Chicago Car Accidents Involving Cell Phones

As stated in the Electronic Communication Devices Statute, a person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway in the State of Illinois while using any kind of electronic communication devices such as a cell phone or a tablet. There are some limited exceptions to the rule; such as making a call in case of an emergency. It is illegal for a person to operate a car on a roadway in Illinois while using any communication device. With that said, if you have been injured in a car accident in Chicago involving cell phones or another electronic device, you should reach out to an experienced Chicago auto accident lawyer as you may be eligible to seek compensation for any damages sustained in the accident.

Cell Phone Regulations

Chicago law strictly prohibits people from texting while driving. Sending a text message poses extremely dangerous distracted driving scenarios and routinely contributes to a variety of Chicago car accidents.

Under circumstances in which a driver’s focus is not compromised, there are certain types of permitted cell phone use. A person may use their phone with a hands-free device.

Novice Drivers

Novice drivers are frequently involved in Chicago car accidents involving cell phones. This refers to both new drivers as well as young drivers; both of whom must understand that when they start driving they cannot use their cell phones while driving. A novice driver must make a serious transition from passenger to driver to understand the regulations when driving; there are significant consequences to texting and driving in terms of safety as well as legal penalties.

In Illinois, whether a novice or an experienced driver, use of a cellphone while driving is always illegal. Only drivers 19 years and older may use a hands-free device.

Negligence

If a person who caused a Chicago car accident was using a cell phone in violation of the state statute, there is a rebuttable presumption of negligence associated with violation of the statute. Violating the statute dramatically hurts a person’s case in terms of liability and the possibility of reaching a favorable settlement.

If the other party involved used a cell phone, that person violated the statute; one could presume that their negligence caused the accident. While this is a rebuttable presumption, it is a very favorable presumption.

Illinois is a contributory negligence state, so if both individuals involved in the accident were using cell phones, it will be very difficult for either party to recover damages.

Evidence in an Accident Claim

It is necessary to prove the use of the cell phone at the time of the accident. Determining the precise time of a car accident can be difficult; however, if a lawsuit filed and a subpoena issued, cell phone bills can show exactly when a person was on their phone.

If the time of the accident matches the time a person was on their phone, or witnesses saw them on the phone; evidence would provide proof of violation of the Illinois statute; which would provide great leverage for the plaintiff’s case. Individuals do not necessarily need to grant an insurance company access to their phones. An attorney will be essential in dealing with these aspects of the claims process of a car accident involving cell phones.

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