If you were injured in a car accident caused by someone using a cell phone, call Kogan & DiSalvo for a free consultation. A texting and driving accident lawyer can examine the facts of your case and help fight for any compensation you may deserve. Boynton Beach texting while driving accident liability can make a case complex, but an attorney may know how to best fight on your behalf.
Cell Phone Use by the Victim
If a person is speaking on their cell phone, stops at a red light, and they get rear-ended, they would not be liable. Even though they were using a phone, the cell phone had no impact on how the accident occurred, and they could not have prevented it.
On the other hand, suppose a person is distracted by a cell phone, enters an intersection during a green light, and collides with another vehicle in the intersection. Even though the light was green, drivers have a responsibility to ensure the path is clear before moving. In that case, a defendant may argue that the driver could have avoided the accident if they were not on a cell phone. In a case like this, the use of a cell phone can lead to a claim of comparative negligence.
Use of a Cell Phone by the Defendant
For distracted driving, depending on the occurrence and depending on how the accident occurred, a claim of the use of a cell phone by the defendant can be very helpful in the client’s pursuit of the claim. By its very nature, if a person is using a cell phone, they are distracted. Everyone is supposed to drive their vehicle in a consistent, safe manner, and if someone is on a cell phone, it means they were not focusing 100% of their attention on the job of operating a motor vehicle. The cell phone contributed to causing the accident, and as a result, it can lead to a stronger liability case.
What Happens if Both Parties Were Using Cell Phones?
Whether or not a cell phone plays a role in an accident is determined on a factual-case-by-factual-case basis. Suppose both drivers in the rear-end scenario above were on cell phones. If the at-fault driver was on a cell phone, the cell phone usage would lead to further evidence of distracted driving. Had they not been on the cell phone, they might have stopped in time, seen the victim, and stopped in time to avoid the collision. In that scenario, it does not matter that the victim was on the phone because they are not doing anything.
In an intersection collision where both parties claim the right-of-way and both were using cell phones, it is somewhat of a wash, meaning that they are both responsible for the distraction their use of the cell phone caused.
Texting while driving accident liability can be complex, and the circumstances surrounding any particular accident can affect the outcome. One of the attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo would have to look at:
- How the accident happened
- The factors leading up to the accident
- What caused the accident
- Whether cell phone use and distractedness was a factor
Evidence Needed for Accident Claims Involving Cell Phones
Typically, in a pre-suit situation, which means that the accident victim’s case has not been filed in court yet, the ability to access the defendant driver’s cell phone records essentially does not exist. A victim’s attorney cannot get the defendant’s cell phone records until they have filed a lawsuit. Once they have filed suit, they are able to obtain and subpoena the defendant driver’s cell phone records. From those records, the injured party’s attorney could determine what the defendant was doing at the time of the accident.
The plaintiff’s attorney could obtain information about cell phone conversations, texting, or potentially internet usage. There is information that can be obtained pursuant to subpoena and production of cell phone records. Cell phone records can be very helpful in showing the jury that the defendant was negligent and caused the accident.
As of 2023, Florida is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that a plaintiff in an accident case must be 49% or less at fault for the crash in order to recover. For example, a jury could rule that a defendant’s cell phone use may have prevented them from avoiding an accident, therefore they are 50% percent at fault for their own injuries. That ruling would prevent them from recovering any damages. It is a case-by-case, fact-by-fact analysis as to whether or not cell phone usage by the potential client will have an impact on a case.
Contacting a Boynton Beach Car Accident Attorney
Kogan & DiSalvo are standing by for your call. If you were injured because someone else was texting while driving, you deserve to be represented by experienced attorneys. The team at Kogan & DiSalvo understand the laws regarding texting while driving accident liability, and they could fight on your behalf.