Distracted Driving

Beaumont Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys

Did you suffer serious injuries or was your loved one killed in a motor vehicle accident caused by a distracted driver in the greater Beaumont area? The distracted driving accident attorneys of Portner Bond, PLLC are ready to stand up for you and fight for the compensation you’re owed.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced on September 1, 2017, that texting while driving would be illegal across the state as the result of a new texting-while-driving ban passed during the 85th Texas Legislative Session. TxDOT states that 109,658 traffic crashes in Texas involved distracted driving in 2016, and the accidents caused 455 deaths and 3,087 serious injuries.

While the cell phone prohibition was widely viewed as being a necessary attempt to eliminate a widespread and dangerous occurrence, the truth is that text messaging while driving is only one of many possible distractions. Many other devices within motor vehicles as well as circumstances outside them can be distracting, and a distracted driver immediately becomes more likely to be involved in a crash.

Portner Bond, PLLC will do whatever is needed to help you get justice. Call (409) 838-4444 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

Do I Need A Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer?

You might be confident that the other driver was distracted when you got into an accident with them, but it is likely that they will deny responsibility and could even accuse you of causing the crash. Their insurer will likely support their policyholder’s account of events and will use it to deny you compensation.

You are going to want to have an attorney so you can have the best possible chance at recovering all of the compensation you are entitled to. The first thing a lawyer is going to do is conduct an independent investigation into your accident to get the evidence needed to prove another driver was distracted.

An insurance company for the other driver may try to dissuade you from contacting an attorney, possibly promising you that you will be taken care of. You need to know that you cannot trust any representative you speak with who is working for the insurer because they are actively working to minimize the amount you can recover.

Even when an insurance company seems sympathetic and on your side, they are merely hoping that you will open up and speak freely about your experience in such a way that you will unknowingly admit being careless or reckless that harms your case. You will want to have a lawyer handle all conversations with insurance companies so they can focus on your case and actively work to recover everything you need and deserve.

Why Choose Portner Bond, PLLC To Handle My Case?

Portner Bond, PLLC has over seven decades of combined experience representing clients and getting results for families across Texas.

Texas Super Lawyers recognized Chris Portner as a rising star in Texas Monthly in 2007 and 2008.

Trent Bond is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, a distinction enjoyed by only about 10 percent of attorneys in Texas. Tom Kiehnhoff was Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Texas from 1990 to 2001.

Portner Bond, PLLC prides itself on a record of client satisfaction. We work hard for everyday people and take the time to make ourselves as available as possible to answer any questions you might have.

Our firm handles all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you only pay when you receive a financial award.

Types of Distracted Driving Accident Cases We Handle

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)states that the three main types of distraction include:

  • Visual — Distractions that take your eyes off the road.
  • Manual— Distractions that take your hands off the wheel.
  • Cognitive — Distractions that take your mind off of driving.

Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous types of distractions while driving because it involves all three of these kinds of distractions. Cell phones are far from being the only type of possible distraction while driving.

Other common distractions include:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Smoking
  • Adjusting stereo or climate controls
  • Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • Caring for pets
  • Personal grooming
  • Other passengers

Portner Bond, PLLC has experience handling various kinds of distractions that have caused significant accidents.

What should I do after a distracted driving accident?

If you are involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, take these steps:

  • Get Medical Attention— Regardless of whether you think you were hurt, always make sure you visit a hospital. A medical evaluation is essential to ensure your health and also as a record of treatment for a possible insurance claim.
  • Contact Law Enforcement— Make sure you have a police report completed for your accident. Law enforcement could also possibly ticket the distracted driver.
  • Exchange Insurance Information— Try to avoid arguing with the other driver about the cause of your accident. Focus on getting the necessary information about their insurance policy and driver’s license number.
  • Take Pictures— Use the camera on your cell phone to take as many photographs as you can of everything involved in the scene of your accident. You can never take too many pictures, so you should make sure you cover all areas relating to your crash.
  • Seek Witnesses— Look for any people who saw your accident and, more importantly, that the other driver was distracted. Get the names and phone numbers of these people in case they are needed as witnesses.
  • Call a Lawyer— Try to contact an attorney before you talk to any insurance company. Your initial consultation is always free.

How can distracted driving be proven in court?

Evidence in a distracted driving case can vary depending on the distraction involved. In texting while driving cases, an attorney may be able to subpoena the negligent driver’s phone records. Evidence of cell phone activity during the time of a collision will usually be compelling proof of a distraction. Many other cases are based solely on the testimony of the people involved in an accident. When more people saw a driver being distracted, that can be extremely beneficial to your case. It is even better if one of the people who saw a driver being distracted was a law enforcement officer.

Which states ban texting while driving?

48 states have banned texting while driving. Missouri bans texting while driving for new and/or teen drivers. Montana is the only state that does not have a law regulating the practice. The time spent in answering a text, quick as it may seem, can present huge risks. In the time it typically takes to send a text message, 5 seconds, a car traveling at 55 mph will have driven the length of a football field.  At Portner Bond, PLLC, our attorneys have seen the harm that texting has caused people in Beaumont, and we’re here to help hold negligent drivers accountable.

What kinds of compensation could I be entitled to?

Many distracted driving cases are ultimately resolved through settlements because insurance companies often view them as being cheaper than bearing the cost of a trial and risking a possible judgment. When a case does make it to court, a victim who proves their case by a preponderance of the evidence could be awarded various kinds of compensatory damages although the two most common types are usually economic and noneconomic damages.

Economic damages cover the costs you have incurred or will incur like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.

Noneconomic damages apply more to awards for psychological or emotional harm, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of consortium.

Texas Distracted Driving Accident Statistics

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 95,572 of the 540,561 motor vehicle crashes in Texas in 2018 (18 percent) were caused by distracted driving. These accidents resulted in 394 deaths and 2,340 serious injuries.

TxDOT reported that driver inattention was blamed for 84,835 total accidents, including:

  • 260 fatal crashes
  • 1,608 suspected serious injury crashes
  • 8,168 non-incapacitating injury crashes
  • 16,289 possible injury crashes
  • 3,617 unknown severity crashes.

Distraction in the vehicle was blamed for 12,484 total accidents, including:

  • 61 fatal crashes
  • 319 suspected severe injury crashes
  • 1,421 non-incapacitating injury crashes
  • 2,403 possible injury crashes
  • 7,895 non-injury crashes
  • 385 unknown severity crashes

The personal finance website ValuePenguin reported that Jefferson County had a distracted driving crash rate of 2.64 per 1,000 residents in 2017, which was 119th among 203 counties. The measure was a 3.9 percent decrease from 2016.

Contact a Distracted Driving Accident Attorney in Beaumont

Did a distracted driver cause you harm? Our attorneys are here to stand up for the rights of those who’ve been injured in Beaumont and the surrounding areas of Jefferson County? We can answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (409) 838-4444 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.