In West Virginia, all drivers are banned from texting while driving. This is especially important to know if you were injured by someone who was texting while driving.
West Virginia state law states that a person may not drive or operate a motor vehicle while texting. In fact, in West Virginia, a driver is not even supposed to have his cell phone in his hand while driving. The state of West Virginia defines texting as "entering alphanumeric text into, or reading text from, an electronic communications device." Texting also includes e-mailing, instant-messaging, and using the internet.
A person who is caught texting while driving will be fined $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense, and $300 for any other offenses. However, the driver will also be liable in civil court for any injuries caused to another driver. This is important to know because the fine does not make the person texting immune from other lawsuits. Therefore, texting while driving can be more costly than the original fine for breaking the law.
So, if a person is texting while driving on a public road or highway and causes an accident, he may be liable for damages. This other driver can bring suit against the driver who was texting to recover for damages to the vehicle and other personal injuries that may result from the accident. This means that a jury could hold the driver who was texting liable for medical expenses, costs of repairing the vehicle, etc.
Also, if texting while driving results in the death of another person, a few things can happen. The driver who was texting could face criminal charges. This means that the driver who is texting could face potential jail time or fines for his actions. And, even if the driver is facing criminal charges, the deceased's estate could still bring a civil cause of action against the driver for wrongful death. So, the driver then could face jail time for the criminal charges and monetary damages that will be paid to the deceased's family.
If you or someone you know is interested in more information about injuries caused by a driver who is texting, please contact Ms. Crossan atBouchillon-CrossanLaw.com. Ms. Crossan practices in criminal and civil law as well as employment law. Her office is located in Huntington, West Virginia.