Distracted Driving Ticket after an Accident


As if the legal consequences associated with a distracted driving offense weren’t enough trouble, many Maryland distracted driving defendants also have to worry about recovering from injuries suffered in an accident. Fault and cause aside, motor vehicle accidents disrupt millions of people’s lives around the world every year, resulting in cumulative losses worth billions of dollars in medical bills and other monetary losses. Though you may have been cited for distracted driving by a police officer, you may still be eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim if the car accident was not your fault. 

An arrest or citation for a moving violation following your car accident in Maryland may lead to a determination that you were at fault. Still, it’s not an inevitable result. There is always the chance of appeal, and accidents are never cut-and-dry. Therefore, the other driver might be partially to blame. We’ll examine these issues in greater depth below and walk you through the process of contesting a distracted driving offense while initiating a personal injury lawsuit. 

Getting a Ticket Doesn’t Always Mean You’re At-Fault 

It should not be assumed that a ticket automatically makes you the liable party. Having to pay steep fines for a distracted driving ticket after an accident can deter you from seeking legal representation and make you feel that there is no chance for your recovery. 

It goes without saying that if you were issued a traffic citation and the other driver was not, the other driver will try to pin fault on you and claim their innocence. Receiving a traffic ticket while suffering from injuries and sudden distress may cause you to apologize to other parties or use terms that indicate your fault when communicating with insurers. When you realize you are the victim of an accident and given a traffic citation, you must proceed carefully, ensuring that your right to claim damages is protected. Put simply, a trusted Maryland injury attorney will be your best resource in defending your claim, fighting your ticket, and determining liability.

Contesting Your Distracted Driving Ticket While Recovering from Injuries 

To receive compensation for injuries you sustained in an accident, you have no other choice but to contest the traffic ticket you received. Maryland usually limits the contestation period to 30 days, so it’s important to be prepared. Instructions for how to contest tickets in court are printed on all traffic tickets. 

If you choose to attend a hearing to contest the citation, the officer will state the offense and evidence against you, and the judge will ask you to present your defense. Generally speaking, if you’ve been injured in an automobile accident and you wish to file a claim against the other driver, you shouldn’t try to contest your ticket alone. A Maryland traffic ticket lawyer may be your greatest asset. Your attorney may be able to get your traffic ticket dismissed if you’ve sustained serious injuries in the accident. 

Your attorney can also represent you if you are injured and cannot attend your traffic court date. To expedite your recovery and maximize your personal injury claim, focus on attending all necessary doctor’s appointments, adhering to all recommendations, and completing all treatment prescribed. 

Penalties for a Distracted Driving Ticket in Maryland 

Driving distracted in Maryland means engaging in any activity that diverts the driver’s attention from the task at hand. Distractions can be caused by many things, but cell phone use (texting while driving and talking on the phone) is predominant in distracted driving crashes, resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries every year. 

In an effort to reduce the number of automobile accidents caused by distracted drivers, Maryland lawmakers set forth stiff penalties for offenders. In Maryland, the penalties for a distracted driving citation include the following:

Citations for the use of a hand-held mobile device:

  • First violation: Fines up to $75 ($83 with additional court costs)
  • Second violation: Fines up to $125 ($140 with additional court costs)
  • Third and subsequent violations: Fines up to $175

Citations for texting while driving: 

  • If no accident occurred: Fine of $70 and one point will be added to the driver’s driving record 
  • If texting led to an accident: Fine of $110 and three points will be added to their driving record

Under Jake’s Law, passed into law in 2014, distracted drivers who cause serious injury or death may face a maximum $5,000 fine and a three-year prison sentence.

Potential Driving While Distracted Defenses 

DUI and other traffic offenses are often prosecuted based on a combination of subjective and objective evidence, while distracted driving cases are often based solely on an officer’s or eyewitness’s opinion. A competent defense attorney can raise a number of credibility issues regarding a witness or police officer’s account, as it may be affected by bias, impaired vision, or poor memory, among other things. Other possible driving while distracted defenses include:

  • Miranda Violation. Miranda rights protect you from self-incrimination. It is imperative you are made aware of them in full and clear terms if you are placed under arrest.
  • Causation. Despite being distracted during an accident, something else could have caused it. A bad driver, a vehicle defect, or an unkept road may have contributed to your accident.  
  • Driver Identification. You may be able to assert a valid defense if there were insufficient facts to prove that you were, in fact, texting or talking on the phone while driving. Records from the phone company can establish the time, date, and duration of a call or text but they cannot tell you who was behind the device. 
  • Special Circumstances. There are few exceptions to distracted driving laws, including calls to the police, fire department, and medical professionals. 

Maryland Traffic Offense Lawyers Protecting the Injured 

Seek guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney if you plan to file an accident injury lawsuit, especially if you intend to fight a distracted driving ticket. At The Law Office of Hillel Traub, Attorney Hillel Traub has assisted thousands of injured accident victims in and around the Maryland area. He is determined to protect your legal rights and help you collect the maximum damages you’re entitled to under the law. 

You have the right to preserve your driving privileges and claim compensation with a qualified attorney on your side. For legal help with your Maryland traffic ticket or personal injury case, call (410) 580-1100 for a free consultation or complete our contact form

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