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Texting & Driving Accidents

Aug. 18, 2021

Distracted driving is among the leading causes of traffic accidents in the United States. According to statistics from the New Jersey Department of Transportation, there were 1,391 total crashes related to cell phone usage statewide in 2019. Using a cell phone or texting while driving creates a huge potential for accidents, injuries, and deaths on New Jersey roads. If you or a family member was injured in an auto accident caused by a driver who was texting while driving, you are entitled to hold the driver liable and seek fair compensation for your injuries.Man texting on a phone while driving, not paying attention to the road

At Maran & Maran PC, we have the experience and resources to help you hold those responsible for your injuries and damages accountable. As a skilled New Jersey personal injury attorney, I will review and investigate the surrounding details of your situation and explore your possible legal options to recover damages. I will fight compassionately to advocate for your legal rights and pursue fair financial compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

My firm is proud to serve clients in Newark and the surrounding areas throughout Northern New Jersey, including Essex County, Warren County, Sussex County, Somerset County, and Passaic County.

Texting and Driving Laws

in New Jersey

Among the causes of distraction-related accidents, texting and driving pose the greatest risks. A driver who is texting while driving puts himself, other passengers, and road users at risk as well. That’s why all drivers in New Jersey are prohibited from texting while driving.

Furthermore, under New Jersey laws, drivers must adhere to the following:

  • Drivers must use hands-free devices if they need to talk on their cell phone behind the wheel.

  • School bus drivers are prohibited from using any cell phones while driving.

  • Drivers below 21 years of age with probationary licenses or learner's permits are prohibited from using any cell phones, hands-free or hand-held devices while driving.

Exceptions To The Law

However, under the New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 39:4-97.3(1b), the operator of a motor vehicle may use a hand-held wireless telephone while driving if they:

  • Have reasons to fear for their life or safety.

  • Believe that a criminal act may be perpetrated against them or another person.

  • Are reporting a fire incident, a traffic accident, a serious road hazard, or another reckless driver to the appropriate authorities.

Possible Fines and Punishment

Causing an accident while texting and driving is a serious offense. If convicted, possible penalties include:

  • First Offense: A fine of between $200 and $400

  • Second Offense: A fine of between $400 and $600

  • Third or Subsequent Offenses: A fine of between $600 and $800. Also, the driver may receive three license points and a possible 90-day license suspension.

  • Severe Injuries: If the accident resulted in serious injuries to another person, the driver may be facing 6 to 18 months in county jail, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

  • Death: If the victim was killed in the accident, the driver may be prosecuted for vehicular homicide and could be facing between 5 and 10 years in jail and up to $150,000 in fines.

What to Do If You Were Hit By a Driver Who Was Texting

If you were hit by a driver who was texting while driving, here's what to do:

  • Remain calm and get to safety.

  • Call 911 and get immediate medical treatment for your injuries.

  • Report the distracted driving accident to the police.

  • Quickly take photos of the vehicle's license plate, model, make, and color.

  • Collect physical evidence and obtain a copy of the police report, written statements, eye-witness testimonies, and accident scene photos.

  • Document all of your medical treatments, medical costs, and doctor's appointments.

  • Inform your insurance provider about the incident.

  • Hire a knowledgeable attorney to help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance carrier or file a personal injury lawsuit.

How might you prove the other driver was texting? Nearby cameras, witness statements and testimonies, and a subpoena on the driver’s phone records may all indicate the driver was at fault.

Filing A Personal Injury Claim

New Jersey is a "no-fault" car insurance state. This means that each party's insurance coverage (PIP coverage) will pay for their own medical expenses after a traffic accident, up to the coverage limits, irrespective of who was responsible for the accident. However, the accident victims may sue the responsible party under the "limited right to sue" if the victim suffered any of the following from the accident:

  • Substantial disfigurement

  • Loss of a body part

  • Significant scarring

  • A displaced fracture

  • Loss of a fetus

  • Permanent injury

  • Death

Personal Injury Law Experience

You Can Trust

Being involved in a distraction-related accident can be emotional and overwhelming. Such an accident can cause devastating, long-lasting effects on your physical, financial, and mental well-being. Thankfully, you shouldn't have to suffer the pain and financial liability all by yourself. It is important that you retain an experienced personal injury attorney to help protect your rights and seek rightful compensation for your injuries.

Dedicated Legal Advocacy

At Maran & Maran PC, I'm dedicated to providing experienced legal guidance and compassionate representation to distraction-related accidents victims and their loved ones. As your legal counsel, I can:

  • Review all the facts of your personal situation and carry out an in-depth, private investigation

  • Gather relevant information, necessary pieces of evidence, and required documentation

  • Help prove fault and establish liability

  • Determine the full extent of your injuries and other losses

  • Help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance companies

  • File additional legal action where required.

Contact my firm – Maran & Maran PC – today to schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney. I will fight compassionately to protect your best interests and offer you the detailed legal counsel, support, and reliable representation you need in your texting and driving lawsuit. My firm proudly serves clients in Newark and the surrounding areas throughout Northern New Jersey, including Essex County, Sussex County, Passaic County, and Warren County. Call me today to get started.