WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU'VE BEEN INJURED BY A TEXTING DRIVER
July 6, 2020
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one in five crashes involves distracted drivers. Whether drivers are holding a cell phone or using a hands-free device, their risk for being involved in a crash is notably higher than drivers who refrain from using devices. That’s why in 2017, Texas law banned the use of wireless communications devices for messaging while operating a motor vehicle.
If you were hit by a driver who you suspect was texting I will help you fight for fair compensation. My law firm serves Houston, South Houston, Pasadena, and surrounding Texas communities.
CELL PHONE PROHIBITIONS UNDER TEXAS LAW
Under the Texas texting and driving law:
Drivers can’t send or receive electronic messages;
Drivers with learner’s permits aren’t allowed to use a handheld cell phone while driving during the first six months of driving;
Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using wireless communication devices in any way while driving;
School bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones when children are present;
All drivers are prohibited from using handheld devices while in school zones; and,
Local governments may enact even stricter ordinances.
There are a few exceptions to this law. Drivers under age 18 can make emergency calls. Drivers can use cell phone maps and navigation systems, and they can use voice-to-text hands-free technology. Drivers can also use their phones to play music while driving.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE HIT BY SOMEONE TEXTING WHILE DRIVING
If you were hit by someone that you suspect was texting and driving, the first thing to do is seek medical attention. After you have seen your doctor or been to the emergency room, make sure to obtain a copy of any applicable medical records.
In Texas, it is required that the local law enforcement is called to any accident in which there was an injury or death or the damage to the vehicle is such that it cannot be safely driven away. It’s important that you get a copy of the police report taken at the accident scene and the statements of any witnesses.
As soon as you are able, you should also document your recollection of exactly what occurred in relation to the accident. The sooner you can do this the better as small details that could be important to the case may be quickly forgotten.
Next, you’ll want to report the accident to your insurance company. Not reporting it within a “reasonable period of time” can result in a claim being denied. Some companies define a “reasonable period of time” as one to two days.
Finally, you should hire a personal injury attorney who can help you prove liability and negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. An insurance company will try and payout as little as possible so having experienced legal counsel will increase your chances of fair compensation.
PROVING THEY WERE TEXTING
As your personal injury attorney, I will work to prove that the accident was the result of texting and driving. There are several ways to do this:
They Admit It - Although a rare occurrence, sometimes the driver will admit they were distracted. In this case, it should be noted in the police report.
Cameras - Depending on the location of the accident, video footage might be obtainable from intersection cameras, store security cameras, dashboard cameras, or bystander video.
Witness - Bystanders or other drivers may have seen the driver looking down at their phone. Where necessary, a witness may be subpoenaed to give their testimony.
Subpoena Driver’s Phone Records - An attorney can subpoena the driver’s cell phone records and compare it to the time the accident occurred.
HIRING A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY IN HOUSTON, TEXAS
You need experienced and aggressive legal representation to guide you through the personal injury process of filing a claim, investigating the event, and obtaining a settlement or judgment against the driver who caused your injuries. For years, I have been successfully helping people like you get justice and compensation for bodily injuries suffered in vehicular crashes caused by negligent, distracted drivers.
The statute of limitations for bodily injury claims in Texas is two years from the date of the crash, so contact me today to get started. There is no cost for a consultation. I proudly serve clients in Houston, South Houston, Pasadena, and the surrounding areas throughout, Texas.