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Texting While Driving Laws in Oregon: How They Affect Your Car Accident Case

We live in a world where our phones are almost like an extension of ourselves. Whether it’s a text from a friend or a notification from an app, the urge to check our phones can sometimes be overwhelming. However, this seemingly harmless habit can have severe consequences when you’re behind the wheel.

At Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law in Portland, OR, we think it’s important for all drivers to be familiar with Oregon’s texting while driving laws. If you’re caught breaking these laws, the punishments can be severe. But if you’re injured in an accident and it’s proven you were texting while driving, it can affect the insurance settlement that you need to recover from your injuries.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced personal injury attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Texting and Driving Statistics in the United States and Oregon

Texting while driving has become a significant issue across the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,308 lives in 2022 alone. In Oregon, the statistics are just as concerning. The Oregon Department of Transportation reports that distracted driving, which includes texting, contributes to thousands of accidents annually.

Trends indicate that despite increased awareness by the public, incidences of texting while driving continue to rise, particularly among younger drivers. Young drivers are often more tech-savvy and accustomed to constant connectivity, but they are at a higher risk of engaging in distracted driving. As a driver in Oregon, everyone must prioritize safety over their own convenience—your life and the lives of others could depend on it.

Oregon’s Strict Laws on Texting While Driving

  • First Offense: If you’re caught texting while driving for the first time, you face a fine of up to $1,000. Additionally, you may be required to attend a distracted driving avoidance course. The goal is to educate drivers on the risks and help prevent future accidents.
  • Second Offense: A second offense within ten years can lead to a fine of up to $2,500. At this stage, the penalties reflect the state’s growing concern about repeated violations. The fine is steep, and it’s designed to show how serious Oregon is about stopping this behavior.
  • Additional Offenses: Habitual offenders may face fines up to $2,500 and the possibility of jail time. The state’s message is clear: texting while driving is a disregard for public safety and will not be tolerated.

How Texting and Driving Can Affect Your Personal Injury Case

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, but if texting is involved, it can complicate your personal injury case significantly. Oregon follows a system called “modified comparative negligence.” This means that if you’re found to be partially at fault for an accident, the compensation you’re entitled to receive for your injuries and damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

For instance, if you were texting while driving and are found to be 30% at fault for the accident, your settlement amount would be reduced by 30%. This can substantially lower the amount you receive for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Additionally, In Oregon, if you’re found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, you may not be entitled to any compensation at all. This is why following texting while driving laws is so important. Not only does it keep you safer, but it also prevents you from being blamed for the accident and covering your medical bills on your own.

The Importance of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Portland Car Accident

After a car accident, especially one involving texting and driving, the legal process can seem overwhelming. However, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation you need to move forward. At Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law, we provide comprehensive support for your Portland car accident claim by:

  • Reconstructing the Accident Scene: Our team collaborates with accident reconstruction experts to recreate the incident. This helps prove how the other driver’s actions contributed to the crash, thus reducing the amount of blame that can be placed on you.
  • Securing Expert Witness Testimony: We connect with medical professionals, traffic experts, and other specialists who can provide expert testimony on the impact of the accident and the negligence involved. Their insights can prove that your injuries occurred exactly like you said.
  • Handling Medical Bills and Documentation: We assist you in organizing and managing your medical records and bills, so that all your expenses related to the crash are carefully documented. This not only proves your injury was caused by the accident, but it also shows the price tag of appropriate compensation.
  • Providing Emotional and Legal Support: a personal injury case can be emotional. You may feel scared, worried, confused, or any combination of the three. We offer compassionate support and straightforward legal guidance throughout the process so you understand each step and make the most informed decisions.
  • Assisting with Long-term Care Plans: If your injuries require long-term treatment or rehabilitation, we work to ensure that your settlement includes funds for future medical needs. Our goal is to secure compensation that covers all aspects of your recovery so you can focus on getting better instead of paying the bills.

Call Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law When You’ve Been Injured in Portland

Texting while driving is a dangerous and illegal activity that has severe consequences. In Oregon, the laws are strict, and penalties are steep, and any injuries you suffer due to an accident could be blamed directly on you. If you’ve been involved in a car accident where texting and driving were factors, you need the personal injury lawyers Portland has trusted for years.

At Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law, we are committed to guiding you through these challenging times. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers is here to support you every step of the way. Don’t let a moment of distraction ruin your life—reach out to us today at (503) 287-5000 to discuss your case and learn how we can help you secure the compensation you deserve.

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