Virginia law makes talking or texting on a cell phone while driving, often referred to as distracted driving, a crime. So, if a driver’s use of a cell phone caused or contributed to your accident, then the driver can be held legally responsible for your injuries. Contact our firm of personal injury lawyers in Virginia today at 571-229-1800 to receive the help you need.
Learn more about how Virginia cell phone laws affect car accident injury cases and driving habits that get you into car wrecks.
Virginia Cell Phone Use Laws
In Virginia, no driver under the age of 18 may use a handheld or hands-free cell phone for any reason while driving. The Commonwealth considers this a secondary offense, so a driver cannot be pulled over just for cell phone use. However, a motorist can be pulled over and issued a ticket for cell phone use if the person was pulled over for a primary offense, such as speeding.
Ban on Texting
No drivers are permitted to send, receive, or look at texts while driving. Unlike the offense that applies to juveniles, texting while driving is a primary offense. This means any driver can be pulled over by police just for texting.
A person who drives a bus may not use a cell phone under any circumstances. This also is a primary offense.
Cell Phone Use While Driving Equals Intentional Negligence
Answering the phone, texting, shuffling your playlist while driving, or doing any other cell phone-related activity that distracts you from the road is considered intentional negligence.
Motorists are obligated to be mindful of others on the road. For example, a driver who chooses to send a quick text to a friend smashing into the side of another car because the motorist did not notice the intersection light had changed to red is negligent. By intentionally distracting themselves, drivers violate their obligations by placing other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians at risk.
Potential Damages Recovered
Victims hurt in car accidents that were caused by negligent acts, such as texting or using a cell phone while driving, may be entitled to damages caused by:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death – if you lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be eligible to recover a payout through a wrongful death action. Find out if you qualify to sue.
Virginia’s cell phone laws commonly affect car accident injury cases.
In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded. If there is evidence that a defendant’s conduct was especially willful or reckless, a victim may be entitled to punitive damages, which intend to punish the guilty and deter others from engaging in similar behavior.
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If a driver’s cell phone use caused your motor vehicle accident, then you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other losses. Call the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC at 571-229-1800 if you have any questions about how Virginia cell phone laws affect car accident injury cases and for a free case consultation to get started on your case.