Hurt in a Texting and Driving Accident in Louisiana?
Lafayette Car Accident Attorney Explains Distracted Driving Claims
Texting while driving is one of the most common forms of distracted driving, and is often the most dangerous as well. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver distraction contributes to over 430,000 car crashes and more than 3,000 deaths annually. Still, despite laws in most states prohibiting texting while driving, many motorists continue to do so. However, it can be difficult for car accident victims to know whether distracted driving caused or contributed to the crash. An investigation into the circumstances of the wreck is often necessary to determine if texting and driving is to blame. If so, then victims and their families may be able to collect compensation.
If you believe texting or another driver distraction caused your car crash injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death, then Galloway Jefcoat LLP can help you. A Lafayette car accident attorney from our law firm can start investigating your accident immediately to determine the cause. We have experience representing victims of distracted driving throughout Calcasieu Parish, including residents of Sulphur and Lake Charles, as well as Lafayette.
What are the Risks of Texting and Driving?
According to the NHTSA, texting while driving is among the most dangerous driver distractions. It requires you to remove your hands from the wheel, your eyes from the road and your mind from the task of driving. During the time it takes to send or read even a short message, a car traveling at 55 miles per hour moves the length of a football field—while the driver is not looking. As a result, a texting driver will have slower reaction times and may even lose control of the vehicle.
Most people admit to knowing that texting and driving is dangerous, according to a 2011 NHTSA study. However, the majority of adults and teenagers admit to texting behind the wheel anyway. Some suggest that hands-free devices are safer alternatives because they do not require motorists to look away from the road. Nevertheless, research indicates that this can also be a dangerous distraction, increasing the risk of car crashes.
Does Louisiana Law Ban Texting While Driving?
Most states, including Louisiana, have laws concerning cell phone use and distracted driving. In Louisiana, the law prohibits texting while driving for all motorists. Furthermore, this is a primary law, meaning that police officers can cite drivers for texting alone, even if you committed no other offense. In 2016, Louisiana lawmakers increased the fine for texting drivers as well. These new fines are:
- $500 for the first violation and $1,000 for subsequent violations.
- For those under 18, $250 for the first violation and $500 for further infractions. Additionally, teen drivers may also face license suspension for multiple offenses.
If a texting driver causes a crash, the responding officer may cite the driver and issue a fine. While important, this does not help the car accident victim. If you are hurt in a texting and driving accident, then you can instead collect compensation for your medical bills and other costs through an insurance claim and/or personal injury lawsuit.
Texting Driver Cause Your Crash? Contact a Lafayette Car Accident Attorney Now
It is not always easy to tell when texting and driving causes a car crash, especially for the victim. Therefore, if you suspect distracted driving caused your accident, or do not know what happened, then contact a Lafayette car accident attorney from our law firm as soon as possible. We can investigate the accident scene, get eyewitness accounts and subpoena the other driver’s phone records. If texting and driving or other negligence is to blame, we can represent your insurance claim and/or personal injury lawsuit.
Out attorneys offer free initial consultations so that you can learn your legal options with no obligation. Call (800) 260-3839 or contact us online to schedule a meeting today.