Jason Stephens | June 3, 2021 | Car Accidents
Texting while driving continues to be one of the most dangerous and frequent types of distracted driving.
When a driver texts while driving, the driver’s eyes are off the road. He takes his hands off the steering wheel, and his mind is on the text, not on driving. This level of distraction can be deadly.
Sadly, distracted drivers who choose to text while driving face minimum penalties. While the penalties may increase if the driver causes a car accident while texting and driving, the accident victim often sustains the greatest harm from the negligent driver’s choice to text while driving.
The Texas Texting While Driving Law
In 2017, Texas became the 47th state to ban texting while driving. Texas Transportation Code §545.4251 bans a driver from writing, reading, or sending electronic messages via a wireless communications device while driving.
Texting while driving is illegal throughout the state of Texas, with very few exceptions. Some cities have banned all cell phone use while driving and may have higher fines and penalties for texting and driving. Texas drivers should know the laws in the cities.
The first offense for texting while driving in Texas is a fine of $25 to $99. Subsequent texting tickets can result in fines of up to $200. Cell phone use in a school zone is an automatic fine of $200, even if it is your first offense.
The texting law applies to more than just texting. You can receive a ticket for checking emails, video chatting, posting to social media, or internet browsing.
It is also important to note that if a driver causes a traffic fatality or serious bodily injury to another person while texting and driving, the driver could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the person could face jail time and a substantial fine.
The Dangers of Texting While Driving for Other People
When a texting driver causes a crash, the other individuals involved in the traffic accident may sustain serious injuries.
Examples of injuries caused by distracted driving include, but are not limited to:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries and whiplash
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Amputations and paralysis
- Wrongful death
If another driver causes your traffic accident, seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. Remember, you may feel “okay” or “fine,” but you might not be okay. You could have injuries that are not easily recognizable.
It is best to see a doctor as soon as possible and report all symptoms, regardless of severity, to the doctor. Delays in medical care and failing to report symptoms are two of the things insurance companies use to undervalue your injury claim.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for a Texting While Driving Accident
If a distracted driver causes an accident due to texting while driving, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages.
The damages you could receive from an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit include:
- The cost of your medical care and treatment
- Future costs of medical care for permanent impairments
- Loss of income and benefits, now and in the future
- Decreased earning potential because of permanent disabilities
- The cost of personal care and in-home health care
- Emotional distress, mental anguish, and physical pain and suffering
- Decreased quality of life and loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement, impairments, scarring, and disability
The value of your injury claim depends on the circumstances of your case. The first thing you should do after the accident is to seek medical treatment for your injuries. Prompt medical care increases your chances of recovering maximum compensation for your claim.
You may also want to speak with a car accident lawyer as soon as you are able to do so. The insurance adjuster represents the best interests of the insurance provider. You need someone who will represent your best interests to give you an honest assessment of your case and explain your legal rights.
Most personal injury cases are settled out of court. In these cases, the insurance company for the at-fault driver pays the claim. However, if there is a dispute about fault, your case could go to trial. Proving that the driver was texting while driving is only one part of the case. To prove negligence and liability, you must also prove that the driver caused the crash.
For example, you must have evidence showing that the driver was texting while driving and ran a red light or rear-ended your vehicle. An attorney can help gather the evidence to prove negligence and fault.