Drivers who take their eyes of the road to look at their cell phones put themselves and others at risk of harm. Collisions caused by texting and driving continue to be a serious threat to commuters and a common cause of devastating injuries.
People struck by distracted motorists should work with legal representatives familiar with accidents involving cell phones in Johnstown. If you or a loved one were hit by a texting motorist, do not hesitate to speak with a Johnstown car crash attorney at our firm.
Pennsylvania Texting and Driving Laws
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation prohibits a motorist from using a cellular device to send, read, or write text-based communication while the vehicle is in motion. This applies to any wireless communication device such as a cell phone or tablet.
Use of a cellular phone for making or receiving voice calls, however, is not prohibited. Even hands-free cellular devices put motorists in Johnstown at risk of accidents and should be avoided whenever possible.
Pennsylvania follows the legal doctrine of comparative negligence. Under this theory, a plaintiff can make a recovery for injuries caused by texting while driving accidents only if he or she is not more at-fault than the defendant causing the incident. If the plaintiff is determined to be 51 percent or more responsible for the accident and resulting damages, he or she will be barred from recovery.
If a plaintiff is found to be partially responsible for the accident that caused his or her injuries, the total recoverable damages will be reduced by his or her portion of blame. A plaintiff could be found comparatively negligent if he or she was also texting while driving, speeding, tailgating, or otherwise driving carelessly. As such, it is important for people involved in texting and driving accidents to contact an attorney in the area to help them prove the distracted motorist was the sole reliable party.
Evidence of Driver Cell Phone Use
Johnstown lawyers investigating a vehicle wreck caused by texting and driving may obtain the defendant’s cell phone records as evidence. There are two ways in which a lawyer may do this. One way is through law enforcement, as the reporting police officer may seize evidence from the scene, such as a cell phone.
The other way is to issue a subpoena for the defendant’s cell phone records, including his or her calls, texts, and cellular data usage from the date of the accidents. This can only occur after a lawsuit has been filed. Notice to the opposing attorneys must be provided before the subpoena can be served. Other evidence can include surveillance footage, photographs, or witness statements showing that the defendant was on his or her phone at the time of the collision.
It is imperative that cell phone records be preserved promptly after a collision, as these records are typically only available for a very limited period of time. A preservation letter must be sent to the applicable cell phone carriers.
Learn More About Accidents Involving Cell Phones from a Johnstown Attorney
Despite texting and driving being illegal in Pennsylvania, motorists in the area often use their cell phones while behind the wheel. Whether to text, call, listen to music, or scroll through social media, a driver’s cell phone use puts all others on the road at serious risk of harm.
If you were hit by a distracted driver, make sure you work with a lawyer experienced in handling accidents involving cell phones in Johnstown. Our team at Marcus & Mack could provide essential legal guidance to ensure you are fairly compensated for your harm. Call now to learn more.