What if My Accident was Caused by Someone Using a Cell Phone?
Cell phones have become commonplace in automobiles across the United States. Laws regulating cell phone usage while driving have been enacted by many states. In the State of Washington, text messaging on a cell phone or using a hand held device while driving is banned; violators will receive a $124 ticket.The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety provides a list of cell laws for each state.
Read Washington's cell phone laws:
Vehicle Code RCW 46.61.667 - Using a Wireless Communications Device While Driving
Vehicle Code RCW 46.61.668 - Sending, Reading, or Writing a Text Message While Driving
Sometimes people are involved in automobile accidents and the use of a cell phone is a cause or a factor in the accident. If you have been in an automobile accident and you believe that the other driver was using a cell phone when the accident occurred, you should take the following steps:
- Stay calm and try to record information about the accident. Write down the accident time because your attorney may compare the time of the accident with the others driver's cell phone records. Tell the police officers the time the accident occurred and ask them to write it on their report.
- Talk to any witnesses and ask them if they observed the other driving using a cell phone. Witnesses may be able to testify to this fact.
- When you talk to the other driver, ask them, "Were you talking on your cell phone?" Any witnesses may be able to testify that they heard the driver saying, "yes."
- You may request that the police officer check the other driver's cell phone for their cell phone number as well as making a note of their last calls made and received.
- If the other driver refuses to allow the police officer to see their cell phone, then the officer may ask them for their cell phone number.
- Once you have received medical treatment, you should contact an automobile accident attorney. Your auto accident attorney may ask the court to legally preserve the other driver's cell phone records and relate them to the accident time. This information can help you prove the case in court that the other driver was negligent due to cell phone usage.