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Beyond the ticket: The ripple effect of distracted driving crashes in Ohio

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2024 | Car Accidents

Ohio’s “Phones Down. It’s the Law” campaign highlights the dangers of distracted driving. While a ticket for holding your phone can sting, the consequences of causing an accident while distracted can be far more severe.

Here’s what you should know about the potential criminal and civil repercussions for those who choose to put themselves and others at risk.

From traffic violation to criminal charges

Distracted driving accidents can escalate from a simple traffic violation to criminal charges depending on the severity of the outcome. Here are some possibilities:

  • Reckless driving: If your distracted driving caused the accident and showed a disregard for safety, you could face reckless driving charges. This carries potential jail time, license suspension and increased insurance rates.
  • Vehicular assault: When a distracted driver causes serious injury to another person, vehicular assault charges may apply. Penalties can include significant fines, imprisonment and a permanent criminal record.
  • Vehicular manslaughter: In the tragic event of a fatality caused by distracted driving, vehicular manslaughter charges are a possibility. These charges carry even harsher penalties, including lengthy prison sentences.

Beyond criminal charges, distracted driving accidents can lead to civil lawsuits from the injured parties. These lawsuits can seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and even property damage. The financial burden of a civil judgment can be devastating.

Holding reckless drivers accountable

Distracted driving crashes are preventable tragedies. By holding reckless drivers accountable through the legal system, a strong message is sent. It deters future bad behavior and offers a measure of justice for victims and their families.

If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident, consider seeking legal counsel. An attorney can advise you of your rights and help you navigate the legal process toward seeking compensation for your damages.

Remember, putting down your phone and focusing on the road is not just the law, it’s a shared responsibility to keep Ohio’s roads safe for everyone.