Bodily Injury Law Firm Houston TX
Bodily Injury Law Firm Houston TX
Distracted driving has become one of the most common causes of vehicle accidents, despite all the warnings to drivers about how dangerous the behavior is. Even the hands-free law passed in Texas last year has not stopped many drivers from texting and driving. If you’ve been injured in a car crash, contact a bodily injury law firm Houston TX residents trust to see what legal options you may have.
It is estimated that distracted drivers, those using some handheld electronic device (generally thought to be a cell phone), are four times more likely than not to be involved in a vehicle accident as a result of their distraction. This rate is comparable to the rate that intoxicated drivers who have a blood alcohol content above the legal limit of .08 have in the case of getting involved in an accident.
A study created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that for 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes the primary contributing factor to the incident was the driver taking his eyes off the road seconds before the incident.
Texas Texting-and-Driving Penalties
In 2017, Texas passed a texting ban while driving law. This law prohibits:
- Any electronic messaging, including texting and emailing
- Any driver under 18 years of age from using a wireless communication device
- Any driver over 18 years of age (with a learner’s permit) from using a handheld cell phone during their first six months of driving
- Any driver traveling in a school crossing zone from using a handheld device
- Any school bus driver from using a cell phone while driving if children are in their vehicle
Should Third-Party Texters Be Liable for Accidents?
A personal injury lawyer Houston, TX clients recommend knows that some states have permitted liability to be attached to a third-party texter who is in a remote location (i.e. not in the car with the driver). If the distracted driver is involved in an accident and the primary source of the distraction can be proven to be the texter, then the texter could be held partially responsible for any damages sustained as a result of the injury. It would have to be proven that the texter knew or had reason to know the driver was in fact driving and that the driver would see the text while driving.
For example, in one such case in New Jersey, the state created a new duty of care to a third-party texter to not text someone who is driving a car if the texter has reason to know that the person is in fact driving and will see the text. It was determined that the mere act of texting the messages to the driver may not be construed as active encouragement of the driver to break the law. The elements of this new, third-party duty have only limitedly been considered and could be the beginning of new liability law within the area. Presently, Texas has not espoused a similar duty to a third party.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car crash involving a distracted driver, you may be able to recover damages for any injuries sustained as a result of the driver’s negligence. Please contact one of our experienced personal injury lawyers at John K. Zaid & Associates. Our bodily injury law firm in Houston TX will be able to walk you through your case step-by-step and explain the various avenues for recovering on your personal injury claims.