Being distracted by a cell phone is one of the most dangerous things a driver can do while operating a motor vehicle. Despite nationwide efforts to end and criminalize this behavior, too many people on local roads choose to focus on phones instead of driving. Distracted driving like this can lead to devastating collisions and injuries.
Although texting while driving car accidents in DuBois can serve as justification for substantial civil recovery, they can also make litigation complicated in a number of ways. Help is available from a knowledgeable DuBois car crash attorney who has the experience necessary to protect your best interests.
How Could Texting Behind the Wheel Lead to Civil Liability?
Pennsylvania expressly prohibits any motor vehicle operator from reading, writing, or sending electronic text messages while operating his or her vehicle. Violations are punishable by fines, court costs, and various other penalties.
Unlike other criminal offenses, the fines associated with a texting while driving conviction do not go towards a victim’s medical expenses and other losses. Instead, a person who suffers harm in a DuBois texting and driving wreck must seek compensation through a separate civil claim or settlement demand. Either of these may end with a positive result for the you no matter what occurs in traffic or criminal court.
Duty of Care
Because texting while driving is a crime, it is a violation of the duty of care all drivers owes to the people around them. This means that any driver who causes an injury because of his or her reckless behavior can be considered “negligent” and therefore liable for ensuing losses.
Proving Liability with Evidence
Proving that someone was texting on his or her phone immediately prior to a wreck can be a deceptively complicated endeavor, especially if the defendant was not ticketed for that specific crime. A knowledgeable legal professional’s assistance could be key to collecting additional evidence of fault, including subpoenaed text message logs, security camera footage, and witness testimony. This evidence must be identified immediately so that it can be preserved, which may require sending preservation letters to the applicable cell phone carriers. Messages are only preserved for a very limited period of time, so it is important to act promptly.
Recovering for Specific Accident-Related Losses in DuBois
Through a successful court verdict or settlement, a person in a DuBois car wreck caused by someone on his or her cell phone could recover any losses he or she can trace directly back to the defendant. Importantly, this includes not just economic damages like medical bills and car repair costs, but also non-economic damages that do not have objective fiscal values. Non-economic damages could include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Since texting behind the wheel is an act that shows a substantial disregard for other people’s safety, a third type of damages may be available for recovery. The court may impose punitive damages against the defendant. Punitive damages are specifically meant as a punishment for the defendant’s recklessness. This only happens under rare circumstances where the defendant’s conduct is egregious.
Contact a DuBois Attorney to Help after a Texting while Driving Car Accident Today
People who choose to be on a cell phone and drive a vehicle put everyone around them, and themselves, at serious risk of harm. If you were hurt by this kind of collision, demanding financial recovery could be essential to protecting your rights and ensuring the responsible party is held accountable.
A knowledgeable lawyer at Marcus & Mack could provide the help you need to secure a favorable case resolution following a texting while driving car accident in DuBois. Learn more by calling our office today.