Although it is a well-known fact that texting while operating a motor vehicle is extremely distracting and a significant cause of vehicle accidents nationwide, this type of inattentive driving still occurs regularly. Unfortunately, drivers who choose to use their cellphone while behind the wheel of a car put themselves and all others on the road at risk of catastrophic harm.
If you were involved in a texting while driving car accident in Bucks County, having an experienced local attorney by your side could help you achieve a positive outcome in your case. A hardworking lawyer could investigate the cause of the wreck and gather evidence to prove the defendant driver was using their cellphone at the time of the wreck.
Bucks County Laws Regarding Driver Cellphone Use
In an effort to reduce distracted driving collisions and making roadways safer, Pennsylvania has enacted laws to ban texting while driving, as per 75 Pa. C.S.A. Vehicles §1621. In fact, statutory law even states that texting while driving by itself is punishable by a fine. However, the law does not ban the use of a GPS system or other handsfree devices while operating a vehicle.
Additionally, a 2016 law known as Daniel’s Law increases criminal penalties of vehicular homicide when there was also a violation of the texting while driving law. With the help of an experienced attorney, anyone who was involved in a car accident caused by texting while driving in Bucks County can better assess how local cellphone laws may affect their case. Since the statutes of limitations may limit a plaintiff’s time to file a claim, injured parties should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Are Punitive Damages Recoverable in Texting While Driving Wrecks?
Victims of Bucks County texting while driving vehicle collisions may have claims for economic, non-economic, and possibly even punitive damages. Economic damages encompass such things as property loss, medical costs, and lost income. Non-economic damages include pain, distress, and loss of companionship. These damages are fairly standard for most civil cases.
However, to recover punitive damages in the state of Pennsylvania, there must have been some sort of conduct that rises above mere negligence to the level of reckless or willful indifference. In a case called Simpson v. Buchanan, the court stated that it was possible for a jury to reasonably award punitive damages in a car crash case if there was evidence to show that the collision occurred while the driver was texting. The argument for punitive damages will be stronger if the texting while driving accident occurred in a school zone, in an area where there was construction, or where police lights were flashing, according to a case called Linehan v. Jaludi. An experienced attorney in the area can help to determine whether there is an argument for punitive damages based on the facts of the individual case.
Discuss Texting While Driving Car Accidents with a Bucks County Attorney
Distracted driving can lead to devastating collisions that can cause serious and life-altering injuries. For this reason, it is against the law to text while driving in Bucks County, and can result in both civil and criminal liability.
However, proving that a driver was using their cellphone at the time of an accident can be difficult. Fortunately, a seasoned attorney could help collect vital evidence and help you seek fair compensation for your losses. To learn more about how an attorney could help you, call our office today.