Cell Phone Car Accidents
Cell phones are a part of daily life in Tennessee, and drivers routinely use their cars to navigate, send texts, make calls, or do other things that distract them from the important task of paying attention to the road. Cell phone usage is responsible for 1.6 million accidents across the country each year. Distracted driving causes more car accidents than drunk driving per year. If you were hurt because someone using a cell phone caused a car accident in the Knoxville area, you can consult experienced attorney Mark Hartsoe to help you pursue compensation from the at-fault driver.Seeking Damages after an Accident Caused by Cell Phone Use
If you are a car crash victim in Tennessee, you must usually establish a defendant's negligence to recover damages for your injuries. This means that you must show by a preponderance of the evidence the other driver's duty to you, a breach of that duty, causation, and actual damages. The use of a cell phone is not necessarily a breach of duty or the cause of an accident, although it may be.
In Tennessee, texting is prohibited while driving, but cell phone use is not, except for those drivers who have only a learner's permit or an intermediate license. Drivers with ordinary driving privileges can call someone and talk on their phone while they are driving, even though they cannot text. This difference can make the texting ban difficult to enforce. After an accident, however, it may be possible to recover phone records to show that a driver was texting or talking on the phone while driving. Your attorney might retain an expert to establish that talking on the phone results in slower reaction times and impaired driving, which may help establish the elements of breach of duty and causation.
In some cases, employees use their cell phones while driving. An employer may be liable to a third party who is injured in a car accident due to an employee's negligent cell phone use under the doctrine of vicarious liability. This can be helpful to an accident victim because an employer is likely to have more resources with which to compensate the plaintiff than an individual driver.
To establish this doctrine, you would need to prove that the accident occurred in the course and scope of employment. For example, a pizza company might be held liable under vicarious liability if a pizza driver is talking on the phone and as a result of his distraction gets into a car accident. Generally, if an employer requires a driver to take calls while driving or provides a cell phone to the employee without a policy prohibiting use of the phone, the employer may be liable.Consult a Knoxville Attorney for Your Negligence Claim
After suffering injuries in a car accident, you may be concerned about how you will pay your medical bills and take time off work. It is important to enlist an experienced motor vehicle collision lawyer who has helped other Knoxville residents try to establish liability after a car accident. At the Hartsoe Law Firm, we can fight for your rights against insurers and defense attorneys who try to excuse their client’s behavior. In most personal injury cases, it can be useful to have a lawyer who is willing and able to go to trial if you are not offered the compensation you need and deserve. For a free initial consultation, call (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form.