Houston Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers
The Shellist Law Firm, PLLC's Commitment to You
Although the rules of the road include always keeping your eyes and attention on the road, distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents in Houston and across the state of Texas, especially since cell phones and other devices have become part of our everyday lives. If you were injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be dealing with massive medical bills, missed work, and emotional trauma.
At The Shellist Law Firm, PLLC, we are ready to fight for you while you make the best recovery possible from injury. Our Houston distracted driving accident lawyers are dedicated to helping victims of these accidents hold the at-fault party liable for their negligent actions and seek the compensation they need.
What is Considered Distracted Driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as "any non-driving activity that involves using your vehicle's controls, viewing a passenger's activity, or taking your eyes off the road.
Common types of distractions that can lead to accidents include:
- Texting and Smartphone Use: Using a smartphone to send text messages, browse the internet, or use apps while driving is one of the most dangerous distractions. It involves visual, manual, and cognitive distractions all at once.
- Talking on the Phone: Conversations on a handheld or hands-free device can divert a driver's attention from the road. Even hands-free systems can be mentally distracting.
- Eating and Drinking: Consuming food and beverages while driving requires a driver to take their hands off the wheel, and it can lead to inattention to the road.
- Grooming: Activities like applying makeup, shaving, or combing hair can take a driver's eyes and hands off the road.
- Adjusting Entertainment Systems: Tuning the radio, changing CDs, or fiddling with infotainment systems can be visually and manually distracting.
- Navigation Systems: Inputting destinations or changing navigation settings can divert a driver's attention from the road.
- Reading: Reading maps, books, or documents while driving can be extremely dangerous as it takes both visual and cognitive focus away from driving.
- Reaching for Objects: Trying to grab items that have fallen on the floor or reaching for objects in the backseat can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle.
- Talking to Passengers: Engaging in deep or emotional conversations with passengers can be distracting, as it takes cognitive attention away from driving.
- Daydreaming: A driver might mentally check out or become lost in thought, leading to a lack of focus on the road.
- External Events: Rubbernecking at accidents, looking at billboards, or paying too much attention to roadside attractions can be visually distracting.
- Fatigue: Driving while tired or drowsy can lead to lapses in attention and slower reaction times.
- Stress and Emotional Distractions: Personal stress, anger, or strong emotions can impair a driver's ability to focus on the road.
- Vehicle Controls: Adjusting climate controls, seat position, or other vehicle settings can be manual distractions.
- Traffic Conditions: Constantly monitoring traffic conditions or engaging in road rage can divert attention away from driving safely.
Since distracted driving is now one of the leading causes of car accidents in the country, many states have enacted traffic laws that penalize drivers for engaging in such behavior.
Texas Transportation Code, Section 545.4251, also known as the Texas Ban on Texting While Driving Law, bans the use of handheld electronic devices to read, write, or send electronic messages while operating a moving vehicle. This includes texting, emailing, and other similar activities. Violating the texting while driving law in Texas can result in fines of up to $99 for a first offense and up to $200 for subsequent offenses.
How a Houston Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help
When you or a loved one is involved in a distracted driving accident, it's crucial to have an experienced legal team on your side. Insurance companies will often try to minimize compensation, and the legal process can be complex.
At The Shellist Law Firm, PLLC, our dedicated team of Houston distracted driving accident lawyers can assist you in the following ways:
- Investigation: We will conduct a thorough investigation into the accident, gathering evidence to establish liability and prove negligence.
- Negotiation: Our experienced attorneys will negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
- Litigation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to take your case to court and advocate vigorously on your behalf.
- Compassion: We understand the emotional toll these accidents can take. Our team provides compassionate support to help you navigate this challenging time
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Practicing Law for Two DecadesHaving practiced law for 20 years, you can be confident attorney Steve Shellist can successfully handle your case.
Extensive Trial ExperienceAs a former chief prosecutor, Mr. Shellist knows how to present a compelling case in front of a jury.
Highly Personalized RepresentationAt Shellist Law, we believe every case requires tailored representation in order to achieve the best possible outcome for the client.
Legal Analyst on ABC-13Over the years, Mr. Shellist has been called on by ABC-13 News to share his expertise on many newsworthy cases.