Causing an Accident with Phone in Hand
In California there are two primary laws that define settlements or judgments for cases that include a driver using a handheld device. A recent study revealed that at any moment, more than 600,000 people are using a handheld device while driving somewhere in the US. And if any of them gets in an accident while using their phone, the blame for the accident will fall squarely in their lap.
If you were using your cell phone in any way during an accident, you will need a lawyer to defend you and help keep any judgement fairly within the law. Lawyers, police, courts, insurance companies, and the media are vocally critical of drivers who use their phone without a headset. And while the criticism is fair, sometimes those drivers take on a greater share of blame than necessary for the accidents.
To start, many drivers are embarrassed about causing an accident. They feel guilty and are willing to take on the majority of the blame out of a sense of obligation. The insurance companies are more than willing to use these feelings of guilt. Both sides of an insurance claim don’t want lawyers to drive up the cost of the claims; so when a driver is willing to to take blame, the insurance companies don’t protest.
Frequently, the blame is far closer to 50-50. In order to determine the true distribution of blame, you will need a good lawyer to ask some tough questions of the other driver. Instead of letting you be the default reason for an accident, a good lawyer will dig deep and look at other factors such as the other driver’s speed, driving record, and condition of his or her vehicle. Frequently, when a good lawyer analyzes the other driver, blame can be shared more evenly.
Being on your phone without a headset while driving is against the law. And if you caused an accident, you should expect to pay a fine for your choices. However, the financial cost of the accident doesn’t have to fall entirely on your shoulders. Have a good lawyer to help you determine a fair and equitable determination of fault.