Too many motorists in Texas believe they can multitask while behind the wheel. Texting and driving in the state is illegal, but this is not the only form of distracted driving. A motorist may become distracted by a variety of things and when they do, they can be held liable for any accident caused by that act of negligence. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, speak with a Texas car accident lawyer that can help you secure the damages you need to recover from your injuries.
Types of Distracted Driving
The CDC defines distracted driving as any behavior that takes a person’s eyes off of the road, hands off of the wheel, or their focus from what is going on around them. Texting and driving is the most common form of distracted driving people first think of when considering this type of negligence. However, other types of distracted driving can include:
- Using a cell phone in any capacity
- Adjusting the radio and other dials in the vehicle
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Using a GPS or other navigational system
- Rubbernecking at the scene of other accidents
Essentially, any time a driver does something other than driving, they are distracted and can be held accountable for any injuries or losses accident victims incur as a result.
Damages Available in Distracted Driving Accidents
A person can sustain many types of damages during a distracted driving accident. Although no one can determine how much a specific case is worth without fully reviewing the facts of the claim, the most common types of damages are as follows:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damages
If you can prove that the defendant acted with gross negligence or maliciousness, you may also be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages in Texas are not meant to compensate you for your losses but instead, they punish the negligent party and attempt to deter them from similar behavior in the future.
Comparative Fault in Texas
Comparative fault is a legal doctrine that is applicable in accident cases that involve more than one negligent party. Texas follows a modified system of comparative fault in which injured individuals can still claim damages as long as they are less than 51 percent at fault for the crash.
For example, you may be involved in an accident at an intersection and the jury determines that each driver shared the same percentage of fault. However, after discovery, a jury may find that the other driver was distracted at the time of the crash, increasing their percentage of fault by twenty percent. You would then only be found 30 percent at fault for the crash. In this example, you can still claim damages but they will be reduced by 30 percent, the same percentage of fault you carried for the crash.
Our Texas Car Accident Lawyers can Help with Your Case
If you have been hurt in an accident and believe a distracted driver is to blame for your injuries, our Houston car accident lawyers are here to help. At Husain Law & Associates, our experienced attorneys know how to prove the other driver was to blame for your crash and will defend you against arguments of fault from the other side. Call us today at (713) 804-8311 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.