If a driver was on the phone when the accident occurred, you can report the driver’s action to the police officer who investigates your crash. Depending on the driver’s age and where the accident happened, the driver may face penalties for using a phone and causing a car wreck.
The driver, however, can deny using a phone and causing the crash. It will be up to your personal injury attorneys to prove your claim that the distracted driver caused the accident.
Speak to a car accident attorney at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC. Our firm can investigate your accident and help you pursue compensation for your injuries and property damage. Call us at 865-546-1111 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our attorneys.
Driver’s Age and Cell Phone Usage
Tennessee bans drivers under 18-years-old who have a learner’s permit or intermediate driver’s license from using a cell phone while driving. A young driver caught talking on the phone while driving faces a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum $50 fine and a 90-day delay in eligibility for an intermediate restricted or intermediate driver license.
Drivers over 18 years old can talk on a phone while driving. However, distracted drivers who cause accidents while on the phone will be held accountable for their actions. Additionally, Tennessee bans drivers of all ages from sending and receiving text messages while driving.
Places Where Talking on a Cell Phone is Banned
A new state law took effect on January 1, 2018, that bans drivers from talking on a hand-held phone while driving in an active school zone. Drivers who violate this new measure face a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $50. However, drivers 18 years old and older can use a hands-free device while driving through school zones.
Drivers under 18 years old may not drive and use any phone in a school zone or anywhere else.
Proving That the Other Driver Was on the Phone When the Accident Occurred
Drivers probably will not admit that they were on the phone when the accident happened. Why? Because drivers are warned not to reveal fault at a car accident scene even if they believed they caused the crash. In general, drivers should limit their conversation at an accident scene.
However, because of a driver’s nervousness and excitement at the accident scene, they may admit to being on the phone. If the driver does not agree to use the phone, there are other ways to prove your claim:
Make a Statement to the Police Officer
If you saw the driver talking on the phone before the crash, you can tell the police officer who responded to the accident scene. The police officer will note that in the accident report and ask the other driver about your claim.
The passengers in your car and the other driver’s car may have seen the other driver on the phone. If so, they can make a statement to the police officer. Also, there may be other eyewitnesses who can corroborate your statement.
The Driver’s Phone Records
Records from the driver’s phone carrier can provide substantial proof of the driver being on the phone at the time of the accident. You cannot obtain these records on your own because a phone company will not turn over records to someone not named on the account.
If you want to obtain phone records, talk to a lawyer at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC. If you decide to file a personal injury claim or a lawsuit and allow us to serve as your legal representative, we can ask a court for permission to subpoena the records from the other driver’s phone carrier.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit
If you sustained injuries from your accident, our firm could help you recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Other damages
- Investigate your accident to prove the driver’s negligence caused the injury, motor vehicle accident
- File a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf
- Negotiate a settlement
- File a wrongful death lawsuit (if your loved one died in the crash)
Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, Today at 865-546-1111
If a driver on a cell phone caused an accident that injured you or your loved ones, call us to schedule a free case evaluation.