Texting while driving is dangerous. But for those living in Nevada, it’s illegal, too. Nevada law prohibited the use of handheld cell phones while driving in 2011. And rightly so! The act leaves thousands of people injured and hundreds dead every year. It is one of the most common causes of vehicle accidents in Nevada and across the country.
What Happens If You’re Caught Texting While Driving in Nevada?
Previously a misdemeanor, texting while driving is now downgraded to a civil infraction offense. This means if you receive a ticket for texting while driving, it will not show up in your criminal records. But it still carries the same penalties. If you’re caught using your cellphone while driving in Nevada, you can face up to a $250 fine. The penalty is doubled if the offense takes place in an active work or school zone. Moreover, you will have demerit points for 2nd and subsequent distracted driving law violations and may face a criminal charge if you cause an accident due to using a phone while behind the wheel.
Who’s at Fault in Texting While Driving Accidents in Nevada?
Nevada uses primary enforcement of distracted driving laws, which means the police have the right to pull you over and incur a penalty even if you haven’t broken any other law and were in full control of the vehicle all the time. In cases where you lose control and cause an accident, you can be charged with reckless driving, vehicular manslaughter, and other criminal charges (depending on the extent of damage) under negligence per se.
For those who may not know, negligence per se is a US legal doctrine that holds one guilty of being negligent when an act of them violates a law (statute) created to prevent those specific types of incidents.
Negligence per se shifts the burden of proof from the plaintiff to the defendant. This means if you cause an accident due to distracted driving (texting while driving) and face a lawsuit from the victim, you will have to prove your non-negligence. Failure to do so will make you liable to pay for the damages the victim incurred.
When negligence per se applies, the plaintiff is only responsible for proving that the defendant broke the law (which a good lawyer can help you with) and that it caused them the harm they are filing the liability claim for. No additional evidence is required from them.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Texting While Driving Ban in Nevada?
Nevada law permits using cell phones while driving under a few conditions. These include:
- To report a medical emergency, criminal activity, fire incident, or any other safety hazard.
- When driving autonomous vehicles
- When using a navigation system. The phone must be attached to the vehicle and not held in hands.
The law also allows the use of phones while driving to active-duty medical technicians, police officers, firefighters, Federal Communications Commissioners on emergency drills, and other emergency responders. Utility workers on emergency duty (using their company-provided devices) and those providing communication services during a disaster or any other emergency situation are also exempted from the ban on using a cell phone while driving law in Nevada.
Contact The Bourassa Law Group to File a Texting While Driving Accident Claim in Nevada
Nevada bans using cellphones while driving because it delays your reaction times just as much as drinking, making you at least four times more likely to cause an accident than non-distracted driving. If you or a loved one has been injured, or someone you know has lost their lives in a texting while driving accident, you can file a liability claim or wrongful death lawsuit against the driver. We at The Bourassa Law Group can help you in this challenging time and help you with everything from gathering the necessary evidence to prove negligence to filing and fighting the case to ensure you’re fairly compensated for your damages and receive the treatment and care you need to return to normal life.
Contact us at 1-800-870-8910 for a free consultation and case evaluation with our car accident lawyers in Nevada.
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