Everything You Need To Know About The Hands-Free Law in Texas
As drivers around the country know, driving while distracted can be dangerous. Every year an estimated 3000 people die from car accidents involving distracted drivers, and hundreds of thousands more are injured.
While distractions have always existed, cell phones have made distracted driving a national health concern. A total of 48 states have laws banning text or tweeting while driving and 37 states have laws that make it illegal to use a phone in any way for certain classes of drivers such as new drivers or school bus drivers.
As laws differ from state to state, it is important to know what the current rules are in your state. Here is everything you need to know about the hands-free law in Texas.
Cell Phone and Driving Laws in Texas
Originally passed in 2017, the current state law in Texas does not prohibit drivers from talking on their cell phones. However, there are state-wide rules for cell phone usage behind the wheel, including the following:
- New drivers cannot use any handheld device in any way
- School bus drivers cannot use handheld devices when children are on the bus
- No driver can use a handheld device when they are in a school zone
It is important to note, however, that laws can change from city to city within the state of Texas. For example, drivers in the city of Austin could be fined $500 for using any handheld device while driving.
Texting While Driving in Texas
Texting, tweeting, or emailing while driving any vehicle is illegal statewide in Texas and has been since the 2017 law was put in place.
If a driver is caught texting while driving, they are subject to a $99 fine for the first offense. All subsequent offenses come with a $200 fine. However, fines can climb as high as $4,000 if the driver was responsible for causing an accident because they were driving while distracted.
Liability and Texting While Driving in Texas
If a person causes an accident due to distracted driving, they could be held liable by other parties who were injured or suffered damages in some way due to the driver’s negligence. Every driver owes their fellow drivers a duty of care and if they are distracted by their phone while driving they are failing to fulfill that duty.
If you have been injured in a car accident by a distracted driver, a qualified personal injury lawyer could help you seek compensation. Your lawyer will investigate your claims, interview witnesses, obtain police reports, and if necessary examine phone records to determine whether or not the other party’s negligence led to your injuries.
If your lawyer determines that to be the case you could sue the other party for damages that would cover things like:
- Medical bills
- Repairs to your vehicle
- Lost wages and earning potential
It might also be possible for you to seek what are known as non-economic damages. Non-economic damages refer to things like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
While you might feel your case is rock solid, it is wise to consult with a personal injury lawyer as they understand the challenges and obstacles to successful settlements and verdicts. Only with a thorough investigation and competent representation will you have the best chance possible of receiving the money you are due for your injuries.
Finding Legal Support After a Texting Accident
If you were injured in an accident due to someone texting while driving, you have rights to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Finding an experienced Texas lawyer you can rely on and trust will give you your best chance of receiving the settlement you deserve.
Our team has been fighting for the rights of Texas drivers for years. Lorenz & Lorenz, PLLC is here for you! All you have to do is give us a call or fill out our online form to get our lawyers on your case. We’re on top of it!