Texting while driving remains one of the top causes of road accidents in the United States each year. As per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting is one of the most alarming and dangerous distractions, causing around 390,000 injuries each year in car accidents. Reading a single text takes away the driver’s attention off the road for 5 seconds, which equates to driving the entire length of a football field with closed eyes. If you suffered injuries as a result of a car accident caused by a driver distracted by texting while driving, learn how a texting and driving accident lawyer at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law at (651) 259-1113 to help ensure your legal rights remain protected.
Texting and Driving Laws
In the United States, there is no federal or national law governing texting or the use of cell phones while driving. State laws govern the use of phones or other wireless devices while driving. Currently, 48 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico ban texting while driving for drivers of all ages.
Minnesota Texting Laws
Although every state has different texting and driving laws, the state of Minnesota has taken proactive steps to ensure that the drivers on the roadways remain safe. According to the Office of Traffic Safety, teenagers in the state of Minnesota are prohibited from using a cell phone for texting or talking if they are under the age of 18. The only time a teenager in the state of Minnesota is allowed to use a cell phone in a vehicle is for emergency purposes only. Additionally, the Minnesota Legislature has made it illegal for any driver of any age to read, compose or send a text message or access the Internet in any way while a vehicle is in motion or in traffic of any kind. If you believe that your accident was the result of a person negligently texting and driving, consider visiting with an experienced texting and driving accident attorney at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law today to learn how to develop a strong personal injury case and receive the compensation you deserve under Minnesota law.
Steps After Experiencing an Accident Caused by a Texting Driver
Experiencing a car accident can be a traumatic and life-changing experience. If you suffered injuries due to an accident caused by a driver engaged in texting, you may want to consider taking the following steps:
- Informing the Police: The victim of a car accident should file and obtain a police report of the accident as soon as possible.
- Recording Information at the Accident Site: If possible, a victim should obtain the contact details of the other driver, license plate numbers of all vehicles involved, contact details of any witnesses around, and the time and place of the accident.
- Seeking Medical Attention: Seeking medical attention after suffering injuries should be a top priority. Sometimes internal injuries or damages may not show symptoms for days or even weeks. Visiting a medical professional is crucial to treat any visible or invisible injuries after experiencing a car accident. Usually, compensation is awarded for medical bills and hospital charges if the accident was the result of someone else’s negligence.
- Preserving Proper Documentation: All records related to medical and hospital bills, lost wages, travel expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, and other costs related to the car accident should be kept properly for future use in order to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses.
- Contacting Your Insurance Company: Inform your car insurance company about your involvement in the car accident. However, you should make sure that you do not make any statements or admit any liability for the car accident to your insurance company. These statements can be later used against you if a court case is filed.
Sometimes, the opposite driver’s insurance company may contact you to offer a settlement or enquire about details of the accident. In such a scenario, the victim should never accept their offer or make any statements to them without first considering consulting an attorney. Learn how a Minnesota car accident lawyer at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law can help you in negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf.
What Kind of Damages Are Awarded in Texting and Driving Accidents?
The victim who suffered injuries in an accident caused by a driver engaged in texting may get compensation for the following:
- Medical and hospital bills including future medical bills
- Lost wages and the loss of future wages or earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Other non-economic losses
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death
If you are a victim of a texting and driving accident, then you should also consider the time limit for filing a legal claim. If you fail to file a claim in a timely manner, you may permanently lose the ability to receive compensation for your injuries and losses.
How Can You Help Reduce Texting and Driving Accidents?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) suggests the following three simple steps that can help in reducing texting and driving accidents:
- Give clear instructions to new drivers to not use their phones while driving and informing them about the potential consequences including injuries and even death.
- Lead by example by following the best driving habits yourself including pulling over to a safe place if you need to use your phone.
- Becoming informed and sharing information related to the dangers of distraction with family, friends, and children
Learn How a Minnesota Texting and Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you were the victim of a car accident caused by a distracted driver engaged in texting, you may need to build your case on different types of evidence including the actual texting and cell phone records of the driver. Our legal team can help you evaluate your case and determine the damages you may be entitled to receive. Consider contacting our legal team today at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law at (651) 259-1113 to help ensure you receive all of the documents and evidence you need to build a strong texting and driving case.