Texting and driving puts everyone on the road at risk. If you were involved in an accident where the other driver was texting, and you can prove it, you may be owed compensation for damages from the crash.
Below, the Cincinnati car accident lawyers of O’Connor, Acciani & Levy discuss Ohio’s texting and driving laws and how to attempt to prove the other driver was engaging in this dangerous behavior at the time of your accident.
Texting And Driving Laws In Ohio
Ohio law prohibits a person operating a motor vehicle from using a handheld electronic wireless device to write, read or send a text-based communication. There are exceptions to this rule, such as if the motorist is using the device for emergency purposes, for GPS purposes, for receiving emergency, traffic or weather alerts, or to dial a number. A person can also lawfully pull over, park and send a message.
Ohio treats the use of a wireless device as a secondary offense in that a law enforcement officer cannot stop a motorist for the sole purpose of determining whether the motorist was violating this law. Violation of this law is considered a minor misdemeanor.
Requesting The Negligent Driver’s Phone Records
The most effective way to prove the other driver was texting at the time of an accident is to request the negligent driver’s phone records. However, drivers will not usually voluntarily provide this information. You will most likely need to hire a lawyer who can help with this process.
An attorney can file a lawsuit against the negligent driver. He or she can then request certain information as part of the “discovery” process. This process allows your attorney to request certain information that the defendant must provide under oath. It also allows your attorney to request information from third parties, such as phone companies.
Phone records contain valuable information that can help support your distracted driving claim, including the time stamp of all calls and text messages. These records will also include the phone numbers of the people the defendant contacted who may then be subpoenaed and required to testify about the messages they sent and received near the time of the accident.
Other ways to prove that the driver was texting may be to interview witnesses who might have seen the motorist texting, review social media posts to determine if the motorist was posting near the time of the accident or checking the police report for mention of this activity. An experienced personal injury lawyer can conduct an investigation to determine what factors contributed to the accident, such as texting and driving or other distractions.
Compensation You Can Receive From A Negligent Driver
Texting and driving accidents often cause severe injuries because texters are usually unaware of impending hazards and cannot brake in time to prevent a collision. This can cause the accident to occur at a higher speed, which can result in more serious injuries, including whiplash, fractures, spinal injuries and traumatic brain injuries. You have the right to pursue recovery for the full extent of your medical expenses, including:
- Costs for doctor visits
- Emergency room or urgent care treatment costs
- Rehabilitation costs
- Prescription medication costs
- Medical devices, such as crutches
You also have the right to pursue compensation for repairs for your vehicle or to have it replaced at fair market value.
You may have missed time from work or be unable to return to work because of the accident – you can seek compensation for all lost wages caused by your injuries. You may also be entitled to compensation for your pain, suffering, mental anguish and other emotional damages from the accident.
Contact A Resourceful Personal Injury Lawyer
If you were injured by a negligent driver who was texting and driving, an experienced car accident attorney at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy can conduct a thorough investigation to determine the factors that contributed to your accident and work to build your claim to fight for maximum recovery.
We provide a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your rights. If you decide to retain our services, you will pay no fees unless we are able to successfully recover compensation on your behalf.