Personal Injury Attorney | Car Accidents Caused by Cell Phone Use
Personal Injury Attorney . An increasing number of states and municipalities prohibit the use of cell phones while driving, exposing drivers to fines and other penalties. But did you know that in addition to breaking the law, using a cell phone while driving may also expose you to a lawsuit if you are involved in a car accident? Here’s an update on some of the latest legal developments regarding cell phone use and texting while driving as they relate to liability for a car accident. To learn more about the laws governing cell phone use while driving in your state, contact a local personal injury attorney.
Drivers Using Cell Phones May Be Responsible for Car Accidents
When one driver sues another for damage resulting from a car accident, the person bringing the lawsuit (the plaintiff ) generally has to prove that the other driver (the defendant) caused the accident through his or her careless driving.
In some recent cases, plaintiffs have argued that a driver was legally at fault for the accident because the driver used a cell phone or other device immediately before or during the collision.
In other cases, injured plaintiffs have also been found to have contributed to the accident because they were using a phone while driving.
Examples of careless driving caused by phone use include:
Driving with only one hand on the steering wheel.
Taking eyes off the road to reach for a cell phone, dial a number, or send a text message
Failing to keep a proper lookout to surrounding dangers because of distractions caused by the cell phone
Being distracted by a conversation on a cell phone. According to some studies, being involved in a emotionally charged conversation is enough to distract a driver and cause him or her to drive carelessly, even using “hands-free”
Employees Doing Business on Cell Phones
An employer might be legally responsible for a car accident caused by an employee if the employee was on a work-related call when the accident happened, or was sending or reading a work-related text at the time. In such an accident, the injured person is more likely to sue the employer, rather than the employee-drive. The employer typically has “deeper pockets” to pay a settlement or lawsuit judgment. This is why growing numbers of employers prohibit employees from using any kind of phone or device while driving. Contact a personal injury attorney if you are in a accident related to cell phone use.
Are Parents Responsible for Kids’ Cell Phone Use?
In a recent case, plaintiffs argued that parents should be held legally responsible for car accidents caused by their kids’ cell phone use. In this case, the parents provided the minor child with the cell phone, and the child was using a cell phone while driving. The law is still undecided on this issue, but parents should think twice before encouraging their kids to make calls while driving. To get further explanation on this risk, talk to a personal injury attorney.
And keep in mind that some states have special cell phone laws applying to teens or novice drivers. In these states, teens may be prohibited from using cell phones while driving or may have more stringent restrictions than do adults.
Insurance companies are paying close attention to the link between phone use and car accidents, and many auto insurance websites warn of the dangers of distracted driving. If you are at fault for a car accident caused by cell phone use, or are ticketed for talking or texting while driving, you’re likely to see your insurance premium rise. The best way to avoid a higher premium is to avoid an accident altogether. – NOLO.com
Since 1989, the personal injury attorneys of Clekis Law Firm have been representing injured people and their families in Charleston and throughout the Low Country. At the Clekis Law Firm our clients always come first. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious personal injury due to the negligence of another, don’t be victimized twice. You need someone on your side to help you with your personal injury case and obtain the fair and reasonable compensation that you deserve. Call Clekis at 843.779.1160!