I Hit Someone While Texting And Driving. Can I Get Sued?

Daren Brown
By Daren Brown | March 22, 2019
I Hit Someone While Texting And Driving Can I Get Sued
The grounds on which you can sue someone for causing a car accident while texting aren’t definite. Like any other personal injury case; it depends on the circumstances. That said, there are some facts that you should know about this issue, especially if you have a text-based lawsuit in the works.

Is there a ban on texting while driving?

We’ve all seen the commercials and campaigns urging drivers to put down their cell phones when they get behind the wheel, but how successful have these campaigns been? Are they having an impact?

Current statistics from the Department of Transportation (DOT) quite literally illustrate the impact the anti-texting movement has had across the country. Right now, texting while driving is banned in 39 states. Partial bans are in place in five states, including Texas. That leaves only six states unaccounted for. 

All in all, the movement continues to make successful strides that save lives.

While the new texting laws do a lot to make the road a safer place, texting behind the wheel still proves to be an issue among young drivers; specifically, drivers between the ages of 18 and 24. 

Both the collision rate (17%) and the near-crash incident reporting (23%) were highest in this age group. One reason behind this fact: younger drivers consistently stood behind the belief that texting has no effect on their ability to drive.

The DOT not only proved that this belief is erroneous, they statistically documented repeated incidents where texting while driving caused:
  • Inattentive driving
  • Slower reaction times
  • Sudden speed fluctuations
  • Difficulty changing lanes
  • Drifting in and out of traffic without warning

If another driver can prove that these actions caused an accident, and they sustained injuries from that accident, texting is considered a negligent act and the lawsuit can be filed to recover damages that go beyond vehicle repairs.

What if there’s a texting emergency?

To be very clear, you have no legal leeway for texting behind the wheel. There is no such thing as a texting emergency.

In fact, a survey on distracted driving attitudes and behaviors found that the motivations that cause drivers to text are primarily preferential, not emergent. When survey participants were given several scenarios in which they might choose to text while driving, the highest-rated reasons to text included:
  • The identity of the text recipient
  • How important the conversation is
  • Whether the text is work-related or social

Issues of personal safety or roadside assistance accounted for less than 10% of responses. Car accidents that result from texting while driving are serious. If you have been involved in a car accident and texting was a factor, contact Amarillo law firm Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. 
 
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Topics: Personal Injury