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How does cellphone use affect a vehicle accident lawsuit?

When an Indiana motorist reaches for a cellphone or mobile device while operating a moving vehicle, he or she may be breaking the law. If the individual becomes involved in an accident while holding or using the device, the driver also stands a good chance of assuming responsibility for any resulting harm or injury.

As noted by Indiana’s governor and reported in the media, driving while distracted more than triples the risk of an accident. If you incur any injuries through an accident caused by another driver using a hand-held device, you may take legal action to recover damages resulting from that individual’s negligence.

A lawsuit may enable you to receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and the pain and suffering endured. If the negligent driver caused the accident during the course of his or her employment, you may also take action against the company that owns the vehicle.

How can I prove the use of a hand-held device caused the accident?

If you suspect cellphone distraction caused the accident, investigators may request a search warrant for the device’s records. Eyewitness testimony or a police report noting cellphone use could establish probable cause and pave the way for a search warrant or records subpoena.

Could a jury award punitive damages?

Yes, Indiana juries can and do award punitive damages.

A jury awarded $16.5 million to an Indiana motorist who was rear-ended by a truck. The truck’s driver was texting on his cellphone and did not see the vehicle stopped at the light until it was too late. The 22-year-old crash victim incurred life-altering injuries from the collision. The jury’s award included $6.5 million in punitive damages against the trucking company for its driver’s “reckless and irresponsible” actions.

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