Texting and Driving Truck Accidents in Palm Springs

It is illegal to text and drive in almost every state in the United States. Only two states permit the behavior, and California is not one of them. However, even in the states where it is legal, truckers cannot text and drive. Federal regulations prohibit drivers who require a commercial driver’s license (CDL) from texting while driving. The first offense leads to a fine, a second one can lead to a 60-day disqualification period, and a third offense can lead to 120 days of disqualification in addition to fines.

Motor carriers are also responsible for ensuring that their drivers do not have texting violations. Motor carriers cannot require their drivers to violate regulations and are subject to much higher penalties than drivers. The federal government takes these penalties seriously because texting while driving can increase the risk of wrecking up to six times more than usual. Given that truck wrecks so often lead to severe injuries or fatalities, these regulations make sense. Sadly, truckers still regularly violate them.

If you were injured in one of the texting and driving truck accidents in Palm Springs, a dedicated truck crash lawyer could help you seek compensation for your injuries.

The Dangers of Texting While Driving

Any distracted driving increases the risk of an accident and of injuries in that accident. Distraction works two ways. First, it can decrease reaction time, making it more likely that the trucker will hit someone. Second, reducing reaction time also means that the truck is probably going faster at the time of the collision, making injuries more likely.

Texting is probably the worst variety of distracted driving because it combines all three ways to be distracted — visually, manually, and cognitively. A visual distraction means a person’s eyes are not on the road. When a person is texting, their eyes are on the screen. Reading a text can take 5 seconds or longer, which can be a long time, especially if the trucker is driving at high speeds. A manual distraction means that one or both hands are not on the wheel. While people might check texts with one hand, they may even use both hands to send a text. Finally, texts are a cognitive distraction—if someone is thinking about a text conversation, they are not thinking about what is happening on the road.

Fortunately, texting while driving may be one of the most accessible types of distracted driving to prove. A Palm Springs attorney could subpoena cell phone records from the trucker and use that information to demonstrate whether the trucker was texting at the time of the crash.

The Role of Comparative Negligence

California is a pure comparative negligence state. So, even if a person shares responsibility for an accident, they can still recover from their injuries. The court will simply reduce any damage awards to reflect the defendant’s proportion of the responsibility.

However, there is an exception that may make some people ineligible for certain damages. The state requires drivers to carry insurance on their vehicles. Under California’s Proposition 213The Personal Responsibility Act, and California Civil Code § 3333.3, failure to do so can make a person ineligible to recover for non-economic damages. Economic damages reflect financial losses like lost wages, medical bills, and loss of earning capacity, while on-economic damages are for non-financial losses like pain and suffering. A texting and driving accident lawyer in Palm Springs could explain whether these laws apply to a specific case and whether any exceptions exist.

A Palm Springs Attorney Could Help You Seek Justice After Texting and Driving Truck Crashes

When a trucker is texting and causes a wreck, the physical and emotional damages can be severe. You may not be able to physically recover quickly, leading to mounting medical bills and time away from work. It can be financially overwhelming for you and your family.

It can also be emotionally overwhelming. The aftermath of an accident can be painful and traumatic and change the entire dynamic of your family. Those emotional challenges can make decision-making difficult. Fortunately, help is available after you have been injured in a texting and driving truck accident in Palm Springs. Contact us to find out more.

Walter Clark Legal Group

Walter Clark Legal Group
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