Illinois state law prohibits all drivers from using a handheld cellphone, smartphone, or other electronic communications device while operating a motor vehicle, and only drivers over the age of 19 are allowed to use Bluetooth or hands-free devices behind the wheel. Despite that, there are many drivers on Illinois roads every single day who choose to drive while distracted by their phones, and their misconduct sometimes leads to devastating auto accidents.
Texting while driving car accidents in Palatine can often serve as strong grounds for civil litigation. Still, they can also be more challenging to effectively file suit over than you might expect. Assistance from our skilled car wreck lawyers can make a huge difference not just in how strong of a claim you could build and pursue, but also in what kind of compensation you ultimately obtain for your losses.
Are Texting Drivers Always Liable for Car Crashes?
Because texting while driving is against the law in Illinois, engaging in this behavior qualifies as a “breach” of the “duty of care” all drivers have to obey traffic laws and act responsibly behind the wheel. Since holding someone legally liable for an auto collision usually involves proving they directly caused the wreck through this kind of “breach of duty,” establishing that someone involved in a crash was texting or using a handheld device for any other purpose right before the collision happened can be very strong evidence against them in this regard.
Importantly, though, the fact that someone else caught up in a car accident in Palatine was texting while driving does not mean other people involved in that wreck cannot be found partially responsible for causing it themselves. Suppose someone struck by a texting driver was also violating traffic laws or doing something irresponsible at the same of the wreck. In that case, they may have a percentage of “comparative fault” assigned to them, which could result in a proportional reduction from their final damage award or even—if they hold a majority of total fault for the incident compared to all other involved parties combined—bar them from civil recovery altogether.
Deadlines for Texting While Driving Car Accident Claims
Another legal obstacle worth mentioning in the context of texting while driving car crash claims in Palatine is the statute of limitations set by state law on personal injury lawsuits. According to 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes § 5/13-202, most people who get hurt through someone else’s negligence have a maximum of two years after initially sustaining an injury to file suit over any losses they suffer.
This means that even if a texting driver is completely to blame for your accident, and you have evidence to prove that in court, waiting too long to start the litigation process could leave you without any means of getting paid for your damages. Our legal team could provide crucial assistance with constructing the strongest possible claim within applicable deadlines, as well as with estimating the value of long-term losses that will not fully manifest before the filing time limit for your case expires.
Consider Working With a Palatine Attorney on a Texting While Driving Car Accident Claim
Texting while driving and all other forms of distracted driving put not just the driver engaging in it, but also everyone around them at risk of serious harm. However, taking legal action against a driver who hit you while they were texting can be far from a simple process, especially if you try to do it alone.
Guidance from our skilled and tenacious auto crash attorneys could give you much better chances of securing case success after a texting while driving car accident in Palatine than you would have filing on your own. Call The Kryder Law Group today to discuss your options.