Unfortunately, many people choose to use their cell phone while operating a vehicle, despite its well-known risks. Unfortunately, this can result in catastrophic vehicle wrecks causing serious, potentially fatal harm.
If you were struck be a driver who was texting, do not hesitate to seek guidance from a well-practiced injury attorney. A Murfreesboro texting while driving accident lawyer could help you hold the negligent party liable for your damages.
What Tennessee Laws Regulate Driver Cellphone Use?
Tennessee law states that driver’s hands should be free from using a cell phone when they operate a vehicle. For drivers under the age of 18, they are not allowed to use their cell phones at all when driving, including hands-free devices.
Motorists who are over 18 years of age are allowed to use hands-free navigation or devices in their car. For example, if their car has Bluetooth network that enables them to use talk through their car speakers while also keeping both hands on the wheel, that would be permittable.
Texting While Driving Impact on Civil Claim
Cell phone use at the time of a vehicle collision could have serious implications on a potential claim. Whether the defendant or claimant was texting while driving, it is important to seek representation from an experienced Murfreesboro attorney.
Defendant Cell Phone Use
If the defendant is using a cell phone at the time of the car collision, that is an aggravating factor in the case. In other words, if a driver causes a wreck by being careless and not meeting the standard of care necessary, they could be held legally liable for the resulting damages.
Furthermore, since using a cellular device while driving is illegal in Tennessee, a defendant could face criminal charges as well. A local lawyer could use a conviction as evidence of driver negligence in a separate civil claim for damages.
Claimant Cell Phone Use
If the injured party was on their cell phone when they were hit, the overall impact it could have depends on other facts surrounding the case. For example, if the plaintiff was texting while parked and got struck by another driver, their cell phone use would likely have no impact on their recoverable damages. However, if they were operating a cell phone while driving and therefore contributed to the car collision, that could severely impact their recovery under the theory of comparative fault.
The theory of comparative liability states that a court must assess the actions of both parties in a vehicle crash and sign them each a percentage of fault. Claimants can still recover a reduced damage award so long as they are not more at fault than the defendant. If the plaintiff is 51 percent or more at fault, they are barred from legal recourse.
What Evidence is Needed to Prove Texting While Operating a Vehicle?
A seasoned attorney investigating a texting while driving accident in Murfreesboro will likely file a subpoena for the defendant’s cell phone records from their provider. This could help them determine whether the defendant was using their cell phone at the time or immediately before the wreck.
Lawyers may also get witness statements that say whether they saw the defendant using their cell phone while driving. Photographs and video footage could also be useful evidence. Additionally, if the defendant is also facing criminal charges for texting while driving, a lawyer could use that proof.
Speak to a Texting While Driving Attorney in Murfreesboro
Vehicle collisions can be devastating, and often result in severe injuries. Injured parties could require long-term treatment which could result in substantial medical bills.
If you were harmed in a crash with a distracted driver, reach out to a Murfreesboro texting while driving lawyer. An experienced injury attorney could review your case and provide helpful guidance on how to proceed. Schedule a consultation today.