Cell phones may be the most dangerous form of distraction for drivers. Looking at a phone screen for even a few seconds means that a driver is not watching the road. A moment’s distraction is enough to lead to severe accidents and injuries.
Distracted driving is negligence, which is the basis for financial recovery. If you have been injured in a texting-while-driving car accident in Iberville Parish or Plaquemine, a tenacious car accident attorney could help. The legal team at Tomeny | Best could advise you of your rights, potential damage awards, and any applicable filing deadlines.
Distracted driving means doing anything while driving other than concentrating on the road. Eating, drinking, putting on makeup, and conversing with passengers are all examples of distracted driving. While all these things can lead to driver inattention, texting while driving is one of the primary distractions leading to auto accidents.
Texting is hazardous because it creates multiple types of distraction. First, it takes hands off the wheel — the driver uses one hand to type or scroll. Second, it brings eyes off of the road — the driver is looking at a screen. Third, it takes the mind off of driving — the driver’s thoughts are on the conversation instead of focusing on the road.
Even using a hands-free or wireless device can contribute to distracted driving. People often think of distracted driving as looking away from the road. However, when the driver’s mind is on something else, they may fully register obstacles or other vehicles around them. Any distraction can increase response time, making an accident more likely. Even if the driver reacts, it may be slower, leading to more severe injuries.
State Criminal Law on Texting Behind the Wheel
Louisiana Revised Statute 32:300.5 outlaws texting while driving. The penalties are relatively small — a small fine that escalates with repeated offenses. However, the fact that it is outlawed is beneficial in personal injury cases.
In a personal injury case, a plaintiff must establish that the defendant was negligent. Negligent behavior means someone is not behaving like a reasonable person would in the same circumstances. Evidence that someone was breaking the law can help establish negligence.
This law also outlaws more than texting. It prohibits using a wireless device — a phone, tablet, smartwatch, etc. — to use social media. There are exceptions to the rule. Drivers can still request emergency help, use a GPS device, and communicate with dispatchers. Plus, healthcare providers and first responders are exempt from this law while performing their duties.
An Iberville Parish attorney who handles texting-while-driving car accident cases could look at police reports, tickets, and criminal charges to help establish liability. They may focus on whether the police cited the other driver for driving while texting. They may also look at the driver’s history to see if they have prior citations for the same offense.
Damages in Texting and Driving Accidents
Damages a victim may seek after a texting and driving accident could include medical costs, lost income, loss of earning capacity, property damage, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, loss of companionship, and more.
Consult an Iberville Parish Attorney After a Texting-While-Driving Crash
After a texting-while-driving car accident in Iberville Parish, getting information about the injury claims process is essential. An injury attorney could examine the facts of your case and advise you whether you have a valid claim to pursue compensation. They could also collect evidence to prove the other driver was texting behind the wheel. Schedule your free consultation with the legal team at Tomeny | Best to get started.