Texting While Driving Accidents In Washington DC
Just like in any vehicle as the District of Columbia, handheld devices are not allowed to be used by somebody when they are operating a motor vehicle in the District of Columbia. That includes a cellphone, or any other device which would be a distraction while the driver is operating the vehicle.
If you or a loved one were injured in a collision due to a distracted driver, Roger Gelb can help you seek compensation. Speak to a seasoned DC texting while driving accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Exceptions to Using Hand-Held Devices
If the device is not held in the operator’s hand, then the driver of the vehicle should be able to use the speakerphone that should not interfere with the operation of the vehicle. It is similar to having a radio on. They can listen, they could speak as they could speak to another passenger in the car, but being distracted by looking at something else is where the problem comes in.
How Can The Use Of The Cellphone By The Plaintiff At The Time Of An Accident Impact a Claim?
If the plaintiff was using a cellphone, there could be an argument that they were contributorily negligent in causing the accident. This means they were failing to give their full time and attention when the accident occurred. If the plaintiff was found to be even one percent at fault or less in the District of Columbia then they would be barred from recovery against the at fault party.
However, just because they were using their cellphones, does not mean they were necessarily contributorily negligent. They would have to be able to show that that contributory negligence or that negligence for that failure to abide by the law in any way, was the proximate cause for the accident itself. For example, if they were texting while they were stopped at a red light, the fact that they were texting is irrelevant and in no way, shape or form contributed to the accident.
What Kind Of Consent Is Required For Law Enforcement And Insurance Companies To View The Phone Records?
That the owner of the phone has to give consent or else one of the parties of the case in litigation has to have a subpoena to get those records, otherwise these records are private and unavailable.
Schedule a DC Texting While Driving Accident Attorney
With any negligence case, an attorney has to show that there was a duty, a breach, causation and damages. It is no different if the defendant was using a cellphone. An attorney could demand copies of cellphone records as well as other pertinent records which will allow me to prove definitively whether that driver was texting while driving, was using their handheld device. Those can be important factors in helping to prove liability and to prove even potentially punitive damages, if appropriate.
If a lawyer can show that there was a duty, breach of that duty, causation, and damages you may be eligible to recover compensation for damages. Schedule a consultation with a DC texting while driving accident lawyer today.