Smartphones have become a normal part of our lives. Many of us may not even realize how frequently we check our phones for text messages, social media posts, or news updates. Unfortunately, the constant attention we pay to our phones continues for some people even after they get behind the wheel. It may seem easy to multitask both driving and texting or using a cellphone. But in reality, cellphone use takes away too much attention from important driving responsibilities, such as slowing down, stopping at a traffic light, or avoiding a pedestrian stepping into a crosswalk.
When a distracted driver causes a motor vehicle accident, that driver can be held responsible for the harm caused to victims. However, pursuing a claim for compensation after a texting and driving accident is not always straightforward. Insurance companies can make the process difficult for victims. That’s why you need an experienced car accident attorney from Truitt Law Offices on your side.
Our Fort Wayne car accident attorneys will review your case for free and explain all your legal options. Our team will work tirelessly to demand the full and fair compensation you need to recover from a serious distracted driving crash. Contact us now for a free consultation to get started.
Is Texting and Driving Illegal in Indiana?
Under Indiana law, texting and driving is banned for all drivers. This means drivers may not use a cellphone or other telecommunications device to type, read, or transmit a text message, email, or other written communication (such as a social media post), or browse the Internet. This ban is in effect both while actively driving and during times when drivers are stopped at a red light or in gridlock traffic.
What Are the Laws Surrounding Texting and Driving?
Indiana has strict laws when it comes to texting and driving. Texting and driving is classified as a primary offense in Indiana. This means that a police officer can pull you over and ticket you simply because he or she witnesses you texting and driving. You do not need to have committed any other motor vehicle code infraction, such as failing to stop at a stop sign or speeding, in order for an officer to pull you over for texting and driving.
In addition, drivers under the age of 18 in Indiana are subjected to a complete cellphone ban while driving. This means that drivers 17 and younger may not use a cellphone while driving for any reason or in any capacity, even using a hands-free device to make a call.
What Are the Penalties for Texting and Driving in Indiana?
Under Indiana’s ban on texting and driving, a person who is pulled over by a police officer for texting and driving can face a fine of up to $500. Remember that texting and driving is considered a primary offense in Indiana, meaning that you can be pulled over and fined $500 just because a police officer saw you texting, making that a very costly text.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Laws?
Indiana does not have any exceptions to its texting and driving law. The law applies equally to all drivers regardless of age or the circumstances under which they are behind the wheel.
Can You Use Your Cellphone at All While Driving?
Drivers age 18 and older may only use a cellphone while driving if they are using hands-free technology. Physically holding a phone to make a call while driving is illegal. However, you may use technology such as Bluetooth to talk on the phone while driving.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt by a Distracted Driver
If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. This could include payment for past, ongoing, and future medical treatment and physical rehabilitation, lost income and earning capacity, pain and suffering, lost enjoyment and quality of life, and damage to your property such as your vehicle.
In order to protect your options for pursuing compensation for these damages, you should remember to take the following steps after your accident:
- Call 911 or law enforcement. Ask the responding officer for a copy of the accident report.
- Get the name, contact information, driver’s license number, vehicle registration information, and insurance information of each of the drivers involved in the accident.
- Take photos or video of the accident scene, damage to the vehicles, and any visible injuries you suffered. Get the names and contact information of any witnesses to the crash.
- Get examined by a doctor as soon as possible. Follow your treatment plan.
- Keep records of all bills and invoices for expenses you incur due to the accident. Also, start a diary or journal of your recovery and of the pain and difficulties that your injuries cause you.
- Stay off of social media, or at least refrain from talking about your accident or posting photos or videos of yourself.
- Talk to a knowledgeable car accident attorney about your legal rights.
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Talk to a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Now
If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident caused by a distracted driver, contact Truitt Law Offices today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney. Our firm does not charge any upfront fees to begin work on your case, and you only pay us when we recover money for you.