Bryan, TX Texting & Driving Accident Attorneys
Texting & Driving Laws in Texas
Despite laws banning the use of handheld cellphones and similar devices, texting and driving continues to be one of the biggest dangers on Texas highways and roads. According to recent data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), more than 2,200 people were seriously injured and nearly 370 died due to distracted driving in 2020 alone. Overall, distracted driving, including texting while driving, accounted for almost one in five, or 20 percent, of all traffic accidents in Texas that same year.
Texting and driving isn’t just illegal; it’s also incredibly irresponsible. If you were injured or if someone you love tragically passed away due to an accident caused by someone who was texting and driving, you have the right to take legal action. The Payne Law Group can help you seek fair financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages. Most importantly, we can help you fight to hold the negligent driver accountable for the harm they have caused you and your family while simultaneously working to ensure similar accidents do not occur again in the future.
Is Texting & Driving Illegal in Texas?
In 2017, Texas enacted a statewide ban on texting while driving.
Specifically, the law bans all of the following texting-related activities while operating a motor vehicle:
- Reading a text message
- Writing/typing a text message
- Sending a text message
Although the law does not specifically ban the use of “voice-to-text” applications while driving, studies have shown that these features do not necessarily increase the safety of texting while driving. One study, in particular, found that using voice-to-text while driving to send a text message provided “no real safety advantage over manual texting” when the driver looked at the spoken message to confirm it before sending.
Can You Use a Cellphone While Driving in Texas?
Although Texas has banned texting and driving, there is no statewide law prohibiting the use of cellphones or similar handheld devices behind the wheel. However, there are some exceptions.
In Texas, handheld cellphone/device use is banned in the following situations:
- When driving through or in a school zone
- When driving on a learner’s permit during the first six months
- When a driver is under the age of 18
- When the driver is a bus driver who is actively transporting children
Note that, while the state has not banned handheld cellphone use, many cities throughout Texas have enacted their own handheld device bans, including Austin, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, El Paso, and others. Following the repeal of College Station’s handheld device ban in 2017, no city in Brazos County currently has a handheld cellphone/device ban (as of March 2022).
What to Do If You Are Involved in an Accident with a Texting Driver
If you are involved in an accident with someone who was texting or otherwise using a cellphone while driving, try to stay calm. Check yourself and others for injuries and, if necessary, call 911. Do not attempt to move anyone who appears severely injured unless absolutely necessary for their continued safety.
If anyone was injured at all, or if there is significant property damage, call the police and have them come out to the scene of the accident. You are required to report any traffic accident that results in bodily injury, death, or property damage of $1,000 or more. In any case, having an official police report detailing the accident and how it occurred can prove invaluable to your future personal injury case.
Once you have ensured your safety and the safety of others, you should do the following (if you are able):
- Get the name, contact information, and insurance information of the other people involved in the accident, including the texting driver
- Do not apologize or admit fault; remember that only a thorough investigation can reveal what actually happened and who was to blame
- If any witnesses saw what happened, get their name(s) and contact information, as well as a brief statement (if possible)
- If you have your cellphone with you, take pictures of the scene of the accident, your injuries, and any damage to your vehicle
- Write down everything you can remember about the accident as soon as possible; over time, memories can fade, so it is important to document the details before they are lost
- Notify your insurance company within a “reasonable period of time” about the accident, but avoid making any official statements or signing anything without first talking to a lawyer
- Refrain from speaking to anyone from the other driver’s insurance company, including adjusters who may try to get you to provide a statement or agree to a settlement
- Reach out to an attorney who has experience handling car accident claims, specifically those involving distracted driving and texting while driving
At The Payne Law Group, our Bryan texting and driving accident attorneys have the necessary resources, experience, and skills to help you navigate the legal process. We are prepared to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have, all while aggressively pursuing maximum compensation on your behalf.
Do You Need an Attorney After a Texting & Driving Accident?
Although there is no law requiring you to hire an attorney after a motor vehicle accident, there are many reasons to seek the counsel of a skilled personal injury lawyer if you were involved in an accident with someone who was texting and driving. These claims can be difficult to prove; you need clear evidence of the other driver’s negligence, as well as proof of your injuries and resulting damages.
At The Payne Law Group, our texting and driving accident lawyers can access the other driver’s cellphone records, surrounding security camera footage (if available), and other important evidence to help support your claim. We work with accident reconstructionists and other experts to build powerful cases on behalf of our clients, and we have won these cases time and time again. We are not afraid to go up against major insurance companies that would seek to dispute, devalue, or deny your claim—and we have what it takes to effectively advocate for you and your recovery.
Our attorneys can help you fight to recover fair compensation for your:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost income/wages
- Pain and suffering
- Future pain and suffering
- Lost earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Lost enjoyment of life
We are tireless advocates for our clients, ready to seek the maximum compensation you are owed. We believe that you shouldn’t have to face the consequences of someone else’s negligent or reckless choice on your own.