The use of mobile phones to text or make calls is among the most notable forms of distracted driving. The National Highway Transport Safety Authority estimates that over 400 people are killed every year due to texting and cell phone accidents in the United States. At least 40,000 others are seriously injured out of the over 1.4 million cell phone-related crashes. Most cities and states prohibit drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving. But even with these rules in place, some drivers continue to text and use their cell phones while on the road.
When a distracted driver uses a cell phone while driving and causes an accident, the injured victims may file a lawsuit for compensation. Very often, most survivors fail to explore the available legal options due to a lack of knowledge concerning liability and negligence. If you have not been involved in a texting while driving car accident in Baytown, it is very important for you to understand the steps you need to take to protect your rights. But if you or a loved one suffered harm recently in a similar car accident, you should speak with an experienced auto wreck attorney right away.
In accident cases involving texting and cell phone use, plaintiffs have argued that a driver who knowingly uses their cell phone while operating a vehicle should be held accountable for their actions if a crash occurs. To many injured victims, this alone serves as an act of negligence. But to successfully file a claim, the plaintiff must show, with proof that the defendant was, without a doubt, negligent in one way or the other. In this case, you must prove that the driver was distracted at the time of the accident or was otherwise driving unreasonably.
Negligent driving resulting from texting and use of cell phone while driving may be caused by:
Proving that the driver who hit you was using their cell phone at the time of the accident is enough to make a strong case. However, if you contributed to the accident in one way or the other, the value of your settlement may also be affected. For example, if you were also using your phone or you carelessly crossed the road, and a texting driver hit you, the defense counsel may point out your contributory negligence. If not well represented legally, you may lose your case. For this reason, you should always consider consulting a skilled attorney in Baytown before negotiating with the defendant’s insurance company or proceeding to trial.
Your attorney will take into account the extent of damages suffered, the percentage of your fault, the parties involved as well as the type of injuries you sustained before negotiating a settlement. A good lawyer understands the importance of negotiations before going to trial. Both parties will agree to settle based on either side’s percentage of fault. But if this fails, your case may proceed to trial for a jury or judge.
Damages available in a texting while driving accident lawsuit are similar to those in any other type of personal injury case. Generally, injured victims are entitled to compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Depending on your case, you may also qualify for punitive damages which are meant to punish the defendant or party at fault for their negligence. Economic damages may take into account losses related to:
On the other hand, non-economic damages will include the following:
If you were injured in a texting while driving car accident in Baytown, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Our lawyers at Lone Star Injury Attorneys are experienced in handling such cases and will help you explore the best legal strategy for maximum compensation. Contact our offices or reach out to us online today.