If the other driver in your accident was using their phone while driving, they may be at fault for the collision. While there are exceptions to this general rule, using a phone makes drivers less attentive to their surroundings and more dangerous to others on the road.
Our firm will set out to prove a motorist’s phone use contributed to or directly caused your accident.
How Motorists Increase Accident Risk by Using Their Mobile Phones
All categories of phone use fall under the category of distracted driving. Even if a motorist uses their phone hands-free, their conversation may take their attention away from safe driving. Without question, drivers who use their phones are more dangerous than those who do not.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that nine people die in the United States every day because of distracted drivers’ actions. These statistics underscore the risks motorists expose you to if they use their phones while driving.
Distracted motorists may:
- Not have their eyes on the road as traffic conditions change
- Take longer to react to hazards, including other vehicles
- Veer out of their lane into another vehicle’s lane or oncoming traffic
- Fail to drive defensively
Distracted driving can occur when a motorist removes one or both hands from the wheel, takes their mind off the road, removes their eyes from the roadway, or does anything else that reduces their ability to drive safely.
Common Reasons Motorists Use Their Cell Phones While Driving
Cell phones are everywhere in modern American society, including in drivers’ hands. Motorists may use their phones to:
- Text, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regards as the most alarming type of distracted driving
- Talk on the phone, which can be dangerous, even if the motorist isn’t holding the phone in their hand
- Record video
- Take photographs
- Use social media
- Select music, podcasts, audiobooks, and other forms of media
- Order food
- Shop online
If it seems unlikely that a motorist would order food or shop while driving their vehicle, you might be surprised. However, texting and speaking on the phone are more common forms of phone-based distraction.
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How an Attorney from Our Firm May Prove the Motorist Was Using Their Phone
Lawyers must use the available evidence to prove a motorist’s phone use contributed to an accident. If it is unclear who caused the collision, the phone use could establish fault, which is important to prove.
An attorney may prove the other driver was using their phone while driving by:
- Using the driver’s words, as they may have told you, the responding police officer, insurers, or others, that they were using their phone during the accident.
- Obtaining cell phone records, as these may show that the motorist was on the phone, sending text messages, or using the phone in other ways at the time of the accident
- Relying on witness testimony, as someone may have seen the motorist using their phone before or during the time of impact
- Using social media posts, as some motorist post live videos, photographs, and status updates that indicate they were using the phone while driving
Your lawyer may not need to prove the motorist was using their phone during the accident. If they can show the motorist caused the accident, that motorist (or their insurer) may have to cover your accident-related damages.
Is Someone Always Responsible for an Accident Because They Were Using Their Phone?
Not necessarily. For example, if a motorist is stopped at a light using their phone when someone else rear-ends them, the stopped motorist will not be automatically liable because they were using their phone. In fact, in a rear-end collision, the rear-ending motorist is generally at fault.
A motorist who uses their phone is liable when their phone use contributes to the accident. Considering how risky distracted driving is, there is a significant chance that motorists using their phones will contribute to a collision.
Recoverable Damages After a Distracted Driving Accident
Motor vehicle accidents can cause significant economic and non-economic damages, including:
Accident victims may receive compensation for the cost of:
- Ambulance transportation
- Emergency care
- Hospital stays
- Doctor’s visits
- Other medical services and items
Each accident victim has unique injuries and medical service needs. Our team will ensure you get the care you need, and we’ll fight to ensure liable parties cover the cost of your care.
Pain and Suffering
As a result of their collision and resulting injuries, accident victims may suffer:
- Fear of riding in motor vehicles
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Impaired quality of life
- Sleep problems
- Physical pain
These problems may qualify as pain and suffering and entitle you to compensation.
If injuries prevent you from working, you may lose income, earning power, and other employment benefits. We will include these damages in your claim or lawsuit.
We will seek compensation for repairing or replacing your vehicle and other property damaged in the accident. Motorists who use their phones may strike their victims at high speeds, as their inattention may prevent them from seeing the oncoming collision. This can cause serious and even fatal injuries to the victims.
If you lost a loved one from injuries related to a distracted driving accident, our team will pursue justice for you and other affected loved ones. Recoverable damages may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of consortium
- Lost financial support
- Other accident-related losses
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Call Jenner Law Today for a Free Consultation About Seeking Justice for Your Damages
A distracted driving lawyer from Jenner Law will fight for the compensation you deserve, but we may face a deadline for filing your case. You can contact us now and learn how our firm can fight for your financial recovery. We can also explain what it means if the other driver was using their phone while driving before the accident occurred. Call us today for your free consultation.