The distraction caused by cell phone use while driving has prompted many states to prohibit cell phone use when a person is behind the wheel.
There are various penalties and fines (in some states) levied against drivers who are caught using a cell phone while driving a vehicle. Apart from the fines, you may also end up getting stuck in a lawsuit if you are involved in a car accident while talking on the phone. Effective Sept . 1, 2017, it will be illegal in the state of Texas to drive and text on your cellphone.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
There are various factors which contribute to accidents while using a cell phone. Drivers are distracted when reaching for a cell phone, dialing a number, and texting and driving; driving with one hand while using a cell phone adds to the hazard. The distraction caused by cell phone usage makes a driver unaware of the surroundings and he or she may fail to take evasive measures when a situation develops. Emotionally charged conversations of the driver or even other passengers causes immense distraction and may make the driver careless.
Distracted Driving and Negligence
After a car accident, a victim may make a claim for compensation from the at-fault driver and this can lead to a lawsuit if the negotiations for settlement fail. In a lawsuit, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant was at fault and was liable for causing the accident. There are many recent cases where the plaintiff has argued that the accident happened due to the negligence of the defendant, since the defendant was using a cell phone immediately prior to or during the accident. In many cases, the liability claim has been shared as the plaintiff was also found to be using a cell phone while driving during the accident.
Distracted Driving and Employees
If an employee is driving a car and answering his or her cell phone for a work-related call, the employer may be held liable if the employee gets involved in an accident. If a person gets injured in such an accident, he or she is likely to file a lawsuit against the employer as the chances of receiving higher compensation are higher since the employer will have the so called ‘deeper pockets’. Many employers are advising their employees to refrain from using a cell phone while driving. Pull off the road if you have must take that urgent phone call.
Distracted Driving and Teenage Drivers
There are accidents involving teenage drivers wherein plaintiffs have argued that the parents of teenage drivers using cell phones should be held liable for the accident. The argument in favor is that the parents are responsible for providing the teenager with a cell phone and that is a factor which caused the accident. This issue is still being debated and lawmakers are undecided so far. It is important for parents to counsel their children on cell phone usage and restrict the use of a cell phone when driving.
Houston Car Wreck Claim
To pursue a claim against a distracted driver, contact a Houston personal injury attorney from RJ Alexander Law, PLLC. We work to protect your legal rights.