Filing Injury Claims When Cell Phone Use Is Involved
Drivers must pay attention to the road at all times because it only takes a moment of distraction to cause a tragic accident. That’s why it’s against the law to use a handheld device for texting, talking, or any other activity while driving in Arizona.
If you were injured in a car accident caused by someone using a handheld device, that demonstrates negligent behavior. Your car accident attorney will collect evidence of driver distraction and include it when filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit on your behalf.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention away from safe driving. This includes eating, talking, adjusting the radio, using GPS, or reaching for an object inside the vehicle. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3522 people were killed by distracted driving in a recent year.
Due to the sharp rise in smartphone use, there has been an increase in the number of injuries and fatalities caused by distracted driving, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). To address this situation, the State of Arizona has enacted aggressive distracted driving laws that prohibit the use of handheld devices while driving.
It is against the law for drivers to hold a cell phone or support it perched on their shoulder while driving, and there are strict penalties. A citation for a first offense includes fines between $75 and $149. Subsequent offenses carry fines between $150 and $250. If a driver causes a crash while using a handheld device, they may face a criminal penalty of up to six months in jail and fines of up to $2,500.
Handheld cell phone activities that are prohibited for drivers in Arizona include:
- Playing video games
- Sending text messages
- Watching videos
- Recording videos
- Using social media
Determining if a Distracted Driver Caused Your Injuries
All forms of distracted driving are hazardous. Every year, distracted drivers cause crashes that injure and kill thousands of vehicle motor vehicle occupants, bicyclists, motorcycle riders, and pedestrians.
Cell phone use is particularly dangerous because it causes visual, manual, and cognitive distraction that completely diverts the driver’s attention for an extended period of time. In fact, sending or reading a text takes 5 seconds or longer.
If you suffer an automobile crash that causes injuries, dial 911 right away. It’s important to report any suspicious activity that you or your passengers observe, such as signs of intoxication or cell phone use by another driver who is involved in the accident.
In some cases, a driver will acknowledge cell phone use when questioned by a police officer. If there is a criminal investigation of the accident, police and prosecutors may subpoena the driver’s phone records. Your Phoenix car accident lawyer has the right to request phone records.
Resources that your attorney will use to determine if the driver who injured you was illegally using a cell phone at the time of the accident include:
- Police reports
- Witnesses statements
- Surveillance camera video
- Wireless phone company records
Damages Available for Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving
When a driver isn’t paying attention, bad things are bound to happen. Victims of motor vehicle collisions suffer severe injuries. After an accident, you may be unable to return to work and require an extended recovery period. Catastrophic injuries, such as paralysis, nerve damage, and traumatic brain injury (TBI), cause chronic pain and disabilities that can prevent you from resuming your regular activities.
The experienced Phoenix distracted driving accident lawyers at The Husband & Wife Law Team will investigate your accident and file a claim against all negligent parties who contributed to your injuries. We will seek the following types of damages:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Medical devices
- Lost income
- Reduced quality of life
- Occupational therapy
- In-home nursing care
- Wheelchair access for your home
- Wrongful death
Were You Injured by a Careless Driver in Phoenix?
Mark and Alexis Breyer of The Husband & Wife Law Team have been getting justice for accident victims in Phoenix for over 25 years, and we have a 98 percent success rate.
Alexis was named a Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney by Best of the Best, and Mark holds an AV Rating from Martindale-Hubbell. They’ve both been recognized by the independent rating agencies Super Lawyers and Avvo for providing clients with outstanding service.
Call us at (480) 588-8508 to schedule a FREE consultation today. You won’t owe us anything unless we win your case.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer