Distracted Driving Accident Attorney in San Antonio
Drivers today are faced with more distractions than ever before. Nearly everyone owns a smartphone, and many newer vehicles are equipped with tablet-like infotainment screens. Even using distracting technology as responsibly as possible takes a motorist’s total focus away from the task of driving safely. Anything that takes focus away from driving for even a split second can lead to a devastating crash – a crash for which the distracted driver may be held accountable.
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, the dedicated legal team at the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover is here to help you demand the compensation you’re owed. We have earned a proven track record of success since our founding and have secured compensation for thousands of clients in that time.
While no law firm can guarantee the outcome of any particular case, our firm’s depth of experience and record of results speak for themselves. Troy A. Brookover is Board-Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law, an achievement that just over 1 percent of Texas personal injury lawyers can claim. This distinction recognizes Troy’s deep knowledge, extensive experience, and high level of skill. It also illustrates his commitment to providing excellent legal representation and professional service to every single one of the clients he has represented during his more than 30 years as a Texas attorney.
Don’t wait to get the legal help you need as you pursue compensation from the distracted driver who injured you. Contact the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover today for a free initial case evaluation and to learn more about your rights from a San Antonio distracted driving accident lawyer.
San Antonio Distracted Driving Statistics
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were a total of 19,462 distracted driving motor vehicle accidents in San Antonio in one recent year, involving 46,449 people. In addition, 327 accidents in San Antonio involved cell phone use by one or more drivers.
Do You Have a Distracted Driving Case?
If you were involved in a traffic accident, you could have strong grounds upon which to recover compensation if you can show that the collision occurred due to another driver’s distraction behind the wheel. A successful lawsuit could provide you with compensation for losses like medical bills, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering.
How to Prove Distracted Driving in San Antonio
Not many people accused of causing an accident will admit outright that they were distracted while they were driving and are therefore liable for a resulting collision. This makes it necessary to secure evidence that proves the driver engaged in some distraction right before the crash. This evidence could include:
- Surveillance or traffic camera footage showing the driver on their cell phone, eating or drinking, applying makeup, using grooming tools, operating an electronic device, or reading while behind the wheel
- Testimony from eyewitnesses who saw that the driver was distracted in the moments before an accident
- Logs from the driver’s vehicle’s electronic data recorder, which can prove that the driver failed to brake or swerve to avoid the collision
- Cell phone records that prove the driver made or received a call, text, or email right before an accident
- Cell phone metadata that proves the driver was engaging in handheld cell phone use
Recoverable Damages in a Distracted Driving Case
If a distracted driver injured you in San Antonio, you might be able to recover compensation for expenses and losses you incurred as a result. This financial recovery can include money for:
- Medical costs, including hospital bills, surgeries, doctor’s appointments, physical/occupational therapy, and prescriptions
- Long-term care needs for any permanent disabilities that result from your injuries
- Lost income or future earning capacity if you cannot work because of injuries or disabilities
- Pain and suffering
- Costs to repair damage to your car or the pre-accident value of your vehicle if it is totaled
San Antonio Distracted Driving Laws
Distracted driving laws in San Antonio, TX, largely concern cell phones. While there is no federal law that prevents drivers from using a cellphone, state law stipulates that:
- New drivers may not hold and use handheld devices
- No driver may use a handheld device in a school zone
- School bus drivers may not use handheld devices when transporting minor passengers
Furthermore, state law makes it illegal to text while driving. A first-time offense carries a $99 fine, while subsequent offenses have larger fines of $200.
Finally, San Antonio ordinances make it illegal to use any handheld mobile communications device for any reason while operating a moving motor vehicle unless the device is affixed to the vehicle for navigation purposes or is used with a hands-free system. Violating this ordinance carries a $200 fine.
Note that interaction with a cellphone doesn’t have to be illegal to be distracting for the purposes of determining fault in a car accident case.
Is distracted driving a criminal offense in San Antonio?
Causing an accident that results in bodily injury or death while texting and driving can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor in Texas. Conviction may result in a fine of up to $4,000 and/or up to one year in jail. This is in addition to any other criminal charges that may stem from such behavior.
Types of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving behaviors fall into one or more of three basic categories:
- Visual – Visual distractions include anything that makes a driver take their eyes off the road.
- Manual – Manual or physical distractions cause a driver to take one or both of their hands off the steering wheel or gear shifter.
- Cognitive – Cognitive distractions are those that cause a driver to take their attention and mental focus off the task of driving.
Many distracted driving behaviors can involve a combination of visual, manual, and cognitive distractions. For example, texting while driving involves all three types of distraction since a driver must take their eyes off the road to look at their phone screen and one or both hands off the wheel to type, in addition to concentrating on reading or writing a text message.
Common Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents
Some of the most common kinds of distracted driving behaviors that lead to motor vehicle accidents include:
- Eating and drinking
- Applying makeup
- Adjusting the radio, climate control, or navigation system
- Interacting with passengers, including infants or small children
- Having pets in the vehicle
- Changing clothes
- Texting or surfing the web on a cell phone or tablet
- Reading a map, book, magazine, or newspaper
- Reaching around the passenger cabin for an object
- Looking at objects or individuals along the road or street
What Happens If Someone Else Causes an Accident While Texting?
If you’re ever involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you can protect your safety and your ability to pursue compensation from them by taking the following actions:
- Notify the police of the accident. A responding officer may provide an opinion on the cause of the accident or issue a citation to the other driver for texting while driving.
- Take photos or videos of vehicle damage, skid marks on the road, and weather/road/traffic conditions.
- Seek medical attention to document your injuries and ensure that you are treated for them.
- Keep copies of bills or receipts for expenses, along with copies of your pay stubs or tax returns if you miss time from work.
- Do not make social media posts about the accident or your injuries. Insurance companies and opposing lawyers often monitor claimants’ social media feeds, looking for any discrepancies that allow them to deny the claim.
- Talk to a San Antonio distracted driving accident attorney to discuss your legal options for recovering compensation from the distracted driver who injured you.
What Should You Do If You See Someone Texting While Driving?
If you see a driver who is distracted by their cellphone while behind the wheel, you should take the following steps to protect yourself and others:
- Do not attempt to engage the driver to tell them to get off their cell phone. Doing so will only be more distracting for both you and the other driver.
- Slow down and move over to the right lane to allow the driver to pass you. If necessary, safely pull off the road to let the texting driver pass.
- If the texting driver is engaging in unsafe behavior on the road, such as drifting out of their lane or excessively speeding, pull over and notify law enforcement.