Have you been injured in a car crash caused by a distracted driver? Contact our distracted driving lawyers. At Lee, Gober & Reyna, our attorneys help victims get the justice they deserve. We keep the claims process simple – you focus on recovery, we handle the legal matters.
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, contact our Austin distracted driving accident lawyers. We offer free case reviews. But in the meantime, here is what you should know about Texas distracted driving laws.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving includes any activity that draws the driver’s attention away from driving. The most common forms of distracted driving include:
- Talking on the phone
- Posting or reviewing social media or other websites
- Adjusting the radio or music player
- Interacting with navigation devices
- Checking email
Traveling with Passengers and Pets
Most of us travel, at some point, with passengers or pets in our car. However, drivers cannot allow a passenger – or furry friend – to distract them from driving. Otherwise, it’s considered distracted driving. Examples of when this may occur include:
- Disciplining unruly children
- Talking and laughing with passengers
- Allowing pets to jump around the seats
- Arguing or bickering
Any interaction which causes a driver to lose concentration can result in a crash.
Consequences of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving can have serious – and fatal – consequences. This is especially true if a crash occurs at speed or involves a vulnerable road user e.g. a pedestrian. Common distracted driving injuries include:
- Back and spine injuries
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
- Head injuries e.g. concussion
- Neck injuries
- Nerve damage e.g. paralysis
- Soft tissue sprains and strains
Car crashes may also cause internal bleeding, penetrative wounds, limb loss and, in the worst cases, death.
Distracted Driving Statistics in Texas
Distracted driving is a significant problem in Texas.
- In 2022, there were 487 road crash fatalities and 2,824 serious injuries.
- In the same year, distracted driving caused one in six accidents resulting in a fatality or serious injury.
Not only is distracted driving common, but it’s highly likely to contribute to a serious road accident.
Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer – Proving liability
It’s not always easy to prove a distracted driving case. Your lawyer may need to obtain evidence such as phone records and social media logs. These documents can prove that a driver was not concentrating when they crashed into you.
Sometimes we have to file a lawsuit to obtain those records. But sometimes the other party will admit to the distraction without the need to file suit.
If you have been injured by a distracted driver you should make notes of how the driver was distracted. Keep records of any admissions made by the driver at the scene and note any handheld devices you see the driver holding at the scene. Ask witnesses whether they saw what the driver was doing right before the crash.
If you or a witness saw the distracted driver with a handheld device or saw him otherwise distracted, make sure you and the witness tell the police before you leave the scene. The more information the officer has from the scene, the more accurate his report will likely be.
Third-Party Liability in Distracted Driving Cases
Not only is the distracted driver liable for the injuries he caused you, but his boss might be as well.
If a company requires their drivers to interact with their phones or devices they may have liability if their driver is distracted and causes an accident. Generally speaking, an employer is responsible for the negligent actions of his employee while the employee is performing tasks on behalf of the employer.
Say your boss sends you to the store to pick up supplies. You’re involved in a crash along the way. Your boss may be liable as your employer since you’re driving in the course of employment.
This type of lawsuit is fairly common, and most often seen in truck accident cases. If a trucker negligently crashes into someone while driving for his company, then the company is generally held responsible.
While we handle cases like these every day, each one is different. But, the underlying legal theories are generally the same.
Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer – Products Liability
Tech may contribute to distracted driving accidents. For example, phone apps from companies such as Uber and Lyft could distract drivers from focusing on the road.
It may be possible to bring a product liability claim in such cases. Again, these cases can be complex and they require certain evidence to be successful. Your car accident attorney will explain what evidence you may need to make your case.
Protecting Kids from Distracted Driving in Texas
We encourage all parents to talk to their kids about distracted driving and model safe driving habits. Disabling your call, message, or email notifications will help young drivers keep their eyes on the road and their attention on driving. Like in most other matters in life, kids will do what they see their parents do no matter what their parents tell them.
By having this conversation with your kids, and modeling good habits, you will keep your family safer, and help make Texas roads safer as well.
Contact a Texas Distracted Driver Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a distracted driver, contact our Austin distracted driver accident Lawyer for a free case evaluation. Our consultations are free, and we represent most of our clients on a contingency basis. You don’t owe us any lawyer fees unless we collect money for you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Texas Distracted Driving Laws
We receive many questions about Texas distracted driver accident claims. Below are the answers to questions we receive most often.
What is distracted driving in Texas?
Distracted driving is any activity that takes your concentration from the physical act of driving. It’s anything that stops you from giving the road your full attention. Examples include texting, eating, drinking, taking photos, or checking social media.
Is distracted driving common in Texas?
Yes. It’s so common that Texas introduced the Talk. Text. Crash campaign to counter distracted drivers.
What are the dangers of distracted driving?
Distracted drivers are more likely to crash because they’re not paying attention to the road. Crashes can result in significant property damage and severe injury. If you’re a victim, you may be able to claim compensation for losses e.g. medical bills and lost income.
Can you talk on the phone while driving in Texas?
You cannot send, write, or read texts. However, you may be able to use a hands-free device. In any case, it’s best to simply pull over if you need to make an urgent call.
How can the police prove distracted driving?
Police can obtain records, such as cell phone records, to show the driver was occupied while driving. They may also be able to ascertain, from the scene, what happened. CCTV and similar technology may be helpful.
How long do I have to make a distracted driving lawsuit?
You have two years from the accident date to make a claim. If you do not file in time, you may lose your right to claim compensation.