One of the most dangerous and careless things that a person can do while behind the wheel of a car is text. Studies have repeatedly shown that this activity takes a person’s eyes and mind off the road and significantly reduces their reaction time. Considering that a car moving at 30 miles per hour covers the distance of fifty feet in only a few seconds, texting while driving can result in devastating collisions.
A Columbus texting while driving car accident lawyer can help if you suffered injuries in a wreck caused by a driver distracted by their cell phone. Our team of experienced attorneys can help you pursue a claim that demands all appropriate compensation for your damages.
Ohio’s Laws Regarding Driver Cellphone Use
Various states and public safety entities have long identified texting while driving as a dangerous activity. In fact, over the past decade, many places have acted to outlaw this act. Ohio, and by extension Columbus, is no exception.
Under Ohio Revised Code §4511.204, it is against the law for a person to use an electronic wireless communications device to send, write, or read a text message while operating a vehicle. This law applies to any roadway open to the public and includes cellphones and laptop computers.
There are prominent exceptions to this rule. For instance, a driver can use a cell phone to contact emergency services or for navigational purposes. Furthermore, police officers cannot stop a vehicle on the mere suspicion of texting while driving. Our Columbus attorneys can provide more information about the state’s prohibition of texting behind the wheel.
How Could a Criminal Case Impact a Civil Case?
Under §4511.204, a conviction for texting while driving is a minor misdemeanor. This can result in the payment of a fine not to exceed $150. A conviction in a criminal texting while driving case could be beneficial for a separate civil case. A person injured in a collision with a distracted driver can receive compensation for medical costs, lost earnings, and emotional traumas. However, a claimant can only recover damages in a civil case, not a criminal case.
Even so, it benefits a plaintiff filing a civil claim against a defendant to follow the path of the related criminal case. This is because a conviction in criminal court can be used as evidence of fault for an accident. For instance, if a criminal court convicts a defendant of texting while driving in an incident that involves a collision, that defendant cannot argue that they were not on their phone in a civil claim for damages. In fact, courts can presume a defendant to be at-fault for an accident that results in a criminal conviction using the concept of negligence per se. A Columbus texting while driving car crash attorney can help leverage a criminal conviction into a successful civil claim for compensation.
Speak with a Columbus Texting While Driving Car Accident Attorney
People who text while behind the wheel of a car endanger everyone on the road. This action is so reckless that it is a criminal offense for a person to participate in this activity. If a defendant was using their cellphone and caused an accident, you have the right to demand compensation for your losses.
A Columbus texting while driving car accident lawyer can help you pursue a comprehensive claim for damages. Reach out to our hardworking attorneys today to learn more about Ohio’s texting while driving laws during a free case consultation.