Both federal and state-level statistics show that car accidents caused by distracted driving are all too common and all too likely to result in serious harm to the parties involved. In the aftermath of distracted driving car accidents in Temple, the next steps you take to protect your legal rights could also be key to preserving your physical health and financial security for months and years to come. A qualified car accident lawyer could discuss the factors leading up to your wreck and, once retained, help you pursue the financial restitution you deserve from the party who wronged you.
While Texas does expressly prohibit drivers from reading, writing, or sending text messages while in control of a motor vehicle, it does not broadly criminalize other forms of “distracted driving” like eating or drinking, doing makeup, or reading a book behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this gap in state law can make civil recovery after distracted driving car crashes in Temple somewhat complicated, thanks to the elements that go into proving legal negligence.
In a nutshell, a person injured in a car wreck can hold another person liable for that wreck if they can prove that other person did something reckless or careless that directly led to the accident occurring. In some cases, this is as straightforward as looking at the report filed by the police officer(s) who responded to the accident scene—this report would show whether anyone was cited for a traffic violation like speeding, running a stop sign, or texting while driving prior to the wreck, and such a citation would almost always confer civil liability for that incident onto the ticketed individual.
When auto accidents stem from distracted driving, though, there may not be formal documentation of any breach of a duty of care. In order to successfully recover compensation in a case like this, it can be important to work with an experienced car accident attorney who knows how to track down traffic camera footage, eyewitness reports, cell phone logs, and other types of evidence that could prove fault for the wreck in question.
Assuming they can successfully establish negligence by another person involved, a Temple resident injured in a distracted driving car accident should have grounds to seek compensation through a civil lawsuit for both economic and non-economic forms of harm. In other words, they could demand restitution not only for losses with objective values like medical bills, but also for subjective losses like physical pain and suffering.
Importantly, though, anyone who wants to pursue civil litigation against a negligent driver must file suit before the deadline set by the applicable statute of limitations. As per Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code §16.003, the deadline for distracted driving car crash claims is two years following the date of the accident or of the plaintiff’s discovery of their injuries, with very few exceptions.
Successfully holding someone else liable for a car wreck in civil court or private settlement negotiation is never a simple task, but it can be especially complex when distracted driving is the reason the incident occurred in the first place. Evidence of distraction behind the wheel can be hard to track down and even harder to present effectively, especially if you do not have assistance from an experienced legal professional.
After a distracted driving car accident in Temple, your first priority should be getting appropriate medical care, and your next should be contacting a car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. Call today to schedule a consultation.