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Distracted driving tempts even the best drivers, especially when stuck in stop-and-go traffic or during a day when the phone will not stop buzzing. Drivers who multitask on the road are likely to miss important traffic signals, fail to notice a crossing pedestrian, drift into other lanes, rear-end vehicles or cause head-on collisions. Some of the worst accidents on Texas’s roadways are attributed to distracted driving.
When someone is involved in a distracted driving accident, the innocent victims can file a claim against the distracted driver for negligence. Drivers who cause crashes by failing to abide by state and federal laws concerning mobile use while driving can be held accountable for their recklessness in court.
Common Causes of Distracted Driving
In today’s digital era, a large number of distracted driving accidents can be attributed to drivers using personal mobile devices. Texting, talking, emailing, scrolling through social media, or using apps such as Snapchat have all caused auto accidents. Recently, car accident victims have filed claims against Snapchat for failing to take down or limit the use of a speed filter. The speed filter captures the speed at which users are traveling, creating an environment where drivers are encouraged to use Snapchat while driving at high speeds.
If you or someone you know was injured in a crash involving the Snapchat filter, you can join other victims who are filing claims against the company. Other causes of distracted driving include eating, personal grooming, using GPS, watching videos, adjusting the radio, and other actions that remove a driver’s eyes from the road. However, texting and driving is the most dangerous distraction since it takes visual, manual, and cognitive attention away from the driving task.
Any activity that takes the driver’s attention off of the road, including mental concentration, qualifies as distracted driving. This includes emotional driving and road rage driving. Driving while angry, sad, or otherwise upset can lead to a driver who is mentally distracted and unable to pay full attention to his or her surroundings. If a pedestrian walks in front of a mentally distracted driver, the driver could easily fail to notice.
What Are My Legal Options in a Distracted Driving Case?
Texas cities have distracted driving laws that ban texting and driving as well as using mobile devices in school zones. If someone was illegally using a mobile device, resulting in an injurious crash, the victim has a strong case against that person in court. However, do not assume that just because your accident involved a distracted driver the courts will automatically hold the driver 100% responsible.
Texas follows the comparative negligence system—meaning the courts can allocate a percentage of responsibility to both parties. If the courts allocate you more than 50% of fault for the accident, you will not receive anything in compensation. For example, if a driver was texting and driving but you jumped out in front of the vehicle, you may be held more responsible for the accident than the driver. Hence, it is important to hire a competent lawyer in a distracted driving case for your best chance of obtaining total or at least partial compensation for your injuries.
How to File a Claim for Distracted Driving
In Texas, the victim of a distracted driving accident has two years from the date of the injury to file a claim against the driver. If you have been involved in a distracted driving accident, contact Ted Smith Law Group, PLLC, to discuss your options with a local personal injury lawyer. Our firm has a reputation throughout central Texas for competent, capable car accident lawyers who help our clients achieve justice for their injuries and property damage. Do not let a distracted driver decide your future.