Massachusetts Texting While Driving Accidents
Our Lawyers Fight For Full and Fair Compensation After Car Accidents
Texting while driving is reckless, dangerous and can lead to serious motor vehicle accidents, injuries and death. It is against the law in Massachusetts and if you or a loved one has been injured as a result of texting while driving, you should pause. Contact a lawyer and learn your rights for seeking compensation for your medical expenses and other financial losses.
States and the federal government have worked to curb texting and distracted driving, by strengthening laws and funding safety awareness programs. But distracted driving remain prevalent on our roadways. Despite many safety warnings, drivers continue to reach for phones, social media sites and mobile apps.
In 2010, Massachusetts passed the Safe Driving Law and became the 29th state to ban texting while driving. The law bans drivers from manually composing, sending or reading an electronic message while operating a motor vehicle. The ban covers phones, handheld electronic devices, iPads, tablets and laptop computers. The law prohibits these actions while operators are actively driving and when they are stopped at traffic lights.
With this law, texting while driving became a primary offense in Massachusetts. Police can now stop drivers who are engaging in texting while driving, even if they are not committing any other motor vehicle violations. For the first offense, the fine is $100 and increases for each subsequent offense. Drivers under 18 may face a 60-day license suspension.
This law has had some impact. But for a decade, drivers could still pick up cell phones and talk. This was legal for all drivers, except for drivers under 18 and bus drivers. This changed on April 1, 2020, when the Massachusetts Hands-Free Driving Law took full effect, banning drivers from all hand-held cell phone use. Under this law, drivers can now only talk using hands-free technology, such as Bluetooth.
Any type of cell phone use in the car can create a distraction, leading to a car accident and serious or catastrophic injuries. In 2009, a study out of Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) reported that when drivers text, they are 23 times more likely to have an accident. Every time a driver sends or receives a text, their eyes leave the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, according to the VTTI. For a driver traveling 55 mph, that would be the distance of a football field.
Civil Lawsuits and Claims for Texting While Driving in Massachusetts
Police may cite a driver for texting while driving in Massachusetts or for related infractions, such as a marked lanes violation or failure to stop. If you are seeking financial compensation from the driver, this citation can be used, along with other evidence and testimony, to help demonstrate the driver failed to use reasonable care and was operating negligently.
A driver may be held liable in your civil case and have to pay compensation for your injuries. Our attorneys can advise you about potential compensation in your case. But under Massachusetts law, drivers may be entitled to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. If you cannot return to work, you may also be entitled to seek compensation for your lost future earnings.
Texting while driving can lead to fatal car accidents. If a family member has been killed by a driver who was texting, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you were injured and believe the driver at fault may have been using a cell phone, it is critical to act. Contact an experienced Boston car accident lawyer who can help preserve your legal rights, investigate and make initial contact with law enforcement.
Criminal Charges for Texting While Driving in Massachusetts
When texting while driving leads to death, police can pursue criminal charges, resulting in fines and prison time, including up to two years in House of Correction. In 2012, an 18-year-old Haverhill man was reported to be the first person to be sentenced to prison in Massachusetts. He was convicted of motor vehicle homicide, texting while driving and negligent operation in a crash that killed a 55-year-old New Hampshire man. Prosecutors say he was heavily engaged in texting and had sent and received nearly 200 messages the day of the crash.
In April 2020, another Massachusetts driver was charged with texting while driving and motor vehicle homicide in Ipswich. The driver was allegedly distracted and fatally struck a cyclist. Read more on distracted driving injuries to cyclists.
Our Results in Motor Vehicle Accident Cases
Breakstone, White & Gluck is known throughout New England for our strong results for clients following car accidents and truck crashes. Our attorneys have negotiated settlements of $7.1 million, $3.75 million and $3.5 million for clients injured by the negligence of other drivers. Read more on our Case Results page.
Contact a Boston Texting While Driving Lawyer
The lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck, P.C., of Boston have over 100 years combined experience handling car accident cases in Massachusetts. After a car accident, we understand you are suffering pain and shock. We urge you not to speak to an insurance company or sign any papers until you speak to an attorney.
Our attorneys are here to assist you with all the difficulties you face after an accident. We have the experience and expertise to investigate and work with police departments and insurance companies to obtain fair compensation for our clients.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Massachusetts car accident, contact us today for a free legal consultation at 866-276-3654 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.