Auto Accidents and Cell Phone Use
In May of 2014, the state of Utah instituted laws prohibiting cell phone use while driving. This includes texting, updating Facebook, taking pictures, and dialing phone numbers. These restrictions were put in place to reduce the number of car accidents caused by cell phone negligence, but it has not eliminated these types of accidents altogether. If you are the victim of an auto accident caused by a driver who was distracted by his or her cell phone, you need to have an experienced attorney by your side to help with insurance claims, lost wages, and burden of proof. To learn more about auto accidents and cell phones, contact our Ogden, UT practice today.
What Is the Law in Utah?
The law that went into effect in May of 2014 bans any physical manipulation of a cell phone while driving. This includes texting, Skyping, updating Facebook, accessing the Internet, and dialing phone numbers. Hands-free talking on the phone is still considered legal, as is the use of GPS navigation. A driver found in violation of this law is subject to a fine of up to $100. If the driver causes an accident or injury while in violation of the distracted driving law, the fine may be up to $1,000.
What You Should Do after an Accident
If you are involved in an accident caused by a driver distracted by his or her cell phone, there are several things you should do right away. In an accident involving injury, the police will always be called. If the driver who caused the accident was using a cell phone, be sure to report this to the responding officers. If they issue a citation to the driver for distracted driving due to cell phone use, it will be added to their report, which will help your case later.
You will also need to obtain the driver’s insurance information, which should also be included in the police report. Utah is a no-fault insurance state, meaning that you will have to file a claim with your own insurance company, but they can use the police report and other information to transfer the claim.
If you have been injured in the accident, it is important that you visit the emergency room, or at least see your doctor, as soon as possible. Medical records cannot be used to prove negligence, but they can be used to link your injury to the accident.
In addition, you may want to contact an experienced auto accident attorney to help you receive due compensation.
Why You Need an Attorney
Having an attorney by your side after a distracted driver accident is important. Your attorney can refer you to a healthcare provider to attend to any injuries you suffer. The attorney will help you with your insurance claim if your vehicle is damaged in the accident. If a trial is necessary, your experienced lawyer may obtain a subpoena for the negligent driver’s phone records, to prove that the driver was using his or her phone at the time of the accident. The attorney will also gather any witness statements, as well as any photos or videos of the accident. Above all, an experienced attorney is well versed in the nuances of auto accident law, and will work to make sure you receive the maximum case value.
Contact Us Now for a Free Consultation
If you have been in an accident caused by a negligent driver who was distracted by a cell phone, contact Froerer and Miles today to schedule a legal consultation. Each of our attorneys has at least 20 years of experience, and they are ready to use that experience to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.