Cell phones are a common source of distraction for many drivers and a danger to the safety of other motorists and pedestrians. Talking on a cell phone while driving substantially increases the risk of having a motor vehicle accident. Studies have shown that drivers who are using cell phones have more accidents and slower reaction times than drivers who are legally drunk. Compounding the danger is the ever-growing number of people using cell phones. At Stein & Shulman, LLC, our personal injury lawyers represent accident victims and their families throughout the Greater Chicago area. If you were struck by a distracted driver our accident attorneys can help protect your rights and pursue a claim against the at-fault driver.
According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 26 percent of motor vehicle crashes in 2012 were attributed to cell phone use while driving. As technology advances, more people are using their cell phones while driving. Whether it is for work, family or social reasons, people are constantly connected and using their cell phones to talk, text, email or browse the Internet while driving. Talking on a cell phone while driving takes the driver’s focus away from safely operating a vehicle on the roadway and usually requires the driver to take one hand off the steering wheel. Not only is the driver distraction, but his or her ability to quickly maneuver and react to traffic lessens.
Every driver on the roadway has a legal duty to other drivers and their passengers to safely operate his or her motor vehicle. When a driver intentionally engages in distracting conduct, such as talking on their cell phone while driving, the driver breaches his or her duty of care and may be held legally responsible for the damage he or she caused. If you pursue a claim at the at-fault driver, their defense may be that you were also responsible for the accident. Illinois adopted modified comparative negligence is the standard for recovery of damages, which means that a victim can recover damages as long as he or she is less than 50% at fault for the injury or damages. However, if you are found to be 50% or more at fault for the accident and injuries, then you will not be able to recover for the damages.
Under Illinois law, all drivers are prohibited from using handheld cell phones while driving. If you were involved in an accident with a driver who was on their cell phone at the time of the accident, make sure to tell the responding officer at the scene so that the officer may issue a citation. Also, make sure to tell your accident attorney if you believe the at-fault driver was on his or her phone at the time of the accident. Your attorney may subpoena the phone records and use them as power evidence.
The auto accident lawyers at Stein & Shulman, LLC are committed to helping victims throughout Chicago pursue the compensation they deserve for their injuries. If you were struck and injured by a distracted driver, we can help you pursue a claim and obtain the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, please call our office today at (312) 422-0500.