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Over the course of the last decade, I've published in excess of 700 articles in the areas of personal injury, criminal defense, workers' compensation and insurance disputes, generally. If you can't find what you're looking for, feel free to contact me to discuss the details of your case and learn how I can help.

Is It Illegal And Negligent to Use A Cell Phone/ Text While Driving?

It is illegal to use a handheld cell phone while driving, at least in Maryland.

Most states have enacted laws that prohibit cell phone use while driving, and in particular “texting” while driving. Maryland is no exception. It is illegal in Maryland to use a handheld cell phone to text, or talk, while driving. 

What are the penalties for texting or using a handheld cell phone while driving? 

Simple acts may lead to only a ticket. If a crash ensues, the penalties go up, as they do for subsequent offenses. If one violates either of these proscriptions, and an accident ensues resulting in death or serious bodily injury, the penalties are severe: one year in jail, and a $5,000 fine.

Are there other consequences for texting while driving? 

The notion of driving while texting or talking on a cell also brings up another, related question pertinent to any accident that fallows this conduct. We’ve discussed in another guide the various measures of damage resulting from Baltimore car accidents. One concept touched upon, that of punitive damages, may be in line for some evolution. Personal injury and accident lawyers in Baltimore, MD will tell you that punitive damages, designed to punish a defendant, rather than compensate a victim, are rarely awarded in the typical car accident case. Everyone seems to agree, using a cell phone while driving is a bad idea.1 But how bad? In an appropriate case, a skilled personal injury lawyer may successfully argue that texting while driving is such a bad idea, so callous and wanton, that if this conduct causes an accident, an award of punitive damages is warranted.

     -This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 12/10/19. 

I’ve handled hundreds of motor vehicle accident claims over the years. I propose an initial legal assessment of a claim and a client conference, all without charge, to anyone who has suffered an injury in any car accident. Contact me today to  begin the process of your financial recovery.

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FN1 http://www.mva.maryland.gov/safety/_docs/FY15_Distracted_ProgramAreaBriefCombinedFinal.pdf