No matter what type of vehicle they are operating, everyone who drives on public Pennsylvania roads has the same “duty of care” that requires them to act safely behind the wheel. Unfortunately, despite being illegal under state law, some drivers still choose to focus on their phones or some other electronic device instead of what is ahead of or around them.
Texting-while-driving car accidents in Philadelphia are some of the most dangerous and some of the most frustrating accidents that happen on the streets and highways of the Commonwealth. If you were recently injured in a wreck caused by a texting driver, a seasoned auto accident attorney can help you pursue fair financial compensation for all your crash-related losses.
What Does State Law Say About Texting Behind the Wheel?
Pennsylvania has prohibited driving from texting behind the wheel since 2012, but the law as written has received some significant updates since then. Currently, Pennsylvania law outlaws reading, writing, or sending text messages with any “Interactive Wireless Communication Device” of any shape or size while driving. The state legislature also recently expanded this law to prohibit the use of any handheld electronic device behind the wheel for any reason, with limited exceptions made only for one-touch operations on phones mounted to a dashboard or windshield.
In terms of criminal sanctions, texting while driving is a fairly minor offense, as it carries only a $50 fine—plus some court costs and other related fees—and will not result in any “points” being imposed against a non-commercial driver’s license. In terms of civil liability, though, texting while driving is a textbook example of “negligence” since it is an illegal and irresponsible act that can easily lead to a collision. As a result, anyone who causes a car crash in Philadelphia because they were texting behind the wheel should be responsible for compensating injured individuals.
Proving Someone Else Was Using Their Phone While Driving
Ideally, police officers who respond to the scene of a serious traffic accident caused by a texting driver will identify what happened and cite the at-fault driver for texting while driving. In these circumstances, proving fault for the wreck in front of a civil court or insurance adjuster may be as simple as referencing the police report and showing that the driver received a traffic citation.
In other situations, it may fall to an individual crash survivor to build a case proving that someone else involved in their wreck caused it by texting behind the wheel. Skilled legal counsel in Philadelphia can provide irreplaceable help with collecting evidence such as witness testimony, photos of the crash scene and vehicle damage, surveillance/dashboard camera footage, and even subpoenaed cell phone records to build the strongest possible claim after a texting-while-driving auto accident.
A Philadelphia Attorney Can Help With a Texting-While-Driving Car Accident Lawsuit
Every time a texting driver looks away from the road and down at their phone screen, they put themselves and everyone else on the road around them at risk. As you may already have discovered, though, knowing someone else is to blame for a crash and being able to prove fault in court are two very different things.
If you need help recovering compensation following a texting-while-driving car accident in Philadelphia, our tenacious attorneys are here for you. Call our firm today to schedule an initial consultation.