Late last week, a Madisonville, Kentucky woman hit a parked car while she was texting. According to a local news report, the woman was heading north on South Seminary when she hit a parked car that was facing north. Apparently, the woman was suspected to be under the influence when the accident occurred. She was texting during the time of the accident as well. She was taken to a Madisonville hospital to be treated for her injuries following the accident. Police cited the 21-year-old woman for failure to maintain insurance and operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Phone Use and Driving Laws in Kentucky
There is no overarching prohibition on mobile device use in Kentucky, except for bus drivers and novice drivers. Although there is no prohibition against talking on a cell phone, there is a law against texting while driving.
In Kentucky, drivers may not read, send, or write any text-based communication. This includes instant messages, emails, and texts. Additionally, no individual under 18 can operate a car or other motor vehicle when using a telephone or other communication device. The only exception is when the individual needs to contact emergency medical personnel or law enforcement during an emergency.
Enforcement of These Laws and Negligence Per Se
In Kentucky, violating these laws can lead to a $25 fine for a first offense, and they go upwards from there. There are also mandatory court costs. The texting and cell phone laws are considered primary offenses, meaning that an individual can be pulled over just for that offense.
If an individual has been injured because another driver was violating one of these laws, he or she may be able to bring a negligence per se action against that person. Negligence per se is applicable when a defendant violates a statute, and that violation causes an injury. It is important to note that the plaintiff must be in the class of persons that the statute or law was meant to protect. For example, in a situation where a pedestrian was hit by an individual engaging in distracted driving caused by texting, that pedestrian will be considered in the protected class because the law was meant to protect pedestrians and other drivers from the texting driver.
Have You Been Injured by a Distracted Driver?
The attorneys at Miller & Falkner are experienced at handling personal injury cases that occur as a result of car accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, you may be able to recover for your injuries. Damages may include monetary compensation for your past medical bills, your future medical expenses, and other compensation related to your injuries. To increase your chances of success, it is important that you contact a dedicated and experienced attorney as soon as possible. These cases can involve many parties and require the investigation of evidence and compliance with mandatory deadlines. Contact one of our attorneys today at 877-279-0003 to schedule a free initial consultation.