We have become attached to our cell phones. Walk into any restaurant, bar, or store and you will see dozens of people focused on their phones. People walking the streets are unaware of their surroundings while they are surfing the internet or texting a friend. When that same behavior takes place behind the wheel of a moving vehicle, the risk of a serious accident increases. A distracted driver can travel the length of a football field in the time it takes to send a short text, slowly swerve into another lane if not focused on the road, or fail to notice a red light and a pedestrian crossing a street.
Our experienced Maryland texting and driving car accident lawyers have the knowledge and commitment to vigorously represent you if you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case consultation.
Maryland Texting and Distracting Driving Laws
Maryland lawmakers understand the dangers presented by distracted drivers, especially if the distraction is texting. It is illegal in Maryland to use a hand-held phone for texting, reading, or talking while driving. Exceptions exist for Bluetooth devices, speakerphone use, and headsets. If a driver is a novice driver under the age of 18 or driving with a learner’s permit, they are prohibited from using hands-free devices as well.
As defined by state law, texting encompasses sending, reading, or composing a text or other electronic message. A driver may be fined for texting even if no other violation is present, but a fine can only be issued for using a hand-held phone if another offense, such as ignoring a stop sign, also occurred.
In 2014, Jake’s Law went into effect in Maryland, imposing harsher penalties when texting and driving results in severe or deadly injuries. If found at fault, a distracted driver now faces up to three years in jail and a fine of $5,000.
The Dangers of Texting While Driving on Maryland Roads
When driving, you will experience several potential distractions, and it is your responsibility to manage your reactions to them. Distractions usually come in three forms. “Visual distractions” include anything that causes you to take your eyes off of the road, such as looking down to tune your radio. Removing your hands from your wheel also creates a “manual distraction.” “Cognitive distractions” occur when your mind is focused elsewhere, such as engaging in a complicated conversation with a passenger.
Texting is especially dangerous because it encompasses all three distractions: visually taking your eyes off the road to look at the phone, using your hands to compose the text, and focusing your mind on the visual conversation. A person who texts while driving puts themselves and others around them at significant risk by being so distracted.
Many drivers believe they have the ability or skill to text and drive safely. However, in the few seconds it takes to send a text, a driver could have traveled the length of a football field without looking up, and statistics show that a texting driver is more likely to cause an accident than an intoxicated one.
Injuries from Accidents Caused by Texting While Driving in Maryland
Car crashes can result in horrific injuries. When a driver is texting and not paying attention to the road conditions, they may not take any actions to mitigate the effects of the accident, such as braking or swerving, the absence of which can lead to increased traumatic harm. Some common injuries associated with accidents caused by distracted driving include laceration and puncture wounds, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, fractures, and whiplash. Several of these injuries could have long-term effects such as paralysis or disabilities related to brain damage.
Suing for Texting While Driving Accidents and Injuries in Maryland
Our seasoned Maryland attorneys have the resources to thoroughly investigate your accident, gathering evidence and documentation to establish the other driver’s negligence. Using police reports, eyewitness testimony, and cellphone records, we will prepare your case and advise you of your legal options. We will also work to hold the responsible party liable for any compensation you deserve, including navigating claims against all the insurance companies involved in the incident.
The financial loss from a catastrophic injury can be significant. Medical costs, expensive physical or occupational therapy, loss of income because your injury made it impossible to work could all lead to an overwhelming financial hardship. Our Maryland attorneys are dedicated to alleviating your economic burden if you were the victim of another driver’s reckless actions.
In personal injury lawsuits, Maryland follows the doctrine of contributory negligence. This is important because if your conduct – in any way – is found to have contributed to the accident, you might not be able to receive compensation from the mostly-at-fault driver. At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, our seasoned personal injury lawyers understand the nuances of Maryland law. We are aware of the defenses a negligent driver will try to use to avoid being held liable for their conduct, and we can work to shut down these defenses and help you get the compensation you need.
Call Our Maryland Texting and Driving Car Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation
Driving poses inherent risks even if every driver is acting cautiously and complying with traffic rules and regulations. However, a driver who sends a text rather than focusing on the road exponentially increases the risk of a crash. Our experienced Maryland texting and driving car accident lawyers will vigorously represent you or a family member if you suffered any harm or damages due to another driver’s negligence behind the wheel. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case consultation.