Although cellphones allow people to stay in touch more than ever before, they also present a temptation to drivers to use their phones while driving their vehicles. As a result, drivers may become distracted and crash into unsuspecting individuals, causing significant injury and property damage.
For help with holding a driver accountable for causing a crash while texting while driving, reach out to a knowledgeable injury attorney today. An Altoona lawyer experienced with handling accidents involving cellphones could guide you through the claims process, advocate on your behalf during any settlement negotiations, and help you collect evidence to further verify your claim. Call today to schedule a free consultation.
Pennsylvania has a statute which prohibits the use of a cellphone for texting while a vehicle is in motion. This includes prohibitions from accessing emails, social media, or other functions aside from making or receiving calls. However, this law does allow a person to be talking on their phone, even if he or she is not using a hands-free device. While talking on the phone while driving is not illegal, it could still be indicative of a driver’s negligence. That is, the fact that a driver was distracted could still be used to prove that he or she was legally liable for causing a crash.
The cellphone laws apply to all drivers of any age or level of experience. If there is an accident, the plaintiff has to prove that the other driver was driving negligently, and analysis that would take into account if the other driver was inexperienced. A plaintiff would also analyze whether the other driver was on the phone at the time, no matter if they were using a hands-free device.
If it is found that the plaintiff was using also using his or her phone at the time of an accident, the plaintiff may be partially at-fault. Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence system. According to this system, so long as the plaintiff is not more than 50 percent responsible for causing the accident, the plaintiff could still recover. However, the amount the plaintiff would be able to recover is decreased by the percentage of the plaintiff’s own fault. For example, if a victim is found to be 25 percent responsible for the accident in a claim worth $10,000, the victim would only be able to recover $7,500.
The most vital piece of evidence that would carry significant weight in an injury claim is the at-fault party’s cellphone records. The main reason for obtaining this information is to review the phone activity at the time of the accident, such as the calls coming in or out and text messages being sent or received. However, these records are only available for a very short period of time and can be obtained with the help of texting while driving attorney.
The first step in obtaining a person’s phone records would be notifying the defendant and the defendant’s insurance company that the cellphone records are being requested and will be relevant in the case. It would then be incumbent on the defendant to preserve that evidence. In addition to a subpoena, court orders may be needed in order for the phone companies to release this information.
The process of filing an injury claim could prove difficult without the help of a skilled injury attorney. With an Altoona lawyer experienced with accidents involving cellphones , you may be better equipped to counter any attempts made by the defense to minimize your compensation award and help you obtain any relevant cellphone records that could strengthen your claim.
To learn more about how an attorney could help, be sure to schedule a free consultation today.