Truck accidents caused by cellphone use occur frequently in Lafayette. Each year, the rate of these accidents increases. While drunk driving is actually going down, distracted driving accidents are going through the roof and are a major problem, particularly with truck drivers.
If you were hurt in a truck accident involving by cell phone use in or near Lafayette, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. Reach out to an experienced truck accident attorney to discuss your case and begin fighting for fair compensation.
In Louisiana, the rules regarding using a phone while driving depend on who the person is and how long they have had a driver’s license. If a driver is over the age of 18 and has had a license for more than a year, they are allowed to talk on the phone. However, they are prohibited from using a cellphone for texting, email, social media posting, or anything else. In a school zone during posted school hours, even talking on a cellphone is prohibited.
If the driver has just received their license within the last year, they are prohibited from using a cellphone while driving unless they are using hands-free technology. If the driver is 18 years or younger, it is always illegal to talk or text using a cellphone while driving. Once they turn 18, then the normal laws regarding cellphone usage of adults apply.
If a plaintiff is using a cellphone at the time of the accident, it can impact their injury claim. If the plaintiff was texting, emailing or violating the law, and it may put some of the fault for the accident on them. For example, if it was shown that the plaintiff was distracted and missed the opportunity to avoid the accident, then they may be partially at fault.
Use of a cellphone by the defendant at the time of an accident can also affect a claim. A defendant’s cell phone use needs to be investigated to see if it contributed to the accident. In many instances, the defendant driver was texting or responding to an email, and because they were distracted, they may run a red light or a stop sign or swerve into another lane. If that is found to be the case, that is more of a reason to put the defendant driver at fault because it shows negligence.
The main type of evidence that will need to be obtained in a Lafayette truck accident claim involving cellphones would be records from the cellphone company. These records will show the time of text messages, if someone was on the phone at the time of the accident, and if they were using data to access websites or social media. Additionally, some trucking companies have dashboard cameras inside their vehicles that may have recorded the truck driver talking, texting, watching videos, or doing something on their cellphone at the time of the accident.
If the driver does not agree to turn over their cellphone records and a lawsuit is filed, the first step is to send discovery to the defendant’s insurance company and to their personal attorney asking for these phone records. If they refuse to comply, then the next step is to file a motion to compel with the court, and a judge can order the release of their records. In some cases, it may be necessary to send a subpoena directly to the cellphone provider.
If you were involved in a truck accident caused by cell phone use, you should reach out to a dedicated Lafayette attorney for assistance. With a skilled lawyer by your side, you could fight for the compensation you need. Call today to discuss your case.