Distracted driving is not just dangerous, it has become something close to an epidemic. According to government data, the number of crashes in Massachusetts attributable to distracted driving rose 170 percent between 2014 and 2016, provoking a number of changes to state laws regarding what drivers can do behind the wheel of their vehicles.
If you were injured in an accident caused by someone on their phone, a dedicated accident attorney could likely help you pursue a civil case against them in addition to whatever criminal penalties they may be facing. Once retained, a qualified Somerville texting while driving accident lawyer could work with you to collect evidence of liability, take stock of all your damages, and seek appropriate compensation to the fullest extent that civil law allows.
Texting While Driving as Grounds for a Civil Case
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 §13B makes it a misdemeanor offense to send a text-based message on any Internet-enabled device while driving. Furthermore, a bill signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker in late 2019 will make it illegal to use any handheld device while driving as of February 23rd, 2020.
If a driver violates the law by texting behind the wheel, they may face criminal penalties if they are caught doing so by a law enforcement officer. However, if they cause an accident because of this reckless behavior, anyone injured as a result could file a separate civil lawsuit against that negligent driver for damages sustained.
Since texting while driving is a criminal act, it generally fulfills the criteria for legal negligence, since acting in such a dangerous way violates the duty of care that all drivers have to protect other drivers on the road. In order to recover compensation on these grounds, though, a plaintiff would need to prove that the driver’s texting proximately caused the wreck that injured them, so seeking assistance from a Somerville texting while driving accident awyer is still recommended.
What an Injured Person Could Recover For
Distracted driving accidents can result in serious injuries such as broken bones, spine and brain damage, burns, lacerations, and harm to internal organs, especially if the crash such a driver causes occurs at high speed. Financial costs associated with treatment of these and other injuries typically form the backbone of any personal injury lawsuit a subsequently injured person elects to pursue.
Of course, medical bills are not the type of loss for which a texting while driving lawyer in Somerville could pursue compensation. Other recoverable economic damages include loss of wages from an injury keeping the plaintiff out of work, loss of future wages due to long-term effects of an injury, and repair or replacement costs for damaged personal property.
In many cases, non-economic damages may be recoverable as well. These can include but are not limited to pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and ill effects stemming from a newfound permanent disability.
Take Control with the Help of a Somerville Texting While Driving Attorney
Although cellphones provide a valuable service for its users, but unfortunately it has also made the roadways more dangerous in the form of distracted drivers. Following a crash caused by such a reckless individual, you may be wondering what to do next and how you will ever make up for the financial losses this incident forced upon you.
By talking to a Somerville texting while driving accident lawyer, you could get a much clearer picture of your legal rights and have professional help identifying and pursuing the best course of action for your unique circumstances. Call today to start discussing your case.