One of the riskiest forms of distracted driving is operating a cell phone while driving. When drivers use their cell phones while on the road, they are not fully concentrating on their surroundings. Sadly, just a single moment of diversion is enough for a catastrophic accident to take place.
Fortunately, law enforcement takes cell phone use in Phenix City car accidents seriously. Those who negligently use their phones while driving and cause a crash can be held liable for any resulting damages. Contact a seasoned motor vehicle collision attorney at Bence Law Firm, LLC, today if you were injured in a wreck caused by another person’s careless actions.
Alabama’s Cell Phone Laws
Drivers are prohibited from texting, looking at social media, and typing anything on their phone screen when operating a motor vehicle in Alabama. Ala. Code § 32-5A-350 explicitly bans writing, sending, or reading text-based communications while driving. This includes email, instant messages, and text messages. Such actions are considered negligent and can result in legal consequences.
While state law prohibits texting while driving, it does not ban talking on the phone or holding the phone while driving. However, drivers are strongly recommended to use Bluetooth capability through their vehicle or a hands-free device like earbuds. The goal is to limit cell phone use and diminish the number of auto accidents in Phenix City and throughout the state.
Exceptions to These Laws
Alabama’s distracted driving laws do contain a few exceptions. For instance, drivers are permitted to use wireless devices to contact emergency services such as the police. Additionally, a driver can park their car on the side of the road and use their cell phone. Finally, drivers are allowed to use GPS applications such as Google Maps or Waze, as long as the destination coordinates are already programmed.
What Happens When an Injured Person Was Using Their Phone at the Time of the Crash?
Alabama follows the legal principle of contributory negligence, which means that if an injured person is even one percent at fault for causing the accident, they cannot bring a case against another party. If the injured party used their phone at the time of the collision and it is proven, they could be considered partially liable, and their case may be barred. Even if someone else’s actions caused the accident, the injured person’s phone use could impact their ability to bring a claim against the other party.
Collecting Evidence to Prove Defendant Liability
In a Phenix City car accident claim involving cell phones, evidence such as witness statements can be powerful in determining whether a driver was using their phone at the time of the wreck. Witnesses can provide detailed accounts of what they saw, including whether they saw the driver looking down or holding a phone. Additionally, once a lawsuit is filed, cellphone records can be obtained through a subpoena. Although consent is not required by law, the subpoena power allows the documents to be obtained for the day of, before, or after the accident to determine whether the driver was using their phone during the crash.
If Cell Phone Use Was a Factor in Your Car Accident, Call a Phenix City Attorney
Cell phone use in Phenix City car accidents happens all too often. When you or a family member are hurt in a wreck caused by distracted driving, a qualified legal professional at Bence Law Firm, LLC, could help seek compensation for your losses.
Our founding attorney David Bence is well-versed in Alabama’s cell phone use laws and their exceptions and will work tirelessly to prove another driver’s liability in your case. Reach out today to schedule a consultation to discuss your legal options.