According to Fort Collins and Colorado law, it is legal for drivers to talk on their cellphone while driving. However, if the driver is using the internet or texting on their phone, they are in violation of state law. Not only is texting while driving illegal, but it could also cause severe injuries and even death to other drivers on the road. If you got into a car accident because another driver was distracted by their phone, a Fort Collins texting while driving accident lawyer could help you get compensation and justice from the responsible party.
How a Texting While Driving Accident is Different
The use of a cellphone by a defendant at the time of an accident can impact the plaintiff’s injury claim by demonstrating that the at-fault driver was distracted while driving. The defendant’s use of a cellphone while driving makes it easier for the plaintiff and their car accident attorney to prove the defendant’s fault. Anything a driver does that diminishes their ability to react to the changing conditions of traffic, such as texting, changing the radio, or eating, could be used to prove negligence in a car accident case. In some cases, the at-fault driver’s negligence by using their cellphone while driving may lead to punitive damages.
What if Both Parties Were Using Their Phones?
If both the injured party and the at-fault driver were using their cellphones at the time of impact, the at-fault driver will likely raise the issue of the injured party’s comparative negligence in any subsequent injury claim. If both drivers were proven to have been using their phone, the jury must then compare the proportion of fault to each driver and assign a percentage of negligence to each.
If the jury assigns 20% negligence to the injured driver, for example, the injured driver’s recoverable damages will be reduced by 20%. The amount of compensation an injured driver will be able to recover is proportionally diminished by their amount of fault.
Evidence in Fort Collins Texting While Driving Cases
Evidence needed for a car accident claim involving cellphones includes the same evidence that one would obtain in a car accident without cellphones being involved. That evidence can be documentation of the damage to the vehicles, the movement of the vehicles, photographs and diagrams of the accident scene, statements from eyewitnesses, the traffic accident report, and the conclusions from law enforcement’s investigation. However, in cases involving cellphones, an attorney would likely subpoena or request the cellphone records of the at-fault driver, which can verify whether they were talking, texting, or browsing the internet on their cellphone while driving.
Insurance companies must get consent from the cellphone owner in order to obtain cellphone records. Law enforcement agencies must have the owner’s consent as well, or a court order to receive the cellphone records. Consent often involves a signed release provided to the insurance company or the law enforcement agency. If consent is not given and if there is a criminal case, civil case, or litigation, cellphone records can be subpoenaed with the help of a Fort Collins texting while driving accident lawyer.
Consult with a Lawyer for Your Cellphone Accident
When you have been seriously injured and your vehicle damaged because another driver negligently used their phone when they should have been focusing on the road, you may need to take legal action to recover the compensation you deserve. Medical bills, lost wages, suffering, and repair costs for your car can stack up. Damages may offer relief. Call a Fort Collins texting while driving accident lawyer at Mac Hester Law today to schedule a consultation for your case.