Hartford Texting Accident Lawyer

A driver behind the wheel of her car while distracted by a message on her phone.Texting while driving is almost universally illegal, with 49 states, as well as Washington D.C., prohibiting the act for all drivers. A majority of states – 34 in total – ban drivers from using handheld phones and/or other devices while driving.

Despite this, cases of distracted driving accidents – primarily associated with cell phone use – are on the rise. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finds that handheld electronic device use while driving has increased from 1.5% of drivers in 2012 to 3.4% as recently as 2021.

This may seem like a small number, but when you consider it as a 127% increase over the course of a decade, the statistics start to be more frightening.

Texting accidents can take serious physical tolls on victims. It’s common for parties involved to suffer serious injuries, some of which can have long-lasting consequences that require maintenance.

This can mean enormous medical bills, not to mention the pain and suffering one goes through for sustaining an injury in the first place. Even worse, passengers, pedestrians, and even other drivers risk losing their lives just because an irresponsible automobile operator decided to take their eyes off the road to send a text message.

When this kind of tragedy happens to you in Hartford, Connecticut, call Bert McDowell Injury Law for a Hartford texting accident lawyer.

What Advantages Does a Hartford Texting Accident Attorney Provide?

When you or a loved one suffers injury from a negligent party’s act of texting and driving, working with a professional Hartford texting accident attorney can offer you the path you need to regain control of your finances and your life. These legal experts provide advantages in personal injury cases that you might not have if you tried to pursue compensation on your own.

  • Expertise in Personal Injury Law: Texting accident cases are, at the heart of it all, specialized personal injury cases. A good texting accident attorney with a mastery of personal injury law will serve as your guide throughout the claims process, ensuring you are never lost or in the dark about what is happening.
  • Negotiation and Settlement Skills: Your attorney’s negotiation skills are at your disposal when you hire them for a texting accident case. The best lawyers know the different strategies insurance providers might turn to in order to minimize your claim and how to counter them in order to get you fair compensation.
  • Trial Preparation and Representation: Despite the fact that most texting accident cases settle outside of court, there is always the chance that the at-fault party will refuse to cooperate, and the case may proceed to trial. When this happens, your attorney will prepare witnesses, compile the necessary evidence, and build the right legal arguments that will maximize your odds of success.
  • Emotional Support and Guidance: Texting accidents can be just as strenuous emotionally as they are physically. Not only can an attorney ease your anxieties by taking on the burden of your claim for you, but they can also provide you with much-needed certainty and clarity throughout the process, allowing you to focus on recovery.
  • Access to Resources: Lawyers have access to resources most people do not. They can call on experts such as accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and financial advisors, all of whom can provide evidence to strengthen your claim.

Of course, not every attorney has the same level of skill; when you look for legal representation for your texting accident case, it’s vital to find someone with a proven track record. Placing your case in the hands of the right attorney means you can benefit from the peace of mind of knowing your interests are placed first.

Understanding Connecticut’s Distracted Driving Law

The state of Connecticut implements strict regulations against using mobile devices while on the road. Drivers are not allowed to use cell phones, with certain exceptions, as outlined in CT Gen Stat § 14-296aa.

Laws are even stricter on underage drivers, who are not allowed to operate a mobile device at all, even a hands-free one, at any time while behind the wheel. A full breakdown of when one may use an electronic device while behind the wheel of a vehicle follows.

Key Points of the Distracted Driving Law

According to state law, you may use a mobile device while driving when:

  • You need to perform emergency communication: The most common reason to legally use a phone while operating a motor vehicle is to contact energy services. Provided you have a reason to do so, you may call or text response operators, hospitals, doctors, health clinics, ambulances, the fire department, or the police.
  • You are performing official duty that requires your phone: This applies if you are a peace officer, firefighter, ambulance driver, or member of the armed forces operating a military vehicle. This is because Connecticut law recognizes the need for rapid communication as part of the responsibilities of these jobs.
  • You have an amateur radio station license issued by the Federal Communication Commission: While not technically allowed to use phones, amateur radio station licensees are allowed to utilize handheld radios for emergency purposes.
  • You are using a hands-free mobile phone: Hands-free devices allow drivers to call and send messages without having to hold an object up to the ear. Bluetooth technology or other wireless connections allow drivers with these items to keep both hands on the wheel, mitigating some level of safety risk provided the technology is used responsibly.
  • You are a school bus operator communicating with school officials or emergency services: School bus drivers are implied to need some form of real-time communication in order to do their duty, and so, are allowed to use phones in a manner similar to two-way radios in addition to the ability to other exemptions listed.

In addition to these exemptions, the law also prohibits any action that interferes with driving. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Eating and Drinking: Eating and drinking during a drive often means you only have one hand on the steering wheel, and even if you didn’t, it also means you are periodically putting an object in your field of view. And, of course, the type of food and drink you have can affect how dangerous this activity is, with alcohol being the most dangerous.
  • Grooming: Some drivers take mirror use too far, taking the time to fix their hair or apply makeup, especially in the middle of heavy traffic, when they think they can safely do so. This is a dangerous misconception that can lead to accidents just as easily as using a phone.
  • Adjusting Controls: While you may have to interact with your instrument panel during a drive, spending too much time fiddling with settings can take your eyes off the road long enough to cause an accident. In order to avoid having to reach for instruments and controls while driving, set your air conditioning, radio, and GPS before leaving the driveway.
  • Talking to Passengers: Intense and distracting conversations with passengers can divert attention away from the road even if the driver doesn’t turn his head to face them. This divided focus is especially dangerous when there are multiple passengers – particularly children – in the car.

Penalties for Violating the Distracted Driving Law

The Distracted Driving Law issues escalating penalties for repeated violations.

The first time that a person is caught texting while driving, they will be fined two hundred dollars. This increases to three hundred seventy-five dollars for a second offense and then to six hundred twenty-five dollars for a third or subsequent violation.

Additionally, other penalties are imposed when texting and driving leads to injury or death. If an accident leads to death of one or more people, a driver can face a charge of manslaughter in the first degree, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000.

If an accident caused by texting and driving leads to injury, the driver can be charged with reckless endangerment, which, depending on the class, can mean up to a year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine. The charge may also entail probation and the suspension of driving privileges.

Choose Bert McDowell Injury Law as Your Hartford Texting Accident Law Firm

Don’t walk away from the negotiating table with less than you deserve; work with Bert McDowell Injury Law and make the most of your texting accident claim. Our team of legal experts provides the city of Hartford with the services they need in order to recover after the tragedy of an accident.

We at Bert McDowell Injury Law are aggressive and relentless in our fight to protect the injured of the Hartford community. We developed our “Three Pillars” approach of client communication, client attention, and client success to give our clients complete support throughout the entirety of a claim.

Through client communication, we empower our clients with knowledge and understanding. We actively listen to your concerns and foster a relationship based on open channels that involve you in every relevant discussion and decision to be made.

Through client attention, we offer personalized representation, building a unique approach to fit your case and your situation. We treat you with respect and compassion and go the extra mile to give you comfort and consideration.

We find client success by getting swift resolutions and exceeding expectations. We secure the highest possible compensation, empowering clients to rebuild after tragedy.

Don’t settle for less. Call Bert McDowell Injury Law today at (203) 590-9169