Texting and Driving Maryland Accident Lawyer
Over the last 15 years, humans have been compared to cyborgs the way we are attached to our phones. By now in 2023, we all recognize that texting and driving is wrong, dangerous, and selfish. But unfortunately, our phones are designed to keep us coming back for more. And not everyone is able to resist that urge, even when operating a motor vehicle. Our texting and driving Maryland accident lawyers have been handling cases involving texting and driving since phones first became cellular. And unfortunately, while awareness of the perils of texting and driving has increased, the rate of accidents involving phones has not.
In 2021, 3,522 people were killed by “distracted driving”. This is an increase from the number in 2020, which was 3,142. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention from driving. Most common examples include talking or texting on your phone. But it can also include eating and drinking, talking to people in the car, interacting with the infotainment system in your car, or anything else which could conceivably distract you while driving safely. Of course, the first line of defense against texting and driving in Maryland is to educate family and friends. If you are a parent, you should set a good example for your children. If you see a friend texting and driving, do not be afraid to condemn them. Contact a texting and driving Maryland accident lawyer today.
Texting and Driving Maryland Accident Lawyer: The Law
In 2010, then Governor O’Malley signed into law a bill which prohibits all driver is in Maryland from using hand-held cell phones while operating a motor vehicle on a street or highway. Drivers under 18 already were already prohibited from using cell phones at all while driving. For violating this law, there are criminal penalties associated. When the law was enacted, the fine for a first offense was $40 and subsequent offenses are $100. A violator may also receive a point on his or her driving record. For more information, contact a texting and driving Maryland accident lawyer.
The criminal consequences are detailed above as it is described in the law. Additionally, there are civil consequences related to a texting and driving accident in Maryland. Our texting and driving Maryland accident lawyers have seen nearly every possible scenario over the last 15 years since texting has become more prevalent. Most obviously, the civil consequences stem from when it leads to a car accident. If you are texting while driving, you are less able to focus on the road. Even if you think you can manage both, your attention on the road is not 100%. As a result, you are less ready to react to hazards and sudden actions by other drivers, pedestrians, and bikers.
But the consequences of texting and driving do not stop with you. Unfortunately, you can ruin the lives of other people as well. As a driver on the road, you owe a duty to behave prudently and safely towards everyone else on the road. If you breach that duty of care, you are exposing yourself to a negligence lawsuit which awards the plaintiff compensatory damages. But if you are texting and driving, you may expose yourself to punitive damages in addition to the compensatory damages normally associated with a negligence claim. If you or someone you know is in such an accident, contact a texting and driving Maryland accident lawyer today.
Punitive damages are a multiple of the compensatory damages. The Supreme Court has ruled that no plaintiff should obtain punitive damages in excess of up to nine times as much as were the compensatory damages. Of course, there are cases noting exceptions. To show how this looks in practice, if you successfully litigate a negligence claim and obtain $100,000 in compensatory damages, you may be entitled to an additional $900,000 in punitive damages. Of course, proving that you are entitled to punitive damages is an additional bar to overcome. It requires a competent, veteran texting and driving Maryland accident lawyer to assist you.
Contact a Texting and Driving Maryland Accident Lawyer
If you are a victim in a texting and driving accident in Maryland, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Texting and driving is an egregious act, and juries tend to award victims in these accidents. Call today to discuss your case in more detail. Our consultations are always free.