The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. works vigilantly to bring at-fault distracted and negligent drivers to justice in the state of Texas. We might be able to help you fight for compensation after suffering injuries or the death of a loved one because of a distracted driver.
Distracted driving is a problem that plagues America. The number of distracted drivers has increased in almost every state in the last several years, largely due to a jump in cell phone use behind the wheel. In 2016, 455 people in Texas died in traffic accidents involving distracted drivers.
Texas’ Cell Phone Laws and Negligence Per Se
Cell phones significantly distract drivers, taking their eyes, hands, and attention away from the driving task. Drivers who text and drive are at a much higher risk of causing collisions than drivers who don’t. Texas, like most states in the U.S, has passed laws restricting cell phone use while driving in an effort to make the roads safer. Starting in 2017, it is against the law for any driver to use a wireless communications device for sending, reading, or writing electronic messages while operating a motor vehicle. This includes texts and emails.
In addition to the universal law, more than 90 Texas cities have enacted their own, stricter cell phone ordinances. These cities include Austin, Corpus Christi, and El Paso. Breaking the statewide or local cell phone laws can result in traffic citations and fines. If a driver texts and drives and causes an accident, the legal ramifications can be much worse. Accessing the driver’s cell phone records and proving that he or she was using a handheld electronic device before or during the crash could be enough for a negligence per se argument.
Negligence per se refers to a doctrine wherein violating a law is enough proof of the defendant’s negligence that the plaintiff does not have to prove a breach of duty of care. Whether or not the courts permit the plaintiff to apply the tort concept of negligence per se depends upon the circumstances of the auto accident. If the court does allow it, it will generally make it easier for the plaintiff to recover financial compensation for his or her accident-related damages. A good attorney can help with burdens of proof in distraction-related accident claims.
How Can a Lawyer Help with a Distracted Driving Claim?
The evidence presented against the driver allegedly at fault for the crash can determine the outcome of the claim. It is up to the plaintiff and his or her attorney to gather any available evidence, interview eyewitnesses, and hire experts to help prove negligence. The process begins from the moment the accident occurs. As a victim, you can help your claim by gathering information immediately after the crash.
Take photographs of both vehicles, your injuries, and anything that may incriminate the distracted driver. This could include fast food wrappers in the front seat or lack of brake marks on the ground prior to the collision. Before you leave the scene, talk to the police and give your side of the story. Explain why you believe the other party drove distracted or otherwise caused the crash. Do not admit fault for the accident. Go to the hospital as soon as you can after your accident, even if you don’t feel injured. You could have injuries with hidden or delayed symptoms.
Take note of the name of the physician you see and request copies of your medical records. Then, call our Texas car accident attorneys. A lawyer can make the claims process in Texas much easier on car accident victims. From navigating the state cell phone laws to filing a personal injury claim on time, our lawyers can take care of every aspect of your case for the best possible results. Schedule your free crash consultation either online or by calling (210) 435-7968.