising, a lot of people don’t believe it’s dangerous. They think their multitasking abilities allow them to keep one eye on the road while they keep the other eye on their phone. Unfortunately, it only takes one second of inattention to cause an accident.
To put it in perspective, if you’re driving at 55 miles per hour and take your eyes off the road for only five seconds, you can travel the entire length of a football field. During that time, another car can swerve into your lane, debris from a nearby truck can be launched toward yours, or the car in front of you could suddenly stop short. Texting causes three types of distractions for drivers:
- Manual Distractions – This is when your focus isn’t on the road, and you take one or both of your hands off the wheel so you can text.
- Visual Distractions – This occurs when your eyes are on your phone to read or send a text instead of paying attention to the road in front of you.
- Cognitive Distractions – Even if you glance up from your phone while you’re texting, you can still be involved in an accident. “Inattention blindness” occurs when a driver fails to notice a visible, but unexpected object because they were engaged in texting.
Texting and Driving Accident Statistics
The Texas Department of Transportation reports the following distracted driving accident statistics:
- 18% of accidents on Texas roadways in a recent year were caused by distracted driving
- 394 people died due to distracted driving in Texas that year
- 2,340 people were seriously injured in distracted driving accidents
These statistics show how dangerous it is to share the road with someone who is texting while driving. No text is worth causing an accident.
Texas Texting and Driving Law
Texas was the 47th state to pass a law that prohibits motorists from texting while driving. Although the law addresses texting and emailing, it does not address the use of a cellphone altogether. It is still legal to use your phone for navigation, dialing phone numbers to make a call, and to listen to music.
The fine for first-time texting-while-driving offenses is between $25 and $99. Repeat offenders have to pay between $100 and $200. If an individual causes someone else harm in a collision while texting and driving, the driver can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. The driver will also have to pay a fine up to $4,000 and could spend up to a year in jail.
Contact an Experienced El Paso Texting and Driving Accident Lawyer Today
Were you hurt in a car accident caused by a texting driver? Call the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC, right now for the legal help you need. We offer a free initial consultation so you can speak with us about your case with no risk or obligation.