San Antonio Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
After decades of decline, car crashes have been on the rise in recent years. The Texas Department of Transportation reported a 17% increase in traffic deaths in 2021 over 2020, including 431 persons killed and another 2,934 injured. This makes 2021 the deadliest year on Texas roads since 1981 and the second deadliest year since TxDOT first started tracking traffic fatalities in 1940. Texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving are thought to be a major reason behind this increase. The TxDOT Executive Director has urged people to just drive while behind the wheel and not engage in other activities like talking on the phone or texting. “Distracted driving crashes are 100% preventable,” according to TxDOT.
Distracted driving is the classic definition of negligent driving – failing to drive with the reasonable amount of attention and care expected of the ordinary driver. At the Law Office of Israel Garcia, we have a long record of success in helping car accident victims recover significant compensation to help them deal with the physical, emotional and financial costs of a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a distracted driving car accident in South-Central Texas, call our experienced San Antonio distracted driving accident lawyer today.
Texas and San Antonio Distracted Driving Laws
Texting while driving is illegal throughout the state of Texas. It is illegal in Texas to read, write, or send a text while driving, and violators are subject to a $200 fine. It is also illegal throughout Texas to use a handheld device while in a school zone, and further restrictions apply to new or younger drivers and school bus drivers.
Beyond the state law requirements, San Antonio has a Hands-Free Ordinance in effect that prohibits not just texting while driving but also any handheld use of a mobile communication device while operating a moving motor vehicle. This includes making or receiving a call, listening to a voicemail, viewing pictures, gaming or any other use. Any call while driving should be done hands-free, and drivers are only allowed to hold their phones to activate or deactivate the device. Drivers can also lawfully use the global positioning or navigation system on a device that is affixed to the vehicle. As with the Texas texting while driving law, violating the San Antonio Hands-Free Ordinance is subject to a $200 fine.
How Our San Antonio Distracted Driving Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Texas and San Antonio distracted driving laws were written to prevent distracted driving car accidents. When people violate a safety law and end up causing the type of harm the law was meant to prevent, they can be held “negligent per se.” This means the very fact of their legal violation shows they were negligent, and the accident victim doesn’t need to produce other evidence to prove the distracted driver was at fault. At the Law Office of Israel Garcia, we’ll use this fact to establish the distracted driver’s negligence in causing the crash. However, even if they weren’t cited for violating the law, we can still produce evidence of distracted driving and use it to establish fault in settlement talks with the driver’s insurance company or in court in front of a jury. We have decades of experience proving a negligent driver’s liability for causing a serious crash.
In addition to proving fault, our firm excels in maximizing the damages owed to accident victims by demonstrating all the different ways the driver’s negligence and the injury have impacted their lives. Our expertise lies in putting together a complete story of the consequences of the accident on the victim and telling that story to the jury in a way that makes them understand what the victim is going through on a deeply emotional and personal level. We help our clients recover all applicable damages after a distracted driving car accident in San Antonio, which might include the following, for example:
- Medical Expenses (Past, Ongoing, Future)
- Lost Income / Loss of Earning Capacity (Past, Ongoing, Future)
- Pain and Suffering (Past, Ongoing, Future)
- Mental Anguish (Past, Ongoing, Future)
- Physical Impairment (Past, Ongoing, Future)
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life (Past, Ongoing, Future)
- Disfigurement (Past, Ongoing, Future)
- Punitive or Exemplary Damages
- Car Repair or Replacement
- Car Rental or Loss of Use
How Drivers Can Avoid Distracted Driving
Just because we have the technological capability to communicate with others while driving, it doesn’t mean we have to do it, or that it is safe or a good idea. Although it can seem difficult to change one’s behavior and relationship with their phone in this era of social media engagement, apps for everything, and “fear of missing out,” developing safe texting habits can be as easy and important as learning to wear a seat belt every time, making sure you always signal and check your blind spots before changing lanes, obeying the speed limit and coming to a complete stop at controlled intersections. Here are a few ways drivers can put an end to their distracted driving behaviors:
- Turn off the phone while driving
- Put the phone in Do Not Disturb mode
- Put the phone away so it is out of sight and out of reach
- Download one or more distracted driving apps that enable one-tap use or that put the phone into a safe drive mode
- Let people know you will be driving and that you don’t read or respond to texts while driving
- If you need to take an important call or read or send a text, pull over somewhere safe first
It’s also important to remember that distracted driving can include more than just texting or using a handheld device. Tuning the radio, interacting with the car’s navigation system, eating or drinking, and even getting into conversations with passengers can all be potentially distracting activities that take the driver’s hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, or mind off the critically important task of driving.
Contact the Law Office of Israel Garcia Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident with a texting or otherwise negligent driver, the Law Office of Israel Garcia can help. Call our experienced San Antonio distracted driving car accident lawyer today.