Recently, an injured driver sued the other party for causing the accident allegedly due to texting while driving. Ramon Renteria was traveling north on State Highway 6 near Township Lane in Missouri City when he was allegedly rear ended by a vehicle owned by Even Gardner. Renteria claims that Gardner was sending and receiving texts on his cell phone when the accident occurred. As a result of the accident, Renteria allegedly suffered personal injuries, medical bills, and damage to his vehicle. He seeks monetary relief, including penalties, expenses, and attorney’s fees.
Lawsuits like the one filed by Renteria have come against a backdrop of state officials trying to crack down on texting while driving. Currently Texas is one of just nine states that does not ban texting for all drivers. While a bipartisan bill that banned texting reached Governor Rick Perry’s desk, he vetoed the bill due to an expressed belief that it was overreach. Instead, this state has bans targeting select groups: bus drivers, novice drivers, and drivers in school zones. However, there are plans to introduce another bill that bans texting, and several cities have already done so, including Austin, El Paso, and San Antonio.
Other cities, like Houston, and counties like Rusk County, have found some success through awareness campaigns. While in 2013, Rusk County experienced the deaths of nearly 30 people in roadside accidents, so far there have been no fatal accidents in 2014. That is due in part to an increased awareness campaign by organizations like Pay Attention East Texas (PAET), which is dedicated to promoting safe driving through public education.
Meanwhile, a recent poll of voters found that 88% favored a ban on texting while driving. High school students in Montgomery and Harris Counties are creating anti-texting while driving videos. Regardless of whether an official law passes, there may be hope that accidents due to inattentive driving will decrease.
Like Ramon Renteria, those who get into a car accident have the option of filing a lawsuit against the party deemed responsible. The injured party might argue that there is a general duty that all drivers have to all other drivers and passengers to use reasonable care while driving; the other driver breached that duty by failing to use reasonable care, whether through texting, through driving while intoxicated, or other means; the breach was the direct or indirect cause of the accident that injured the injured party; and as a result of the injury, the injured party suffered damage, usually both physical and property damage. Those who file successful lawsuits usually request a monetary amount for specific expenses like medical bills, as well as for less definite things like pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to an injury in a car accident caused by another driver, you may be entitled to compensation, including medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. The experienced San Antonio personal injury attorneys at Carabin Shaw may be able to help. Call our office for more information at 1-800-862-1260.
Texas Legislators Seeking Statewide Ban on Texting While Driving