If you have been injured in a car accident and suspect the other driver was texting, you could pursue a legal claim for damages. Texting while driving is illegal in Virginia, and you may have a strong case against the other motorist.

It is essential to hire a qualified car wreck attorney to handle these types of cases because proving liability in a trial can be challenging. Get in touch with a lawyer at The Warren Firm to discuss how we deal with texting while driving car accidents in Charlottesville.

Charlottesville Law Prohibits Texting While Driving

According to Virginia Code §46.2-1078.1, texting while driving is against the law. It is illegal to read, write, or send text messages or emails while driving. If you are in a work zone, simply holding a hand-held electronic device while driving is illegal. Even with these laws, the problem of distracted driving persists.

What Should Someone Do if the Other Driver Was Using a Phone?

If you know or suspect that a driver was texting at the time of the crash, there are several legal steps you could take with the help of an attorney. Establishing fault is critical in vehicle collision cases. Thus, any information about how the other driver caused the wreck could be useful in your legal claim.

While you do not need to confront the other motorists, you should inform local law enforcement of your suspicions. Additionally, it is crucial to tell a lawyer everything you remember. A legal professional could lead an investigation to help you establish the negligence of the other person. For example, an attorney could issue a subpoena for the defendant’s cell phone records to determine if he or she was texting at the time of the auto wreck.

New Law in Effect January 2021

In an attempt to reduce distracted driving accidents in Charlottesville and throughout Virginia, state legislators have passed a law on distracted driving that will go into effect on January 1, 2021. This law will ban the use of any hand-held devices while operating a motor vehicle. Exceptions to this law include first responders using hand-held devices to perform their duties and motorists using phones to report emergencies.

How Does Contributory Negligence Impact Car Accident Cases?

Virginia follows the legal theory of contributory negligence. This doctrine limits the recovery of damages for plaintiffs who are partially responsible for their injuries. Even if the other driver was texting, you are not automatically entitled to compensation. For example, if the injured party was speeding when the distracted driver struck him or her, the court may deem the plaintiff partially liable.

Immediately after the accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may attempt to contact you for a statement. However, it is important to note that anything you say to them can be used to claim contributory negligence. To avoid a contributory negligence judgment, it is best to retain a lawyer who regularly handles texting and driving auto wreck cases.

A Charlottesville Car Accident Attorney Can Help

If you attempt to take on your car accident case alone, any small error could prevent you from recovering damages. It is recommended that you seek legal help from an attorney familiar with texting while driving accidents in Charlottesville. Call our office today to discuss your potential case.