How Do Cell Phones Affect a Personal Injury Claim in Louisiana?
We’ve all done it. We all know someone who constantly does it. But talking on the phone while driving is dangerous nonetheless. The state of Louisiana has specific rules and laws that regulate the use of cell phones in automobiles with the intent to help protect victims of cell phone-related accidents.
Driving While Talking in Monroe, Louisiana: Is It Illegal?
There may be no such thing as a DWT — not yet, anyway. But the state of Louisiana’s distracted driving laws do prohibit the use of cell phones. Specific usage restrictions include:
- Texting — includes all forms of messaging
- Reading or accessing any text-based information
- Use of any social media
- Use of applications (see exceptions below)
- Talking on the phone while in a school zone during school hours
The distracted driving laws make the following exceptions for cell phone usage while driving:
- Devices used by emergency personnel for official duties
- Using a GPS
- Reporting emergencies and criminal activity
Penalties for using your cell phone while driving range from fines to license suspensions, which vary depending on special circumstances and prior instances when such accidents cause harm or injury.
Cell Phone Crashes: It’s More Common Than You May Think
In today’s access-everything-on-the-go culture it would seem that hands-free talking and voice-to-text makes talking while driving safe. That isn’t true. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, an estimated 4.5 million people were seriously injured in cell phone crashes between 2015 and 2018, and an estimated 40,000 more were killed in fatal phone-related crashes.
Even a quick glance at a text, or even a poorly placed GPS, can have heavy consequences. No one gets into their car with the intention of causing an accident or injuring another person. But when you use your cell phone with either a conscious or unconscious disregard for distracted driving laws, you are putting your own safety at risk as well as that of everyone around you.
How Does Cell Phone Usage Affect a Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injury claims that arise from cell phone-related car wrecks have unique processes when compared to other personal injury cases. These include:
- Cell phone records may be subpoenaed during the investigation of the accident to prove or disprove the driver was utilizing their cell phone at the time of the accident.
- Witnesses and victims will often, as they should, report that the other driver was using their cell phone while driving. These reports have to be taken seriously by police and investigators and should be followed up on by your personal injury attorney.
- Investigators can also track the responsible driver’s path to see if they missed road signs, were speeding, or committed other traffic violations due to being distracted by using their cell phone.
There are many ways the use of a cell phone can affect your personal injury case, and an experienced attorney will help you understand those differences and how they affect the strategy used to pursue the highest compensation attainable.
Monroe, Louisiana Cell Phone Car Accident Attorney
If another person’s careless or reckless driving has caused you to get hurt in the Monroe area, you need an experienced Monroe personal injury attorney who concentrates on these cases. My name is John Bruscato, and with years of experience helping clients pursue compensation for car accident-related injuries, I have the experience and expertise to make a difference in your case.
Whether the other driver’s mistake was caused by carelessness, negligence, or inappropriate cell phone usage, you should know that the law is on your side — and so am I. Call my office today for a free consultation.