People take legal matters into their own hands every day, and sometimes they lose money and property in the process. You can make a legally binding contract without using an attorney, but you are risking missing some big legal loopholes and laws you may not be familiar with that can not only make your contract invalid but can actually cost you in the end. When you are selling or purchasing real estate, tackling the creation of a will or even just loaning money to a friend, a consultation with an attorney can be a positive step. I'll show you when and why you need an attorney.
Cell phone usage is so natural these days that people often feel that they can use their phone while they are driving. Unfortunately, cell phones are responsible for a quarter of car accidents due to people that are too distracted by using the device. If you're involved in a car accident with a driver that was using their cell phone at the time, it's important to know what your rights are and what you can do about it.
Know Your Local Laws
There are a variety of laws regarding distracted driving around the country. Be aware that there are guidelines that define usage in general, as well as guidelines for specific types of use. For example, 46 states prohibit texting while driving, with 4 only having restrictions on people such as novice drivers and school bus drivers.
Depending on the state the accident occurred in and what the other driver was doing, you may be able to establish a valid case against the other driver and receive more in monetary damages.
Know About Punitive Damages
While violating the law will result in some sort of punishment for the other driver, know that some violations will be considered grossly negligent and can cause harsher punishments to be given. When the other driver's behavior falls into the category of reckless driving due to their cell phone usage, it can cause you to have a reason for seeking punitive damages from them.
Punitive damages are damages that go beyond any costs that are directly associated with the accident, such as medical bills and property damage. Actions could include texting in a construction zone that requires even more care when navigating or watching a video while driving. Not all cell phone usage behavior will be treated the same in court, and those that demonstrate gross negligence will have bigger consequences for their actions.
Know About Phone Record Petitions
Many people decide not to go after the other driver because they feel that any cell phone use will be denied in court. If you do have a suspicion that cell phone usage was the cause of the accident, have your lawyer petition to collect the phone activity records from the other driver. The cell phone provider may have to provide a list of time stamped activity from the phone at the time of the accident.
For more information about your rights as an accident victim, speak with your car accident attorney about it.Share