Texting While Driving Set to Be Banned in Ohio – Now What?

May 31, 2012

Auto Accidents

texting and driving car accidentsThe Ohio House and Senate have given the go ahead for a new law which bans texting while behind the wheel. The law is set for Governor Kasich to review and sign in the near future. There has been plenty of talk over the need for this type of law over the past few years, and other states have enacted similar statures to Ohio’s.

As Lawyers, when we see a new law, we are never quite sure how the law will be enforced in daily life on the streets, or in the courts through litigation. With car accidents being a major source of personal injury and negligence litigation, we all have to wonder how big of an impact this new texting law will have on the future of this area of practice.

Evidence and proof are the crux of personal injury litigation. One must have a determinable injury which has been caused by a duty of reasonable care that has been breached by another, thus causing injury. So what is the future of car accident personal injury litigation due to this new law if the Governor signs it into effect? Most lawyers would probably agree that proving that a driver was texting is going to be difficult.

The law covers sending, reading, and typing/composing text messages while driving. Many times, people, including myself, will look at a text message from the day before or weeks before. The problem with that is that there is no record, through the phone companies, of re-reading a text. There is only a record of when the text is sent, and when it is received by the other phone. This presents a large problem – proof. It may be seemingly impossible to prove that a person was reading a text message that was received days or weeks previously at the exact instant that an accident happens, which causes an injury to another party.

Te new statute will also prohibit drivers under 18 from using any electronic device while driving, with the exception of a GPS. Regarding the aforementioned proof and evidence problems, this may be easier to prove, at least in one sense, if there happens to be an accident while the teenager is driving. This is because the time frame being dealt with for the use of the cell phone will be a much larger window than for adults, since teenagers will be prohibited from using the phone altogether while driving.

If you are in a car accident, and believe the other party was texting or talking on their phone during the commencement of the accident, please contact the law firm of Slater & Zurz LLP for advice and a free consultation. You may be entitled to significant damages for compensation for your injury, especially of the other driver was using a cell phone.  An attorney at Slater &  Zurz with extensive auto accident experience can be reached by calling 1-800-297-9191 or sending a Blog Message to schedule a time to talk.

Learn more by visiting www.slaterzurz.com.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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