Research suggests hundreds of drivers and passengers die in distracted driving car accidents across the state every year. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 19% of accidents in the state in 2017 were caused by distracted driving, resulting in 444 deaths that year. Other studies show that one in five car wrecks in the United States involves a distracted driver. Unlike accidents caused by bad weather or poor road conditions, texting while driving collisions and injuries are always avoidable.
The Houston car accident lawyers at Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs are here to help people like you get the compensation needed and deserved after a serious car accident. If you’ve been hurt or lost a loved one due to a distracted driver's negligence, our legal team can provide the guidance you need.
What Types of Injuries Can Result from Distracted Driving Accidents?
Distracted driving can cause a wide variety of injuries and property damage to other people on the road. When someone is not paying full attention to the task of driving, they can easily drift into another lane or rear-end another vehicle, all at very high speeds. Doing so can severely injure the people in the other vehicle(s) and the driver.
Some of the most common distracted driving injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Muscle strain, such as whiplash
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Internal injuries
- Scrapes, cuts, bruises, and other wounds
How to Know if You Have a Case
Personal injury cases are based on negligence. This means the other driver was not only careless, but his / her carelessness caused your damages (injuries, emotional damages, missed wages, etc.). If you sustained a serious injury or other damages in a car accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your suffering. With the help of a lawyer, you can prove the other driver is at fault for your injury and seek a fair recovery. In distracted driving cases, the at-fault driver is the driver who failed to pay attention and caused the accident.
A “distraction” might be any number of factors, including:
Is Texting While Driving Negligent?
Yes. The act of texting and driving is considered to meet all three types of distracted driving: Visual, manual, and cognitive. Texting while driving involves taking your eyes (and mind) off of the road and your hands off of the wheel. By texting while driving, drivers put their “need” to read a text over the safety of other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
Above all, distracted driving (such as texting while driving) is dangerous – even fatal. On average, a car traveling 55 miles per hour will cover the entire length of a football field in the few seconds it takes a driver to read or compose a text message. By law, a person commits negligence when he / she fails to exercise the same care another person would implement in the same situation. In many cases, it is entirely possible to demonstrate that a distracted driver falls into this category.
Any phone use meets some definition of distracted driving. Even talking on the phone via a hands-free device distracts drivers mentally from driving, and can have consequences that are just as dangerous as texting.
Texas Cell Phone Bans and Ordinances
Some cities, including Austin and El Paso, have bans specifically targeting cell phone use behind the wheel. While other cities do not have these restrictions, the principle of “negligence” can still apply to accidents that involve distracted drivers.
Statewide cell phone prohibitions include:
- If you have a learner’s permit, you cannot use a handheld cell phone while driving for the first 6 months that you drive.
- Any driver less than 18 years old cannot use a handheld cell phone while driving.
- All drivers are prohibited from using cell phones in school zones, and school bus drivers can never use cell phones.
Contact Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs Today!
With more than 100 years of legal experience, the Houston car accident lawyers at Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs know what it takes to fight for your rights. We can help you recover the compensation you are entitled to following a car accident involving a distracted driver — compensation that can cover the expense of doctor’s visits, surgery, rehabilitation programs, prescriptions, and any other expenses you may have incurred as a result of your injuries.
We’ve helped clients like you since 1992, so get in touch with us today by contacting our office and asking for a free, no-obligation consultation.