Each year, about 421,000 people are injured in crashes that involve a driver who was distracted in some way. Over 330,000 of those accidents are caused by texting while driving and lead to severe injuries or death. This means that over 78% of all distracted drivers are distracted because they have been texting while driving.
Personal injury attorneys have ways to prove a driver was distracted and at fault for the cause of a collision resulting from a driver’s inadvertence to pay attention to the road. It is relatively easy to get cited for a texting while driving law. If a police officer thinks that you are violating this law then they can pull you over and cite you for the violation. Texting while driving is a primary law, so police have the right to pull you over even if you are abiding by the other rules of the road.
Another way to prove that someone was texting while driving is to obtain records from the user’s phone company. Getting access to the phone company will allow one to see if that person was receiving, sending, or using the phone when an accident has occurred. All it takes is a subpoena from the wireless phone provider to assess when text messages were read and sent and to see if there is an overlap with the time of the accident. Traffic cameras may also be able to capture the moment someone was distracted from looking at their cell phone and thus caused an accident.
Yet another way to prove a driver caused a collision from texting and driving is to provide witnesses that knew the driver was not paying attention to the cars in front of them on the road. If a witness (whether in the car or not) saw the other driver texting or using their cell phone at the time of the accident, your attorney will use those statements as part of your case or as a way to obtain cell phone records for the other driver. While witnesses can be unreliable, a witness that did see the other driver texting is still a valuable piece of evidence in your case.
The easiest way to prove someone was texting while driving is to have them admit they were texting while driving. Testimonies given to police officers who respond to the scene of an accident provide valuable information in proving a driver was distracted by looking at their phone.
Texting and Driving Laws
As of 2018, no state bans all cell phone use for all drivers, but 38 states and Washington D.C. ban all cell phone use by novice drivers, and 20 states and D.C. prohibit it for school bus drivers. Of the 3 states without an all driver texting ban, 2 states prohibit text messaging by novice drivers. By having rules in place, law enforcement hopes to prevent accidents and fatalities from happening because of other people’s carelessness. In an attempt to discourage distracted driving, all of the 50 states have put into effect rules to deter this kind of behavior. Texting while driving is considered one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving that can be easily prevented. It is important to remember that even if states do not have laws directly related to distracted driving, the act of driving distracted leads to driving behavior that is illegal, such as reckless driving and other traffic violations.
Texting While Driving Law in Kansas
In Kansas, texting while driving is illegal for drivers of all ages and regardless of the type of license they hold. This is a primary law meaning that all drivers are prohibited from sending, receiving, or typing text messages while driving. The law also applies to text that converts into an email or instant messaging software. Texting and driving is considered a primary offense, so if a police officer sees or even thinks you are texting on your phone, they have the right to pull you over for the violation. Violating the law will result in a ticket from the responding police officer. However, Kansas’s distracted driving laws currently do not have any prohibitions on talking on a cell phone for most non-novice drivers.
Novice drivers are still not allowed to talk on a cell phone while driving. Motorists who are novice drivers are barred from using their wireless devices on the road for any purpose whatsoever. However, it is legal for all drivers, regardless of age, to report illegal activity or summon medical emergency services. Kansas texting while driving laws also allow for a multitude of exceptions. The texting while driving ban does not apply when you are summoning medical emergency services or reporting illegal activity, does not apply when you have technology that operates the cellular device without the use of your hands, and does not apply when receiving emergency alerts relating to traffic or weather alerts.
Generally, a texting violation carries a $60 fine. However, court costs can increase the amount of what a driver may have to pay. In other instances, when your distracted driving leads to a car collision you will probably be found liable to pay for the other driver’s property damage, personal injuries stemming from the accident, and in worst-case scenarios vehicular homicide when a collision results in the death of another driver.
Texting While Driving Injury Cases
Distracted driving is defined in Kansas as engaging in any activity while driving that shifts the attention from the primary task of operating the motor vehicle. One of the most obvious forms of distracted driving is texting while driving. Texting while driving is accountable for a majority of the distracted driving accidents and collisions that occur all too frequently in Kansas.
Drivers who decide to text and drive not only put their lives in danger, but the lives of other drivers on the road. To combat foreseeable consequences, the state of Kansas has made it a violation of the law to text and drive. Furthermore, you can be ticketed for texting and driving even when no other traffic infraction has occurred. The law applies to all operators of vehicles in Kansas regardless of the skill of driving. For younger novice drivers, all usage of cellular devices behind the wheel is prohibited. With the rise of the newest forms of technology, more cases involving injuries sustained when someone has been texting and driving are appearing more frequently.
A recent injury case shows the tragic consequences that stem when someone drives distracted created by the use of their cell phone. In Kansas in 2012, prosecutors charged a 16-year-old girl with texting while driving and causing a traffic crash that killed a 72-year-old woman. Prosecutors were able to obtain the 16-year-old's cell phone records to establish that she had been texting and driving which caused her to be distracted and lose control of her vehicle. The results were catastrophic and resulted in the loss of another driver’s life. Prosecutors added a charge of second-degree involuntary manslaughter to the 16-year-olds infractions. At trial, the judge said the 16-year-old was criminally negligent for her failure to put total concentration to the task of driving at hand. The 16-year-old put the lives of others on the road at danger and was reckless, irresponsible, and criminal.
Finding a Lawyer for Your Texting While Driving Case
If you have been injured by a driver who was texting while driving, an accident lawyer at Brian & Brian at Pistotnik Law may be able to help. Our attorneys can subpoena phone records to determine whether a driver was texting or talking at the time of the crash. Establishing that the other driver was driving negligently lets you pursue fair compensation in a legal claim or car insurance claim. By doing this, you can ensure that the other driver is held responsible for their reckless behavior.
Brian & Brian at Pistotnik Law attorneys are very skilled in this area of work and will fight to get you what you deserve. Our attorneys will evaluate all the evidence to ensure that your legal rights are protected. Our firm believes that those injured in a car accident in which they were not at fault should be compensated to the full extent possible. We work hard to determine all of your losses that can be attributed to the car wreck, and we will not advise accepting a settlement that does not adequately compensate such losses. Our attorneys will take a car accident case to trial if settlement negotiations are not fair.
Contact us today to learn more.