Texting and driving is a lethal combination that happens far too often on Pennsylvania roads, leading to heartbreaking accidents every year. In the aftermath of these preventable tragedies, victims will suffer serious injuries, a major financial burden, and an overall disruption to their normal lives.
If you have been hurt due to another driver using a smartphone instead of focusing on the road, you may be entitled to compensation. However, taking legal action requires proving that the other party was not just at fault for what happened but also broke the law in the process. Lawyers who handle texting and driving accidents use a range of tools and resources to investigate the root causes of the accident and prove that illegal smartphone use was involved.
Pennsylvania’s Laws Against Texting and Driving
Pennsylvania drivers are explicitly prohibited from reading, writing, or sending text-based messages while their vehicles are in motion. This law is known as the “texting while driving” ban, but it is designed to be broadly applicable to all distractions that involve an Interactive Wireless Communication Device (IWCD), including emails and browsing the internet. The penalty for violating this law is only $50, but drivers who cause a serious accident while texting could be held legally and financially responsible for any resulting injuries.
Pennsylvania’s texting-while-driving laws were created both to discourage this extremely dangerous behavior and to provide victims with a legal avenue for getting their damages covered. Distracted driving is a clear breach of every motorist’s basic “duty of care” to avoid irresponsible behavior that could endanger others. That means victims of an accident that involved texting while driving would have the grounds for filing a personal injury claim to recover compensation for all the ways they have been affected by the accident, which might include:
- Medical expenses: Cost of emergency treatments, physical therapy, and any future or ongoing medical needs related to the accident
- Loss of income: Compensation for victims who had to miss work while recovering from their injuries or may even have a permanent disability
- Pain and suffering: The physical and emotional suffering caused by the accident, such as pain or emotional distress, is eligible for compensation under Pennsylvania’s personal injury laws
- Property damage: If your vehicle was damaged in the accident, you can file a claim for the cost of repairing or replacing it
While victims of texting-while-driving accidents have strong rights under Pennsylvania law, pursuing compensation for these kinds of cases does require solid evidence that meets the legal standard for negligence. In this case, that would be proving that the at-fault driver was illegally using an IWCD while their vehicle was in motion and that this distraction caused a preventable accident.
The Evidence for Proving Texting and Driving Violations in Pennsylvania
Texting-and-driving car accident cases can get very contentious due to the high stakes involved for both sides, including the potential for criminal charges alongside the civil case. Proving that the at-fault driver was actively breaking the law requires solid evidence of how the crash unfolded and the role played by using a smartphone. Some of the ways a knowledgeable texting-and-driving lawyer can investigate the accident include:
- Cell phone records: This is one of the most direct forms of evidence for these kinds of cases, which can be subpoenaed to compare the timeline of the accident with when texts were sent or received
- Eyewitness testimony: Passengers, pedestrians, or other drivers who saw the at-fault driver using their phone shortly before the crash
- Footage from traffic or surveillance cameras: Any available camera footage capturing the moments right before the accident that has an angle of the driver’s seat
- Police reports: These official documents may have observations or statements about the suspected causes of an accident, often provided by witnesses at the scene, which can serve as proof that texting was involved
Lawyers investigating a texting-and-driving accident also work closely with accident reconstructionists, cell phone forensic specialists, and other professionals who can analyze the evidence and show that smartphone use contributed to the accident.
Contact the Talented Pennsylvania Texting and Driving Lawyers at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., Today
Choosing the right legal representation is crucial for the success of your texting and driving accident claim, from being able to establish the root causes of the accident to showing the full extent of your damages. At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., we are proud of our track record of holding irresponsible drivers accountable and fighting for affected victims.
If you have been affected by a texting and driving accident in Pennsylvania, call us at (215) 822-7575 or complete our contact form. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner we can begin gathering compelling evidence, building your case, and advocating for your rights.