Smartphones are a key part of modern life for most people in Baltimore. We use them to keep up with the news, communicate with friends and family, and even run businesses. Smartphones seem so essential that some people don’t want to put them down even when they’re driving. Unfortunately, texting and driving can result in accidents that lead to serious injuries or even death.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving caused the death of 2, 841 people in 2018. Texting isn’t the only type of distraction, but it is one of the most dangerous. A distraction is anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, or their mind off driving. Texting involves all three of these.
Still, many people believe that their driving skills are so good that they can maintain control of a vehicle while texting. However, it’s simply impossible to drive safely while sending a text message or email. If you were injured by a driver who was texting, you deserve to get compensation. You’ll need to work with a Baltimore car accident lawyer to ensure you’re treated fairly.
What Maryland’s Laws Say About Texting and Driving
Given the clear dangers associated with this practice, texting and driving is illegal in Maryland. Most drivers are allowed to use a Bluetooth device or speakerphone to communicate but handheld phone use is prohibited. However, drivers under the age of 18 or those with only a learner’s permit are barred from using any type of communication device.
In 2014, Governor Martin O’Malley implemented Jake’s Law which increases the penalties imposed on people who injure or kill others in distracted driving accidents. The law was named after five-year-old Jake Owen who was killed in 2011 when a driver who was using a cell phone struck the family’s car. The at-fault driver only had to pay a $1,000 fine. The new law imposes maximum sentences of three years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Getting Compensation for Injuries Caused by a Texting and Driving Accident
The first thing you will need to do is prove that the other driver was negligent. This won’t be easy. Even though you may have seen the driver using a phone, you’ll need to prove it. A Baltimore car accident lawyer can help you to gather the necessary evidence to build a strong case. This may include police records, surveillance video footage, eyewitness testimony, and cell phone records.
A number of things can make it difficult for you to prove what happened. For example, the driver may deny that they were using their phone. They may also refuse to produce their phone records and the cell phone company may do likewise. The driver and their insurer may also blame you for the accident.
Your attorney will investigate the crash and seek to prove that the other driver was negligent. We’ll help you to prepare your claim and hold the liable party to account for their actions. Car accidents can have life-changing consequences. If you were not responsible for the crash, you shouldn’t have to bear the losses alone.
In addition to high medical bills, you could be facing a long recovery period and lots of time off work. This could cause your family significant financial challenges. Then, there’s the mental and emotional pain you could suffer as a result of your injuries and the impact they have on your life. You’ll need to do everything you can to ensure you get full and fair compensation.
One of the things that could affect your case is the principle of contributory negligence which is practiced in Maryland. If you’re even slightly at fault for the crash, you won’t be able to get compensation. This is a much harsher stance than that taken by most states. Your attorney will do everything possible to refute any allegations the other driver makes about your role in the accident.
Call Pinder Plotkin LLC Today for a Free Consultation
A driver who texts and drives puts other road users at risk. If you suffered injuries because of a distracted driver, you deserve to be represented by experienced, knowledgeable attorneys. There’s no need to try to handle your case on your own. Contact our Baltimore car accident attorneys and schedule a free consultation. If you hire us, you’ll only pay when we get compensation for you. You have nothing to lose so call us today!