St. Louis Cell Phone Accidents Attorney
Cell Phone Accident Claims in Missouri
Cell phone accidents are a growing epidemic in the United States. More than 1.5 million distracted driving car accidents occur each year due to drivers who are paying attention to their cell phones instead of the road. People who are injured in these accidents often find it difficult to obtain fair compensation for their injuries.
If you have been involved in an accident resulting from a negligent driver using their cell phone, it’s time to make an important decision about what to do. The Dixon Injury Firm’s St. Louis distracted driving accident attorneys are available 24/7 to listen to your case and help you decide if legal action is the best path for you.
Call us at (314) 208-2808 for a free consultation about the important decisions you have to make.
Types of Distracted Driving
While we are exposed to all types of distractions all day long, many are harmless—unless you are behind the wheel of a car. In 2018 alone, 2,841 people were killed due to distracted driving.
The United States has many distracted drivers on the road, and you will likely see many examples of distracted driving every single day. Be alert to any dangers distracted drivers pose to you as you’re driving and don’t add to their numbers yourself by calling or texting on your cell phone. Avoid the use of electronic devices when you’re driving, even if you’re using hands-free technology.
Besides the ubiquitous use of cell phones in cars making drivers negligent, drivers may be distracted by other things, too, such as music blaring out of their speakers, eating while driving, or getting into a heated discussion with passengers. Though these are all risky behavior, cell phone use is by far the most dangerous type of distraction associated with motor vehicle accidents.
Missouri’s Distracted Driving Laws
Is it illegal to talk or text while driving in Missouri? It depends. Missouri, unlike Illinois, currently does not prohibit the use of cell phones while driving a non-commercial vehicle. However, in Missouri, drivers aged 21 or younger are prohibited from texting while driving. Additionally, drivers of commercial vehicles or buses are prohibited from using a mobile device while driving pursuant to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Is There a Hands-Free Law in Missouri?
The State of Missouri under Section 304.820 bans drivers 21 years old or younger from using handheld cell phones while driving. This means that the ban does not apply to older drivers, those over age 21.
How Much Is the Fine for Texting and Driving in Missouri?
If you are 21 years old or younger, you can be fined for texting while driving in Missouri. You will be fined $200 as well as two points on your driver’s license.
Call The Dixon Injury Firm 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a FREE Consultation at (314) 208-2808. There is never a fee for our services unless we win your case.
Missouri Car Crash Statistics
Despite the fact that most motor vehicle accidents are caused by distracted driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finds these types of motor vehicle accidents difficult to verify. It is easier to collect data about speeding or drunk driving than texting and driving facts.
In a Forbes article, “When It Comes to Distracted Driving, State Laws Are Not Created Equal,” author Tanya Mohn describes how the federal agency is acutely aware of the danger distracted driving plays on the road. According to one of her sources at the NHTSA, “Distracted driving is dangerous. Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.”
Another article, “Drivers Are Killing More People Than Guns and It’s Getting Worse,” by Michael Siliva in the New Bedford Guide, compared cell phone deaths versus gun deaths. “While over 40,000 people died in car accidents in 2016,” he wrote, “33,000 people were killed with a gun—the vast majority of those being suicide. Statistically, you are about four times likely to be killed by another driver than a person with a gun.”
If you would like to learn more about the dangers of distracted driving, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers general information to raise public awareness.
How Safe Is Texting or Talking on a Cell Phone While Driving?
It just isn’t. The dangers of cellphone use while driving cannot be overstated. The use of cell phones causes more than 1.5 million car accidents each year. It is also believed by some experts that many more car accidents are caused by cell phone distraction and yet this fact is covered up by drivers who don’t want to admit they were on their phones.
Cell phone accidents are completely preventable, yet they happen on a regular basis. You may be chatting away with your spouse or your child about what you’re going to have for dinner. The distraction causes you to lose focus on the road in front of you and suddenly you find yourself in the middle of a rear-end collision. You are the responsible party in this type of accident because you were distracted and struck another vehicle with yours.
Text messages are more distracting because they require you to take your eyes off of the road for that split second in which an accident can happen.
Cell phone accidents often involve:
- Other Vehicles: Other vehicles and their passengers are immediately put in potential danger when a nearby driver picks up their cell phone instead of paying attention to the road. Every distracted driver runs the risk of seriously injuring others on the road.
- Pedestrians: Crosswalks are in place to protect pedestrians from harm, but they only work as intended when all drivers are paying attention. Thousands of pedestrians are struck every year by distracted drivers.
