Biloxi Car Accident Involving Cellphones Lawyer
Being in a motor vehicle accident can be scary, and the litigation that may follow can be frustrating without the help of an experienced attorney. You may need to gather evidence, correspond with insurance companies, and evaluate your losses to pursue adequate compensation. If you have been injured in a car wreck because another driver was using his or her cellphone or mobile device, call a Biloxi car accident involving cellphones lawyer for help with these steps. Let an experienced car accident lawyer fight for you.
The Duties of Drivers to Keep Others Safe
In Biloxi, drivers must take care to not cause any undue harm to other people. This duty is automatic and extends towards other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
Central to any claim for damages is a plaintiff’s ability to demonstrate how a defendant’s conduct breached the applicable duty. This can be done by showing driver carelessness, or by demonstrating that a defendant was violating a rule of the road, such as by using a cellphone to send or receive text messages while driving at the time of the collision. Biloxi car accidents involving cellphones require the skill of an attorney to gather evidence proving driver negligence.
What are the Cellphone Use Laws in Biloxi?
Miss. Code Ann. § 63-33-1 regulates the use of cellphones while driving and addresses writing, sending, or reading text messages as well as reading or posting to social networking sites. It prohibits those practices and sets criminal penalties for someone who engages in that conduct. Additionally, a driver can be found responsible to pay compensation for injuries resulting from an accident that was caused because the driver was sending or reading texts on a mobile phone while driving.
Biloxi law does not make a distinction between new drivers and experienced drivers. The law prohibits every driver from using his or her handheld mobile device to write, send, or read a text, or to read or post on a social networking site. Distracted driving is dangerous for everyone, and a growing number of car wrecks are caused by distracted drivers. Fortunately, a Biloxi car accident involving cellphones attorney could help claimants determine which laws are relevant to his or her case, and prepare and pursue a proper claim to recover full and fair compensation for the injured party.
Liability for Car Accidents Involving Cellphones
Biloxi utilizes the Mississippi law of pure comparative negligence, which allows a partially at-fault claimant to recover limited or reduced damages. A plaintiff whose own negligence contributed to the wreck could be found comparatively at fault for the wreck. A jury will be asked to allocate fault between all parties involved in the wreck, and the plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced by the Judge after the Jury returns its verdict by the percentage of fault allocated to the plaintiff. For example, if the Jury finds that the full and fair compensation for the Plaintiff’s injuries is $100,000, but allocates fault of 60% to the defendant and 40% to the plaintiff, the Judge will reduce the compensation award by 40%, to $60,000.
Types of Damages in a Car Wreck Involving Cellphone Use Case
Under Mississippi law, a person injured in a car wreck because of another person’s breach of their duty to follow the safety rules that keep us all safe while we are on the roads has a right to be compensated for all resulting economic damages. These include such things as past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, mileage for traveling to doctors’ and lawyers’ appointments, and incidental damages for things like having to hire someone to do chores the injured person could normally do around the house. Mississippi law also requires the injured person be compensated for noneconomic damages, in an amount determined to be fair by the Jury. These damages include compensation for physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, anxiety, inconvenience, scarring or permanent disability, loss of enjoyment of life, and the like.
However, wrecks caused because the other driver chose to use a cellphone or other mobile device to send or read texts, or look at or post social media, may require the Jury to consider an aware of punitive damages. Mississippi Code Ann. Section 11-1-65 states that when people engage in conduct that demonstrates a reckless disregard for the safety of others (and choosing to read a text while driving certainly does), punitive damages may be appropriate. Punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer for a conduct, but also to set and example to deter other people from engaging in similar acts in the future. The next person victimized by such careless and reckless conduct could be a young child or pregnant mother, and a substantial punitive damages award alerts everyone in the community that such reckless conduct will not be tolerated.
What is Negligence Per Se?
One of the most effective ways to prove negligence is to show that a defendant’s actions violated a traffic law and that this violation led to the collision. The laws concerning cellphone use while driving are a primary example of this concept.
It benefits those injured in car crashes to determine whether a police officer issued a ticket to the defendant driver and to track the course of this ticket through traffic court. If the ticket results in a conviction in traffic court, that conviction is definitive proof of the defendant’s liability for the accident, and will lead a civil court hearing a claim for damages to presume the defendant is liable for all resulting damages using the concept of negligence per se. A Biloxi lawyer could help to track a traffic ticket involving cellphone use following a car crash
Gathering Evidence in a Car Wreck
A car accident involving cellphones lawyer in Biloxi could help a claimant establish whether the defendant driver had a mobile electronic device available for his or her use in the vehicle at the time of the crash. A qualified attorney could determine who the defendant’s cellphone or mobile device provider is, what his or her phone number is, and potentially obtain his or her Apple ID so the lawyer can see what apps may have been accessed at the time of the wreck. It may also be necessary to subpoena records from the at-fault driver’s cellular service provider to determine the manner in which the device was being used at the time of the accident.
Statute of Limitations in Mississippi
People filing car accident claims that result from illegal cellphone have a limited time after the crash to demand compensation. This is because Biloxi courts must follow the statute of limitations.
In most cases, injured plaintiffs have three years after the crash to demand compensation in court. This time limit also applies to situations where an individual is seeking payment through an insurance settlement. However, if the at fault party is a governmental employee, the claim may need to be brought within only one year. A Biloxi car accident involving cellphones attorney could help to ensure that a claim is filed on time.
Contact a Biloxi Car Accident Involving Cellphones Attorney
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you could benefit from the guidance of a seasoned personal injury lawyer who has experience with these types of cases. Do not enter litigation unprepared or with a weak claim. Instead, let a Biloxi car accident involving cellphones lawyer work with you through each step of the legal process to increase your chances of success. Contact Van Cleave Law for a free consultation today.