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Know your rights after a crash caused by a distracted driver

| Jan 5, 2021 | Auto Accidents |

Distracted driving causes thousands of crashes every year. Although distraction comes in many forms, some of them internal, distraction related to mobile technology is particularly common and hard to avoid. The temptation to pick up a phone while driving can easily lead to someone causing a severe crash.

People staring down at their phones or posting to social media can’t always react in time to prevent a crash. The faster their speed, the larger the distance they travel without really looking at the road. When they cause crashes, other people often pay the price for their digital addiction.

Some of the people struck by distracted drivers die, while others wind up dealing with serious injuries and expensive property damage. If you got hurt in a crash caused by someone on their phone, you likely have the right to take action against that other driver.

Virginia does not tolerate texting while driving

Virginia has relatively strict rules regarding the use of mobile technology at the wheel. Specifically, the law forbids anyone from manually entering data, surfing the web for otherwise engaging in digital distraction at the wheel. The state assesses a fine of $125 or $250 for distracted driving infractions.

In fact, distracted driving is also a primary offense. Unlike in many other states, law enforcement officers in Virginia have the authority to conduct a traffic stop based solely on their suspicions that someone is a distracted driver.

If the officer who responds to your crash suspects distracted driving, they may note that issue in the police report, review traffic cameras and possibly cite the other driver for their dangerous decision.

Wrongful acts open the door to personal injury claims

If police name one party as at fault for a crash, anyone hurt in that collision can potentially file an insurance claim against the policy of the driver at fault. In certain cases, those hurt in car crashes can file a civil lawsuit against the responsible driver.

In general, a personal injury suit requires some proof of either negligence or a wrongful act. Knowingly violating state driving laws is a wrongful act. Most people will also acknowledge texting while driving as a form of negligence as well. In other words, it may be worth evaluating your situation to see if you can take legal action against an irresponsible driver who hurt you while texting at the wheel.