Distracted driving is a major problem, and texting while driving is arguably the most dangerous form of it. Looking at a phone screen for just five seconds, at a speed of 55 mph, is long enough to cover the length of a football field. That’s a tremendous distance for a driver to have their eyes off the road, and there simply is no excuse for this behavior. If a driver causes an accident with you or a loved one, serious injury or even death may result. Victims and their families deserve justice and compensation from negligent drivers, and that is what we demand at Cooper Schall & Levy.
Texting While Driving Is Illegal In Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has taken steps to prohibit texting while driving. It is illegal, while operating a motor vehicle, to send, write, or read any type of communication on a cell phone. This covers texts, emails, and other messages such as GroupMe or WhatsApp. In addition to cell phones, the law covers smartphones, computers, and any other device that can send or receive messages wirelessly. If convicted, a driver will have to pay a $50 fine, court costs, and other expenses.
Not everyone is afraid of a $50 fine, however, considering how pervasive cell phone use while driving continues to be. The law is not likely to deter the most determined violators.
Injuries Resulting From Texting While Driving Accidents
Texting while driving is dangerous enough, but drivers are also often guilty of other negligent behaviors such as speeding, swerving, and failing to remain in their lane of travel. When they crash into other vehicles, the injuries can be serious. You or a loved one could suffer the following:
- Cuts, bruises, and burns
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding and internal organ damage
- Spinal cord and nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injury
Distracted driving is a major source of catastrophic injuries that can permanently alter the rest of a person’s life. And the injuries are not just physical. Victims often suffer psychological injuries in the form of depression, anxiety, emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more. If you or a loved one were injured, it is vital that a medical professional evaluate all possible effects of the accident – even if the injuries do not initially seem severe.
Damages That May Be Available To Victims
Whether your case settles with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or it goes to trial, it is imperative that all damages are addressed. Once you settle, or the court enters a judgment, you do not get another chance to litigate the accident. Depending on the circumstances in your case, some of the damages to which you may be entitled include:
- Medical bills, including hospitalization and future treatments
- Prescription drug medications
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Lost wages due to time missed from work
- Decreased earning capacity
- Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death in the event the victim dies
What To Do After A Texting While Driving Accident
Your first priority after any sort of automobile accident is to get the medical attention you and your passengers need. Go to the hospital, take an ambulance there, or see your primary care physician immediately, even if the injuries appear to be minor. It cannot be stressed enough that many injuries remain hidden for hours or even days and weeks after an accident. Failing to get the proper care for these injuries could jeopardize your legal claim.
If necessary, get yourself and others out of harm’s way. Call 911 to request medical and police assistance. You need to make a police report about the accident, which will later be used to seek damages. Law enforcement may also be able to track down the driver if he or she flees the scene of the accident.
You can begin documenting certain things on your own, provided it does not risk your safety or interfere with the responding police officer’s work. For instance, you may be able to take pictures or video of the accident scene, the vehicles, skid marks, and other evidence. If witnesses are available, speak with them. Ask for their names, contact information, and a brief description of what they saw. This information could be helpful later when it comes to proving what happened.
Your next step is to contact an experienced Pennsylvania texting while driving accident attorney. It is highly likely that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will contact you following the wreck. Speak with a lawyer first, and refer all questions and any settlement offers to your attorney. Remember, the insurance company is not there to represent you or your interests. Their goal is to resolve cases quickly and for the lowest amount of money possible, so having a skilled attorney in your corner is critical.
How Can Cooper Schall & Levy Help Me?
Not only do we understand Pennsylvania’s automobile accident laws, we have developed a network of investigators, medical professionals, and numerous others who can help ensure you get the maximum compensation possible. These individuals can help document the full extent of your existing injuries, as well as the need for future treatment. They can also predict what sort of financial damages you will suffer due to time missed from work, lost earning capacity, disability, and the other consequences of your accident. As mentioned above, once you settle or the case is decided by a judge and jury, you will not get a second chance to ask for damages. Getting it right the first time is our commitment to you.
Contact Our Philadelphia Texting While Driving Accident Attorney
After an accident, your goal is to recover and get back to your life as quickly as possible. That takes the dedicated and aggressive legal practice that we have cultivated at Cooper Schall & Levy. Give us a call today to speak to our team and schedule your consultation.