Despite recent state legislation prohibiting the use of handheld devices while driving, texting behind the wheel remains a common cause of dangerous car crashes in Elyria. However, a motorist distracted by their cell phone could be held financially liable for any damages they cause in the event of a traffic wreck.
If you were injured by a negligent driver, a seasoned car accident lawyer at Tittle & Perlmuter could explain the process of pursuing a civil claim and clarify your options for recovery. Contact a legal firm with experience in cases involving texting while driving car accidents in Elyria.
Like many other states, Ohio has passed a law banning licensed drivers from writing, reading, or sending electronic text messages while driving. Ohio Revised Code §4511.204 names only a few specific exceptions to this rule, such as the use of a phone in a vehicle while stationary and outside of a travel lane, the use of a phone to summon emergency services, and the use of a GPS device.
Since texting while driving is a minor misdemeanor offense, anyone ticketed for it following a traffic accident would be considered negligent per se. In other words, the fact that someone violated the law immediately prior to an accident makes them automatically liable for the impact of that accident. The same would apply for other traffic offenses like speeding, running a stoplight, or driving while intoxicated.
In most cases, the Elyria police report detailing a driver’s texting while driving violation would be sufficient evidence to prove their liability for the car accident. However, even in cases where no tickets were issued, a dedicated attorney in the vicinity could help collect and preserve additional evidence of the driver’s texting infraction. This could include surveillance footage from local businesses, eyewitness testimony, or phone and text message records.
Importantly, while a texting while driving citation will make an individual liable for an ensuing car crash, it does not necessarily mean they will be the only party who bears a degree of fault. For example, if a person texting behind the wheel gets into a crash with someone else who was speeding, both parties could be assigned a percentage of blame for the accident. In this scenario, Ohio Revised Code §2315.33 allows a court to proportionately reduce the compensation available to the party filing suit.
Additionally, Ohio Revised Code §2305.10 sets a statutory filing deadline of two years on most personal injury claims, including those involving car collisions. If an Elyria resident injured in a texting while driving auto accident fails to start their case in time, they may be barred from civil recovery regardless of whether someone else was at fault for the incident.
If you were injured in a traffic wreck caused by a motorist who was texting, you may have a strong case to recover compensation from them for your injuries and losses. However, achieving a positive outcome to a civil claim is rarely a simple process, especially once insurance companies and defense lawyers get involved.
Consider reaching out to a knowledgeable attorney who is well-versed in texting while driving car accident cases in Elyria. Call the offices of Tittle & Perlmuter today to set up an initial consultation.