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Texting and Driving in Texas: What Injured People Need to Know

  1. Texting and Driving in Texas: What Injured People Need to Know
  2. Understand Texas Texting and Driving and Distracted Driving Laws
  3. What Should I Do After a Distracted Driving Car Accident?
  4. Injured in a Distracted Driving Crash? Call the Car Accident Lawyers at Will Adams Law Firm Today

Texting and Driving in Texas: What Injured People Need to Know

Texting and driving is not just a teen problem. As workplaces trend toward more remote work and social media’s influence grows, many people find themselves answering emails, scrolling through TikTok, or sending messages as they drive.

Even though car manufacturers are finding ways to integrate safer cell phone usage into car designs, hands free technology doesn’t eliminate the risk completely. In 2020, there were nearly 3,500 distracted driving accidents in Texas that were caused by drivers using a cell phone; over 50 of those accidents were fatal. Unfortunately, these numbers are likely much higher, simply because proving that someone was texting and driving can be so challenging.

Since distracted driving is so common, we’ve broken down Texas texting and driving laws, and what you should do if you’ve been hit by a distracted driver. Keep reading to learn more.

Understand Texas Texting and Driving and Distracted Driving Laws

According to Texas law, texting while driving includes any time a vehicle “operator uses a portable wireless communication device to read, write, or send an electronic message while operating a motor vehicle unless the vehicle is stopped.” This means that reading or writing electronic messages of any kind behind the wheel—emails, text messages, Slack messages, Instagram DMs—is illegal while the car is moving.

However, it’s not entirely illegal to use electronic devices behind the wheel. Drivers can use a navigation system or GPS (global positioning system) or talk on the phone while the car is in motion. They can also read, write, and send electronic messages while the car is stopped under Texas law.

The exception to these distracted driving laws is that no handheld phone use is permitted while in school zones, or if the driver is either under 18 years old or has their learning permit.

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What Should I Do After a Distracted Driving Car Accident?

If you’ve been involved in a crash with someone who was distracted while driving, there are steps you can take to protect your claim, your case, and your future. Here’s what to do.

Call the Police and First Responders

After a crash with a distracted driver, call the police as soon as you can and wait for them at the scene of the crash. If anyone is hurt, call 9-1-1 and request an ambulance. When a police officer arrives, comply with their instructions, and let them know everything that happened—including that you think the other driver was on their cell phone.

A police officer is not allowed to seize or search the other driver’s cell phone based off your suspicions, but they can include this information in the police report for official records.

Collect Evidence at the Scene of the Crash

Collecting evidence at the scene of the crash can help your case if you suspect the other person was driving. If it’s safe, and you’re able:

  • Take pictures of the crash scene (a cell phone camera is fine)
  • Get the contact information of any eyewitnesses
  • Swap names, contact information, and insurance details with the other driver, being careful not to apologize or make other statements that could jeopardize your case later.

You should only try and collect evidence if it’s safe to do so. Getting a few cell phone photos isn’t worth it if means further risking your health and safety.

Get Medical Attention

You should always get medical help after a car crash, no matter the severity of your injuries. A doctor can help you identify hidden injuries, treat your wounds, and get you on a good path to healing. Plus, the medical records from your visits can be used as evidence in your insurance claim or lawsuit.

Call a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer

Hiring an injury lawyer after a car crash that wasn’t your fault is a good idea for many reasons. If the driver who hurt you was texting and driving, your attorney can help you obtain and preserve their cell phone records to prove their distraction caused the crash.

In an auto accident case, it can be extremely difficult—if not impossible—to get these cell phone records without the help of a distracted driving accident attorney. A personal injury attorney has the power to serve both the driver and the driver’s cell phone company with a subpoena to obtain their cell phone records from the day of the crash. They can also issue a preservation letter to demand the offending driver keep logs of cell phone calls and text messages, meaning that if they delete texts, they could be guilty of destroying evidence.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash involving distracted driving, you should connect with a law firm that knows how to handle complex personal injury cases as quickly as possible. Your legal team can help you understand your options, spearhead your legal efforts (including filing a personal injury claim against the relevant insurance companies), and support you as you recover.

RELATED: 4 Signs You Have a TBI After a Car Accident

Injured in a Distracted Driving Crash? Call the Car Accident Lawyers at Will Adams Law Firm Today

Will Adams Law Firm has over 25 of experience helping injured Texans achieve favorable results after car accidents and accident claims—including distracted driving accidents. As Katy, Texas, natives, we are passionate about making our community a safer place by holding distracted drivers accountable for their harmful actions.

If you were injured in a distracted driving accident that wasn’t your fault, you spend the rest of your life paying for someone else’s mistake. To learn more about your options, rights, and what to do next in your personal injury claim, contact Will Adams Law Firm at (281) 371-6345 or fill out our online form to schedule a complimentary case evaluation with one of our car accident lawyers.

References

Texas Department of Transportation. (2020). Crash Contributing Factors. Retrieved from https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2020/21.pdf

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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