In Aurora, distracted driving includes cell phone use as well as putting on makeup, eating, shaving, or doing anything that takes the person’s eyes off of the road. The use of a cell phone in a truck accident can impact whether someone recovers punitive damages or not. Recently, the courts considered it to be a willful and wanton act, so punitive damages could attach. A skilled injury attorney can help you determine liability in Aurora truck accidents involving cell phones when seeking damages for your injuries.
What Happens if Both Parties Were Using Cell Phones?
If both parties are considered for liability in Aurora truck accidents involving cell phones, they could be split 50/50 for damages. This means each party bears their own responsibility because the accident was caused by their distracted driving. If the person puts it to the jury, they almost have to have an accident reconstructionist say that one side is more at fault despite their use of a cell phone at the time.
Liability could be dependent on expert testimony. It is similar to both sides claiming that they had a green light at an intersection which could cause confusion when determining fault and negligence. The person can have to have an expert come say who was more likely than not to have had a green light or vice versa. Some kind of third party expert would be needed to distinguish the responsibility for the crash.
Necessary Evidence to Obtaining a Claim for Damages
Evidence for liability in Aurora truck accidents involving cell phones would probably include their mobile phone records. They may also need who their cell phone carrier is, and what their cell phone number was at that time. The phone would not be taken into possession if there was a question about whether they were on their phone or not. All too often, cell phones end up in a puddle of water, run over, lost or stolen and that evidence may be destroyed.
Required Consent to Seize Phone Records
To establish liability in Aurora truck accidents involving cell phones, law enforcement may need to access cell phone records. To seize cell phone records, the person either has to have the driver’s permission or a court order to access this type of information. To get copies of the cell phone records from the cell phone carrier, like AT&T or Sprint, law enforcement has to have permission to subpoena those records if there is sufficient cause. Even then, they may refuse to do so to look at the phone.
There was a Supreme Court case in which iPhone refused to give them the ability to unlock the phone and there is still some federal question about whether the carrier has to unlock the phone or whether it is still a privacy issue. It is a self-incrimination and that comes down to criminal. On a civil side, it is different but it could still be considered self-incrimination if criminal charges could lead to the discovery or could result in the after the discovery that they were on their cell phone.