Of all the reasons that car crashes happen, distracted driving is one of the most common. Despite Michigan passing a law prohibiting drivers from being on their phones while behind the wheel, accidents still result from a motorist texting while behind the wheel. If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash as the result of another driver’s negligent behavior, you have legal rights to pursue compensation.
However, navigating the legal system alone can prove to be difficult, especially as a person recovers from their injuries. An experienced lawyer who is familiar with claims stemming from Michigan texting while driving car accidents could help. At Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C., a dedicated legal professional could explain your rights, investigate the circumstances of your crash, and work tirelessly to determine driver negligence.
Michigan Law Prohibits Texting While Driving
Under Michigan law, drivers—including bus, truck, and motorcyclists—are prohibited from phone use while operating their vehicle. This anti-texting law is outlined under Michigan Vehicle Code § 257.602.b. The only exceptions that are made for this law is if a person is reporting a criminal act, accident, medical emergency, or other serious hazards, as well as if they fear someone’s life is in jeopardy, or are carrying out official duties as a police officer, law enforcement official, member of a paid or volunteer fire department, or emergency vehicle operator.
Because Michigan’s anti-texting law is considered to be a “primary law,” an officer can pull a person over for this offense without having to witness any other violation. Despite this law, however, an injured motorist must still be able to prove that a driver was using their phone when a crash occurred. Because of this, hiring a knowledgeable lawyer who has experience with Michigan texting while driving car accident claims might help a claimant in proving that another driver was negligent.
Using a cell phone while driving creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. In 2017 alone, 3,166 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The bar chart below shows the total number of crashes due to cell phone use from 2013-2017 in the state of Michigan. From 2013-2017, the annual increase in car crashes relating to cell phones was 35% per year, mostly due to the large jumps in crashes in 2016 and 2017.
- 2013: 681
- 2014: 662
- 2015: 749
- 2016: 1,888
- 2017: 3,065
Rights to Compensation After Being Injured by a Texting Driver
Anyone injured in a car accident due to a driver using their phone while driving has a right to pursue both a claim for personal injuries, as well as for no-fault insurance benefits. A no-fault insurance claim may cover some or all of a person’s medical expenses, lost wages, and other benefits. A claim can also be made for pain and suffering losses, also known as non-economic damages. This might include mental anguish, fright and shock, loss of enjoyment of life, and other associated damages.
However, proving the validity of these claims to the insurance company or to a jury often requires the knowledge and skill of a Michigan texting while driving car accident attorney. For example, there are certain legal methods for presenting these non-financial, “invisible” damages that might help to make them clear and calculable for a claim.
A Michigan Texting While Driving Attorney Could Help
If you were injured in a car crash because another motorist was on their phone, you should not have to shoulder the resulting financial, physical, and professional losses alone. By working with an attorney on a texting while driving car accident claim in Michigan, you could have a legal professional guide you through the claims process to receive compensation and hold the negligent driver responsible.
Because of time limits on filing claims, as well as the chance for evidence and other information to fade with time, reaching out to a seasoned attorney at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. as soon as possible may prove to be beneficial. Call today to get started on a claim.
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