How Many Points Is Texting While Driving?
In Texas, traffic convictions are often cause for points being added to a person’s license. As these points rack up, the offender faces fines and potential increases in their insurance costs, as they are deemed an unsafe driver and a liability. Even with the new emphasis placed on discouraging texting and driving, as seen in 2017’s passage of House Bill 62, Texas has opted not to issue points for texting while driving. However, there are other penalties that are meted out to offenders, and the absence of points is no reason to start using your cell phone while you drive.
Monetary Penalties for Texting and Driving
The main punishment for being caught texting while driving is a fine. For first-time offenders, this fine will range from $25 to $99. If you get caught multiple times, though, the fine can increase all the way up to $200. Most of us do not have an extra $200 just lying around, so the fine is judged to be a sufficient deterrent.
When Texting and Driving Causes an Accident
Since the reason for discouraging texting and driving is ostensibly its propensity to increase the likelihood of a car wreck, there are additional penalties that can be handed down to offenders if they do cause a crash. Specifically, car accidents that result in severe or fatal injuries may result in a fine of up to $4,000 for the texting driver, as well as up to one year of jail time. These are certainly outcomes that most people would want to avoid.
When the Injured Person Files a Civil Case
Fines are handed out by the government, but an injured person also has the right to pursue compensation from the person who caused their accident. In these cases, a driver whose texting led to a wreck can be made to pay for the injured person’s damages. Just like in other car accident claims, the injured person can pursue compensation for economic harms like medical bills and lost wages as well as non-economic damages like physical pain and negative mental repercussions.
Another form of compensation exists in rare cases that involve especially negligent or egregious actions. A common example used of this situation is drunk driving, but texting and driving is starting to be a more common occurrence as well. These actions are considered to put the public at a heightened risk and may result in exemplary damages. Even if you avoid the $4,000 fine or the year of jail time, you may be ordered to pay the higher of the following two amounts to the injured party.
- Two times their economic damages, plus up to $750,000 of their non-economic damages.
Evidence of Texting While Driving
If you are injured in a texting while driving car accident, a law firm like Pintas & Mullins can work on your case to ensure the best possible outcome. One of the first issues we can tackle is finding evidence of the opposing driver’s texting. This is important because Texas uses proportionate responsibility to determine fault and compensation in personal injury claims.
Proportionate Responsibility and Texting
Fault is the legal term for the amount of blame placed on a person for an event like a car accident. A driver texting on their cell phone, for instance, is one way to be at-fault for a crash. Others include speeding, running a red light, failing to yield, etc. In Texas, you are allowed to recover compensation from the other driver as long as you do not have more than 50% of the fault for an accident. Any fault that is attributed to you will be used to reduce your total compensation.
For instance, let’s say the court decides that you were 25% responsible for a wreck that left you injured. In that situation, they would reduce your total compensation package by 25% as well. If your damages total $100,000, that’s a loss of $25,000!
To help reduce your share of the blame and increase the fault of the other driver, Pintas & Mullins can find and preserve evidence like the following.
- Cell phone records
- Eyewitness testimony
- Expert witness testimony
- Photos of the accident scene
- Footage from nearby surveillance or traffic cameras
Get A FREE Consultation Today
We know that the time after a significant car accident injury can be confusing and stressful, with you and your family having to deal with a difficult recovery process, missed days from work, and other expenses. To help you get the justice you need without adding to your stress, we provide a FREE consultation to discuss your claim and do not collect a fee unless we win you the compensation you deserve.
Schedule an appointment with our skilled Dallas texting and driving car accident attorneys today by filling out the form on our contact page or by calling 214-305-8277.