You have just been rear-ended because someone was texting and driving. You’re injured and very angry because she endangered your life. Your hope is that the law allows you to do more than merely file a lawsuit against her, but punish her for this reckless behavior.
How Common Is Texting and Driving?
Texting and driving is the most common form of distracted driving. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 28 percent of all crashes each year involve cell phone use. As a matter of fact, 3,328 people were killed in 2012 because of texting and driving, according to the NHTSA. The Department of Transportation reports that texting and driving causes:
- Slower reaction times;
- Inattentive driving;
- Trouble changing lanes; and
- Weaving in and out of traffic unknowingly
What Are Texas’ Laws on Texting and Driving?
Dallas, Arlington, and Austin are some Texas cities that have banned texting and driving. However, Texas has no statewide law banning texting and driving, except when a driver:
- Has had a learner’s permit for 6 months or less.
- Is under 18 years old.
- Operates a school bus when children are present.
- Is in a school-crossing zone.
Are Their Special Procedures To Follow If The Other Driver Hits Me While Texting and Driving
After an accident, you should always follow the usual procedures that we discussed in a previous article. Additionally, if the driver was in fact texting and driving, do your best to gather all the proof available at the accident scene by asking questions, getting witnesses contact information, taking pictures, etc.
What Damages Am I Entitled To
If you can prove the other party was texting and driving, then you are entitled to all the regular damages such as reimbursement of medical bills, loss wages, property replacement/repair, pain and suffering, mental anguish, etc. In addition, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. In Texas, we call these exemplary damages based on gross negligence. They punish drivers for knowing the extreme risks of particular behavior but disregarding those risks and driving nevertheless.
While there may be no statewide Texas law that bans texting and driving, it is a danger to others and the offender should be held liable if he or she hurts you and/or your property.
Remember, I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice, so please call the Dallas Car Accident Lawyers at the Corbett Law Firm at 214-725-0254 if you need legal advice or have questions about this article.