texting while driving accidents in South Carolina

Texting While Driving Accident Lawyer in South Carolina

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that a 2021 national survey found that 2.5 percent of drivers stopped at intersections used their cell phones to send text messages, make calls, or browse the internet, with the federal government estimating that as many as 7.6 percent of drivers used a cellphone at any given moment during the day. The prevalence of distracted driving puts road users at risk of life-altering consequences from accident injuries. Injury victims may have the right to pursue compensation and accountability from a distracted driver who causes a crash.

When you’ve gotten hurt in a distracted driving accident, turn to the South Carolina car accident lawyers of Stewart Law Offices for help holding the at-fault driver accountable for their dangerous behavior.

How Dangerous Is Texting While Driving in South Carolina?

Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. Drivers may experience three types of distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive. Sending or reading a text message while driving involves all three forms of distraction since a driver must take their eyes off the road to read their phone screen, take a hand off the steering wheel to hold the phone, and put their mental focus on the text message rather than the task of driving.

The Centers for Disease Control notes that, while driving at highway speeds, a driver’s vehicle will travel the length of a football field or more in the time it takes the driver to read or send a text message. Texting while driving means a driver travels a hundred yards or more with their eyes effectively closed.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving accidents claimed the lives of 3,308 people in one recent year. The CDC also reports that approximately 424,000 people suffer injuries in crashes involving distracted drivers. The National Safety Counsel found that the percentage of drivers visually observed manipulating handheld electronic devices increased from 1.7 percent to 3.1 percent over a ten-year period, highlighting the increasing prevalence of texting while driving.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety reports that texting while driving contributes to over 20,000 motor vehicle accidents in the state annually.

How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help After an Auto Accident with a Distracted Driver?

A distracted driving accident may leave you with severe injuries that require intensive medical care and rehabilitation. Hiring a lawyer after an accident can help by freeing you to focus your time and energy on healing while your car accident lawyer fights to recover the compensation you need. Some of the benefits of having a car accident attorney include:

  • Seasoned legal representation: A car accident attorney can help you understand your rights and prepare you for what to expect in the claims process. They can give you the advice and support you need to make informed decisions in your case.
  • Thorough investigation: Your lawyer can investigate the crash to recover evidence proving that the other driver caused the accident because they were texting and driving. Your attorney can also document your injuries and losses to prove your right to compensation.
  • Settlement negotiations: A car accident lawyer can file your claims against the liable party and their insurance company to pursue the money you deserve through a negotiated settlement. Your lawyer can help you avoid insurance companies’ tactics to minimize the value of your injury claims.
  • Trial advocacy: When the at-fault driver and insurance company won’t agree to a fair settlement, an experienced attorney can litigate your claims in court and at trial by preparing a compelling case to prove that the other driver caused the crash because they were texting while driving.

What Are South Carolina’s Distracted Driving Laws?

South Carolina’s distracted driving statute makes it illegal to use a wireless electronic communications device, such as a cell phone, PDA, text messaging device, or computer, to compose, send, or read a text-based communication while operating a vehicle on a public street or highway. However, the law exempts specific uses of electronic communications devices from the prohibition on distracted driving, including:

  • Using an electronic communications device while lawfully stopped or parked
  • Using an electronic communications device in a hands-free mode
  • Summoning emergency assistance
  • Receiving or transmitting data as part of a digital dispatch system
  • Using a GPS device or system for navigation or traffic/road condition information
  • Public safety officials using electronic communication devices while performing official duties

Violating the distracted driving law carries a fine of up to $25, although the maximum fine can increase to $50 for a second or subsequent offense.

What Damages Can I Recover After Being Hit by a Driver Who Was Texting While Driving?

After getting hit by a driver distracted by their cell phone or other electronic device, you may have the right to obtain money for the losses or expenses you suffered due to the accident. The car accident lawyers at Stewart Law Offices will fight to maximize your compensation for your:

  • Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation, including ambulance services, emergency care, surgeries, hospitalization, doctor’s appointments, pain management, or physical or occupational therapy
  • Costs of long-term disability care and replacement services after suffering prolonged or permanent disabilities
  • Lost wages or income after taking time off work during your recovery or transferring to a lower-paying modified duty role due to medical restrictions
  • Lost future earning capacity and employment benefits if you become permanently disabled from work
  • Physical pain and anguish
  • Emotional trauma and distress, including from reduced quality of life caused by disabilities or disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life when you can no longer participate in activities you previously cared for

Contact Stewart Law Offices for a Free Case Evaluation

When you’ve gotten injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you deserve to seek fair compensation for ongoing and future financial and personal losses from your injuries. Contact Stewart Law Offices today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a South Carolina texting-while-driving accident lawyer. We can discuss your legal options for obtaining financial recovery and justice after becoming the victim of dangerous behavior by a distracted driver.