If you were injured in a car accident because someone else was texting while driving, call The Cagle Law Firm today. In many places, using an electronic device while behind the wheel is illegal, whether by state law or a local ordinance. Whether it is illegal or not, it is certainly careless. When another driver pays more attention to their phone than the road, they put everyone at risk. This is even more evident when they cause an accident resulting in your, your friends, or family members getting hurt.
At The Cagle Law Firm, our St. Louis car accident lawyers understand you might hesitate before calling an attorney after a car accident. You assume an insurance company will take care of everything. Unfortunately, the truth is that an insurer may not look out for your best interests and may not treat you fairly. By having a lawyer by your side, you improve your chances of obtaining a fair outcome that realistically meets your needs.
To discuss how to obtain compensation after a texting-while-driving accident, use our online contact form or call (314) 276-1681 to schedule a free consultation.
Missouri Texting While Driving Laws
Missouri does not have an outright ban on hand-held devices or cell phones while driving through the state legislature, however, many municipalities have enacted laws making texting while driving illegal. Under the Missouri Vehicle Code Section 304.820, no one 21 years of age or younger operating a vehicle in the state may send, read, or write a text message or electronic message by means of a hand-held electronic wireless communications device. If you are 21 years old or younger, you may not type out, send, or read text messages, emails, or mobile apps messages and notifications while driving.
The law also goes on to ban all people operating commercial motor vehicles from using any hand-held mobile phone or sending, reading, or writing any text or electronic messages.
Texting while driving is a primary offense in Missouri. Meaning that a police officer can pull someone over for being on their phone without any other traffic violation occurring. It is considered a moving violation and is an infraction, which can result in fines and license points.
Illinois Texting While Driving Laws
Illinois bans using hand-held phones and texting while driving, no matter your age or whether you are driving for personal or commercial reasons. Under 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2(b), it is illegal for any person to operate a motor vehicle while using an electronic communication device. However, if you are an adult driver with your full license in Illinois, you may use a handless phone to make and receive calls and messages while you drive. You cannot do this if you are 19 years old or younger, have your learner’s permit while younger than 19 years, or if you are a school bus driver. There is a full cell-phone ban, handheld or otherwise, for these types of drivers.
Like in Missouri, this is a primary offense. An officer does not need any other reason to stop and pull someone over for cellphone use. A first offense is an infraction. A second or subsequent offense is considered a moving violation, which can lead to additional penalties beyond a fine.
Illinois’ law goes further. Under 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2(b-5), a driver commits a Class A misdemeanor if they violate the texting while driving law and cause an accident that results in great bodily harm. The offense is a Class 4 felony if the driver’s cell phone use causes a deadly crash.
Car Accident Compensation
After being injured in a car accident in which the other driver was negligent, you should speak with an attorney about the value of your claim. You may have the right to obtain compensation for your:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical limitations
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Punitive damages (when applicable)
Contact us at The Cagle Law Firm today to discuss the potential value of your claim.
Texting While Driving Accident Claims & Legal Process
If you were injured because another person was texting or on their phone, while driving, contact a car accident lawyer at The Cagle Law Firm right away. We will begin an independent investigation of the crash right away. Through this investigation, we will determine fault and gather the evidence necessary to establish liability. Evidence that the other driver was on their phone at the time can be used to prove they were negligent. This evidence would be particularly strong if the other driver was using their phone in violation of Illinois or Missouri law.
Following an investigation and determination of liability, we will demand compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. We may then move into negotiations for a fair settlement. Whether we can come to an agreement with the insurer depends on a number of factors, including the value of your damages, the at-fault driver’s policy limit, and whether the insurer treats you fairly.
Whether or not we consider a settlement, we may need to file a personal injury lawsuit in state or federal court. This is often necessary for us to be able to engage in the discovery process, continue our independent investigation, and review potential evidence. During the legal process, we may also obtain expert witnesses to support your case. If we cannot obtain an appropriate settlement offer, we will fight hard for your right to compensation in court.
Fatal Texting-While-Driving Accidents
Distracted driving accidents can be catastrophic and deadly. If you lost a loved one in a fatal crash caused by a driver on their phone, contact a car accident attorney right away. You and your family may have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim, through which you can seek compensation for:
- Funeral and burial expense
- Loss of financial contributions
- Loss of care and support
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of inheritance that you would have received
Comparative Fault in Car Accidents
Just because the other driver was texting while driving does not mean they or their insurer will accept full responsibility for the accident right away. The other driver may claim that your actions contributed to the accident and that the crash was your fault too. In this situation, Illinois and Missouri’s comparative fault laws become important. In both states, you can be prohibited from receiving any financial recovery after a crash if a court determines you are more than 50 percent at fault. If a court finds you are somewhat responsible for the accident, yet less than 50 percent at fault, you will receive compensation. However, it will be reduced by your percentage of responsibility.
A Skilled St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
You probably have a lot of questions after being in an accident. You might be sure what happened, yet have a suspicion that the other driver was on their phone or texting. If you have any inkling that texting while driving is the reason for the crash, call us at The Cagle Law Firm right away. We will thoroughly investigate and review your case, including searching for evidence that the other driver was on their phone. If we can show they were texting while driving or were in some other way violating Illinois or Missouri law, then we will fight hard for you to receive the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.
Contact The Cagle Law Firm today at (314) 276-1681 or use our online form to schedule a free consultation of your case.