Driving requires a driver’s full attention. Sending text messages while driving is extremely dangerous and leads to many preventable accidents each year. Texting is especially popular among young people. But texting while driving can create a distraction for drivers of any age.
When a distracted driver causes an accident by unsafe texting while driving, he or she should be held accountable for the harm caused to others on the road. If you have been injured by a driver who was texting behind the wheel, you should talk to an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer to understand your legal rights to seek compensation for your injuries.
The Houston car accident lawyers at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. help people who have been injured by drivers who were texting while driving. Our distracted driving accident attorneys provide aggressive legal counsel to people who have been injured through others’ disregard for safety such as sending email or text messages while driving.
Our attorneys are committed to holding unsafe drivers who text while driving fully accountable for the harm they cause and helping our clients in South Texas pursue the compensation they need to move forward after a serious accident.
We can review the details of your accident and discuss your legal options for seeking compensation for medical bills and other expenses related to a distracting driving accident. Call us at (361) 882-4357 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
Is it Illegal to Text and Drive in Houston, Texas?
Texting as well as reading or writing email while driving is now illegal in Texas. Drivers typically take their eyes off the road for three seconds or longer when reading texts. That kind of distraction is extremely dangerous while operating a motor vehicle. It creates an enormous risk of accidents and leads to many preventable injuries and deaths.
The Texas legislature passed a ban on texting while driving, effective Sept. 1, 2017, to reduce injuries and prevent fatal accidents.
Important Things to Know When Driving in Houston
- The law bans the use of cell phones and wireless communication devices to send or receive electronic messages including texts and emails while operating a motor vehicle.
- Drivers are prohibited from sending or receiving electronic messages unless stopped and off the road. Under the law, it’s illegal for a driver to send or receive text messages while stopped at a traffic light. However, drivers can still use cell phones for navigation, report an emergency, report illegal activity or report an unsafe truck driver using a number on their work vehicle.
- The penalty for a first offense conviction of texting while driving is punishable by a fine of $99. Subsequent convictions carry a fine of up to $200.
- Under the law, a driver who is texting or emailing and causes a crash that injures or kills someone may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail, upon conviction.
- There are numerous activities that can distract a driver including eating, talking to passengers, adjusting the radio or navigation system, or grooming. Texting is considered among the most dangerous forms of distraction.
- Typing text messages takes a driver’s hands off the steering wheel, eyes off the road and mind off the task of staying aware of surrounding traffic conditions.
- While texting is illegal, talking on a cell phone is still legal. However, for drivers under age 18, Texas prohibits all cell phone use while driving, except in cases of emergency.
- School bus drivers are prohibited from any use of cell phones while children are aboard the bus.
- In school zones, all drivers are prohibited from texting and using handheld communication devices while driving.
Who Pays for My Injuries if I Was Involved in a Car Accident Caused by a Distracted Driver?
If you were injured in a car crash caused by a distracted driver who was texting, you have a legal right to demand compensation from the at-fault driver for your medical bills and other accident-related losses.
You should not be burdened with medical debt from injuries caused by a distracted driver. Texas law provides that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will reimburse the accident victims for their injuries. The distracted driver’s insurance should be legally liable for your injuries. But you will have to prove that the other driver was distracted or otherwise at-fault and caused your injuries.
A texting-while-driving attorney at Herrman & Herrman can help you pursue a claim against the distracted driver and his or her insurer. Seeking compensation from the at-fault driver generally involves negotiating with his or her auto insurance company
Our attorneys will investigate your accident and gather evidence to show that the other driver was texting while driving. Our attorneys can subpoena the phone records of the motorist who caused your accident and determine whether the motorist was using the phone at the time of the accident and likely a distracted driver. We can present that evidence to the insurance company and develop a strong case for compensation.
Texting and Driving Statistics in Texas
Approximately one in five car accidents in Texas involves a distracted driver. Distracted driving causes hundreds of fatal accidents and thousands of injuries in Texas each year.
The Texas Department of Transportation recorded 540,561 motor vehicle crashes on Texas roadways in 2018. Of the total number, more than 95,500 accidents, or approximately 18 percent, involved a driver using a cell phone, texting, or otherwise distracted.
The distracted driving accidents resulted in 398 traffic deaths and 2,340 serious injuries in Texas. That represents a 12 percent decrease in fatalities compared to 2017.
Researchers at the Texas A&M School of Public Health found that states with a primary texting ban on all drivers realized an 8 percent reduction in emergency room visits resulting from car crashes. The 2019 study was published in the American Journal of Public Health.
The Texas Department of Transportation said that a comparison of the 12-month period before the new law took effect compared to 12 months afterward showed that the number of crashes involving distracted driving in Texas had decreased by 6 percent.
Contact a Texting and Driving Accident Lawyer in Houston, TX
You may feel overwhelmed if you are struggling to recover from serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident in Houston. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney, who has experience handling distracted driving accident claims, can be extremely helpful in guiding you through the legal process of pursuing financial recovery.
Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. can conduct an independent investigation to determine whether texting while driving was a contributing factor to your accident. We will take steps to preserve relevant text messages or emails and identify all the potentially liable parties. Texting while driving is against the law in Texas. Drivers who persist in texting and cause accidents should be made to pay for their negligent behavior. A civil lawsuit can hold a distracted driver financially accountable for the injuries resulting from a preventable accident.
If your injuries leave you unable to work, Herrman & Herrman can help you demand compensation for lost income as well as medical bills. In addition, we can also seek compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and loss of qualify of life. Contact our distracted driver accident lawyers in Houston online today.