When operating a motor vehicle, the distractions posed by digital communication and technology may have catastrophic consequences. As a form of distracted driving, texting while driving may pose lethal risks. Although texting while operating a moving vehicle is prohibited in the state of Illinois, it remains a common cause of accidents.
As any Oak Lawn texting while driving car accident lawyer may know, it could take only a few seconds of distraction to cause serious or even fatal injuries. If you suffered injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, consider contacting a capable injury attorney for a case evaluation and a determination of whether you may be entitled to financial recovery.
The Role of Negligence in Texting While Driving Accidents
In the context of civil law, negligent drivers are people who fail to operate their vehicles as a reasonable person would under similar circumstances. Proving negligence after a collision may require showing a breached duty of care that directly caused injuries.
Under 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2, motorists are forbidden from texting or using a cell phone that is not in hands-free mode while driving. When a person suffers injuries in a crash caused by a driver distracted by their cell phone, the victim may hold the other driver liable for damages.
In some cases, individuals who have been in car accidents caused by another party’s texting and driving may be able to receive additional compensation in the form of punitive damages. These damages are meant to deter certain behavior and discipline the negligent driver for careless and wantonly dangerous conduct.
Unlike compensatory damages, injured plaintiffs are only eligible to receive punitive damages under certain circumstances. A plaintiff seeking punitive damages may be required to obtain the approval of the court in order to seek punitive damages in a claim.
The legal standard in Illinois reserves such claims for acts which show an utter indifference for the safety of others. Evidence of texting while driving may be sufficient to prove such indifference if an Oak Lawn texting while driving car accident attorney helps to argue that perspective.
Time Limits for Cases
In Illinois—just as in other states—there are time limits within which an injured plaintiff must file a civil claim or face the risk of being forever barred from doing so. These time limits are called statute of limitations.
According to 735 ILCS 5/13-202, a lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the accident or within two years after the cause of action, or it may be barred by the court. If the plaintiff is under the age of 18 at the time of the accident or is legally disabled, they must bring the claim within two years of when they turn 18 or when the disability is removed.
Under the Local Government and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act, a lawsuit against a local or government entity or its employees for any injury must be filed within one year of the date of the accident. An experienced Oak Lawn texting while driving car accident lawyer could help ensure that any deadline relevant to a potential client’s case does not impede their ability to seek compensatory damages.
Talking to a Car Accident Lawyer in Oak Lawn
If you were hurt in a crash where the responsible party was distracted by their cell phone use, an Oak Lawn texting while driving car accident lawyer could work with you to prove the distracted driver’s negligence and fight for fair compensation. Call today to have your case evaluated and explore your legal options.