Texas Texting Accidents: As detailed recently by KVUE-ABC, an Austin man who was injured in a motorcycle accident by an Austin Police Department officer who was texting while driving his cruiser has now sued two companies that provide police with law-enforcement software.
Before filing suit, the 75-year-old biker had already received the maximum $250,000 municipal settlement allowed to be paid by Austin under state law governing liability for injuries. Unfortunately, the injured motorcyclist still requires far more help—currently, at least an additional $500,000 for debts from his previous surgeries, including repeated skin grafts following the accident in June of 2010, plus unknown future expenses.
Good Cop, But Distracted…
According to camera footage and other evidence in the case, the Austin motorcycle accident occurred when the officer, who was distracted while typing on his patrol car’s dashboard-mounted computer and other gadgetry, rolled through a stop sign at the intersection of Lamplight Village and Magazine in North Austin and collided with the hapless biker.
The injured Austin motorcyclist indicated that he had suffered nearly constant pain for a period of five months, yet he still refused to blame the police officer. Instead, he focused on the negligence of the software companies whose products turned the officer’s vehicle into a distraction-filled mobile office. Even though the companies had long possessed the technology to disable the keyboard of an officer’s computer once his cruiser began to move, in order to reduce distractions, these safety features have not been adopted.
Strong Anti-Texting Advocacy Helps Motorcyclists
Distracted drivers have long been deadly to motorcyclists, yet the recent trend toward “social networking” including texting, messaging, and other forms of non-stop interactive communication has increased the risks even more. While Texas motorcycle attorneys continue to advocate for better awareness and more consistent enforcement, Texans await the passage of general anti-texting legislation. The political mood may favor such a move, since President Obama has recently issued an executive order which effectively prohibits texting or messaging while driving federal vehicles, which should help reduce the number of catastrophic motorcycle accidents.
Still, much work remains to be done. If someone you care about has been injured or lost in a motorcycle accident in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, or anywhere in the State of Texas, you should contact a Texas motorcycle attorney immediately. A knowledgeable Texas motorcycle lawyer can protect your rights and negotiate assertively with insurance companies to ensure that you receive the financial compensation you need to cover all expenses from the motorcycle accident, including long-term rehabilitation. Call 1-800-4-BIKERS today to schedule your free appointment with one of our experienced Texas motorcycle lawyers.
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