Arlington Texting While Driving Car Accident Lawyer
Texting while driving is a severe lapse in judgment that can have harsh consequences. Not only is this behavior against the law under Arlington’s traffic code, but a conviction in criminal court can also lead to an assumption of negligence in a civil suit for damages.
Despite these harsh penalties, texting while driving remains a common practice. Either due to ignorance concerning the effects of this activity on one’s ability to drive or arrogance that leads one to believe that the rules do not apply to them, hundreds of car accidents every year are the result of this reckless activity.
If you or a loved one were injured due to a distracted motorist, you have the right to demand compensation. An Arlington texting while driving car accident lawyer could help you to pursue your claim. It is best to speak to a seasoned and local car accident attorney to learn about your legal options.
State Laws Concerning Texting While Driving
The portion of the traffic code that prohibits texting while driving is complex. According to Texas Traffic Code §545.4251, it is illegal to use any portable wireless communication devices to read, write, or send an electronic communication.
However, there are many loopholes in this law. For example, it is perfectly legal to use a device in this way if the vehicle is at a stop. Furthermore, a person can read a message if the driver has reason to believe that there is an emergency. Finally, it is legal to use a cell phone if it is connected to a hands-free device or for the purposes of navigation.
Even so, a person who violates this law faces penalties. For a first conviction, a court may order a driver to pay a fine of between $25 and $99 and endure a misdemeanor conviction. However, if texting while driving contributes to an accident that causes a serious bodily injury, the penalty can include a jail sentence of up to one year. A seasoned Arlington texting while driving car accident lawyer could provide clarification as to the state’s laws concerning texting while behind the wheel.
Interactions Between Texting Laws and Claims for Damages
A conviction in court for a texting while driving incident may not seem like much help to an injured plaintiff. After all, criminal courts are powerless to order a defendant to pay compensation to an injured victim for their bodily injuries. However, a conviction in criminal court can still serve as compelling evidence in civil claims for damages.
Courts use a concept of law called res judicata to handle questions of fact in cases. In simple terms, a court will not consider whether an event happened if a court has already answered that question. If a criminal court convicts a driver for texting while driving, a civil court can assume that this texting did take place.
Furthermore, civil courts can assume that a defendant was at fault for an accident if that defendant was violating the law at the time of the collision. As a result, a conviction for texting while driving can serve to prove that a defendant was negligent and, therefore, responsible for any damages that result. A nearby texting while driving car accident lawyer could help to discover the outcome of any criminal cases and to apply those outcomes to civil claims for damages.
An Arlington Texting While Driving Car Accident Lawyer Could Fight for You
Texting while driving is an irresponsible activity that places all people on the road at a great risk for personal injury. Indeed, state law makes it a misdemeanor level offense for any person to use an electronic communication device to read, write, or send any form of electronic message. While the law does offer potential offenders many possible loopholes, police officers can still investigate whether texting while driving contributed to an accident.
A conviction for this offense in criminal court can be vital to a civil claim for damages. While a plaintiff still retains the burden of proving that a defendant driver’s negligence was the cause of an accident, convictions for texting while driving can make this step much simpler. Indeed, defendants who text while driving are almost certainly liable for any medical bills, lost wages, or emotional anguish that you may now endure. Contact an Arlington texting while driving car accident lawyer today to learn about your legal rights and options.