Texting while Driving Car Accidents in Cape May County
Despite warnings about the dangers of distracted driving, individuals continue to use their phones to text while operating their vehicles. This negligent decision endangers the occupants of other vehicles on the road, as well as motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
If you were injured in a texting while driving car accident in Cape May County, you may have a right to seek compensation with the help of a local lawyer. Contact a car accident attorney immediately after the collision, if possible, to maximize your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.
Data on Danger of Texting while Driving is Convincing
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been collecting data on distracted driving for years. Their research indicates that distracted driving continues to cause death and severe injuries on the nation’s highways. A recent report showed that cell phone use was a factor in 13 percent of fatal vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving and that a majority of drivers who were using cell phones when they crashed were between the ages of 17 and 40.
Texting while Driving Violates the Law
New Jersey Statutes §39:4-97.3 bars any use of a handheld device to text while driving. The law also bans any driver under age 21 or who holds a learner’s permit or probationary license from using a cell phone for any purpose while operating a vehicle. Drivers with unrestricted licenses who are 21 or older may use an electronic device for phone calls as long as it is in hands-free mode.
The law imposes significant penalties for violations of these laws. Fines start at $400 and rise to $800 for a third-time offense. Someone convicted of using a cell phone for the third time while driving could receive three points on their license and face a license suspension for up to 90 days.
Apart from imposing serious penalties, violations of the texting while driving laws can be used as evidence of negligence per se. This means that a claimant need only show that a driver was violating the cell phone ban in some manner, such as by texting while driving, to prove that they were negligent and therefore liable for the damages.
Liability for Texting while Driving Accidents
Because New Jersey is a no-fault state, it is not necessary to identify an at-fault driver in the event of an accident. The no-fault system makes each driver’s insurer responsible for reimbursing the medical expenses and lost wages of the insured driver and their passengers, regardless of who is at fault for a collision.
The issue of fault only arises when policy limits are inadequate to cover an injured person’s losses. In such a case, it might be necessary for an accident victim to bring a civil lawsuit against the driver who was texting at the time of the crash.
An accident attorney must prove that someone else’s negligence caused the accident that led to the claimant’s injury. If a Cape May County lawyer is able to prove that another driver was texting when the accident occurred, the violation of the law would be sufficient evidence of negligence, and they would not need to offer further proof to collect compensation.
Ask a Cape May County Attorney about Texting while Driving Car Accidents
All car accidents are traumatic and disorienting, but the experience is even worse when an individual’s intentional carelessness causes a collision. In some circumstances, you could hold a distracted driver accountable for deciding to text while behind the wheel.
If you were in a texting while driving car accident in Cape May County, consult a local attorney as soon as possible. Let our team assess your situation and offer advice about the best steps to take to receive adequate compensation for your injuries.