In Louisiana, it is illegal to text and drive, and a person will receive a traffic ticket if they are caught by law enforcement doing so. Importantly, “texting” is a broad word that encompasses the use of a cellphone. Law enforcement takes these violations seriously, because any bit of distraction could lead to an accident on the road.
If you were hurt in a car wreck caused by another driver on their cellphone, you may be eligible for compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney could analyze the facts of your case to determine the liability. If the other driver was negligent and caused the accident, a Marksville texting while driving accident lawyer may be able to help you pursue a lawsuit. Call today to schedule a consultation.
How Cellphone Use Impacts Liability
If a plaintiff is using their cellphone, that can affect liability. Louisiana is a comparative fault state. If someone is using their cellphone and they were unable to react quickly to a possible collision or an accident, then they might be attributed some fault. Cellphone use is discoverable information in a court, so once the suit is filed, an insurance company or defendant can ask for cellphone records to see if the plaintiff was on their phone at the time of the accident.
If a defendant is proven to use a cellphone at the time of an accident, or if the defendant admitted to doing so, it certainly errs on the side of negligence. In other words, there is a presumption of negligence when the defendant who caused the accident was using their cellphone. That means they were not paying full attention to the roadway and may be at fault for the accident and resulting injuries.
For a free legal consultation with a texting while driving accident lawyer serving Marksville, call (318) 777-7777
Here in Louisiana, courts use comparative law. If both parties, the injured party and the at-fault driver, were on their cellphones, then the defense could say that perhaps the injured party would have had more time to react and may have been able to avoid the accident altogether or limit the amount of damages. Part of the comparative fault could be assigned to the injured party, even though they were not necessarily the one that caused the accident.
Marksville Texting While Driving Accident Lawyer Near Me (318) 777-7777
Cell Phone Records as Evidence
Typically, phone records can be obtained in civil litigation through discovery, and consent is not needed. If someone is in civil litigation, they have to give up information that is requested and is discoverable. The geolocation of someone’s cellphone as well as the mail data and/or call log of a cellphone could be obtained in a suit for damages involving a car accident in which they believe that cellphone use may be a factor in the negligence of the at-fault driver or even the injured driver or passenger.
Avoyelles Parish Texting While Driving Accident Lawyer
Dangers of Texting While Driving
After years of marketing campaigns, the general public is familiar with the risks associated with drunken driving. However, in some circumstances, a texting driver can present an even greater risk behind the wheel.
Texting while driving can greatly reduce a driver’s reaction time. When traveling at high speeds, looking away from the road for even a few seconds can hinder someone’s ability to avoid a collision. During the time when a distracted driver’s eyes are off the road, pedestrians could cross the street or vehicles could change lanes.
It is worth noting that texting while driving involves more than sending or receiving text messages. Any activity on a mobile device, including reading the news or watching a video, can lead to the same consequences. An Avoyelles Parish attorney handling a texting accident lawsuit could review the facts a crash to determine if any parties were on their phones at the time of the crash.
Louisiana Texting Laws
It is unlawful in most circumstances to use a mobile device while driving in Louisiana. According to Louisiana Statutes §32:300.5, drivers are barred from:
- Writing, sending, or receiving text messages
- Reading, posting, or accessing social media
- Engage in a phone call in a school zone during normal hours
It is also unlawful for teenagers to use a mobile phone while driving outside of emergencies. Finally, drivers with a learner’s permit may only use a hands-free mobile device.
Negligence in a Texting While Driving Accident Lawsuit
To recover damages in an injury lawsuit, an Avoyelles Parish texting while driving accident lawyer must prove the defendant was at fault. To do so, he or she must establish the four elements of negligence. These elements include:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The defendant violated the duty of care
- That violation led to the plaintiff’s injuries, and
- The plaintiff suffered monetary damages due to his or her injuries
Establishing a duty of care is straight-forward in these cases, as drivers owe each other a duty to operate their vehicles safely. Proving that a defendant was texting while driving will likely satisfy the second element, as breaking Louisiana’s texting while driving laws breaches the duty to drive safely.
To collect compensation from the defendant, the plaintiff will also have to show he or she sustained actual damages and that those damages would not have happened but for the defendant’s negligence.
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Contact a Marksville Texting While Driving Accident Attorney
Victims of distracted driving accidents may be eligible for compensation with the help of a Marksville texting while driving accident lawyer. A dedicated attorney could be your legal advisor and advocate at every step of the case. Call today for more information.