- Motorcyclists: Motorcycles are difficult to see under the best circumstances. Distractions and blind spots are often the cause of accidents involving vehicles and motorcycles. Drivers are always reminded to look multiple times before changing lanes and to take special note of motorcyclists in the area.
- Children: Children, the most innocent of innocent cell phone accident victims, are often unaware of the dangers adults pose when they’re distracted behind the wheel. All children should be taught to watch for oncoming traffic and to protect themselves as much as possible.
- School Crossings and Buses: Drivers who are accustomed to bus stops in the neighborhood may become comfortable driving while distracted by their cell phones. This is when things get dangerous for school crossing guards, children, buses, and other public transit that may be available in the area.
Studies show that cell phone use is nearly as dangerous as drunk driving because of the level of distraction the cell phone causes. Many states prohibit the use of a cell phone while driving unless the driver is using a Bluetooth or other hands-free device.
Regardless of whether the driver is charged with a crime during a cell phone accident, the bottom line is that the driver was distracted and negligent—similar to a drunk driver.
Who Is the Responsible Party in a Cell Phone Accident?
The driver who was using their cell phone while driving is the responsible party. Their distraction caused the accident regardless of how well they believe they can multitask. Their insurance company will be held responsible for covering the costs of damage done to your vehicle, as well as your injuries including pain and suffering.
Here are other damages that you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Vehicle Damage
- Wrongful Death
- Pain and Suffering
- Medical Bills
- Therapy and Rehabilitation Expenses
- Disruption of Relationships
- Emotional Distress
- Loss of Employment
- Loss of Future Earnings Ability
- Personal Property Damage
Can Cell Phone Use During an Accident Be Proven?
Yes, cell phone records and the official accident report can help determine whether the responsible driver was using the phone at the time of the accident. We can also examine text messages and social media to determine whether the driver was texting or browsing social media accounts while driving.
What to Do If You Are Involved In an Accident With a Distracted Driver
After an accident, call 911. Get the help you need quickly from emergency responders. Police working the scene will ask the drivers for relevant information.
If you have not been seriously injured and can walk around and talk to people, exchange information and gather facts that will help you document your accident when filing an insurance claim, such as information related to witnesses, contacts, vehicles, and insurance companies. If possible, take photographs or shoot a video with your cell phone of the accident.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a St. Louis car accident, you may not be physically able to come to an attorney. In that case, our attorneys are more than happy to come to you.
Faulty Equipment: Another Type of Cell Phone Accident
Vehicles don’t have to be involved for your cell phone to cause personal injury. A few different manufacturers admit to faulty equipment where their phones are involved.
Phone batteries have been known to blow up while charging using the fast charge mode and some cell phones explode while being carried in a pocket or tucked under your pillow at night.
Cell phone explosions cause serious burns and pain for the user, and it’s your right to seek compensation for your injuries. Visit your doctor as soon as possible after the injury so that everything is documented. Faulty equipment accidents often carry very serious consequences.
What You Need for a Strong Injury Claim
The best way to build a strong injury claim is to collect evidence about your accident. At the scene, write notes documenting the accident and take photographs. Later, gather and organize all your documents.
Your paperwork should include medical evidence—bills and records—as well as a police report and witness statements.
How Much Is My Car Accident Injury Claim Worth?
After a car accident, you will make a claim for all losses arising from your cell phone and driving accident. Developing a fair valuation will depend on the extent of the injuries and vehicle damage and the scope of your car insurance coverage and its policy limits.
You will also need to get a mechanic’s estimation of vehicle damage and add up all your medical expenses. Additionally, you must calculate how much income you lost because of your inability to go to your job or continue with your business.
There are also some intangible factors to consider. You will have to assess the compensation you deserve for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment.
Pain and suffering is how much physical pain and emotional suffering you experienced. Loss of consortium refers to how the accident affected your companionship with your spouse. Loss of enjoyment refers to how the accident affected your lifestyle, such as your inability to exercise or continue with a hobby or important regular activity.
How Our Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers in St. Louis Can Help
Our law firm observes a strict policy to protect your attorney-client relationship privileges and provide the best legal advice based on the information you share. Our personal injury attorneys will conduct a full investigation to uncover all the details of the accident, including gaining access to all the cell phone records of the distracted driver who caused the accident.
They will look into everything related to the accident, such as the doctor’s diagnosis of your injury and prognosis for your recovery, the details of your auto insurance policy and that of the at-fault driver, and the assets of the at-fault driver. After we have finished our investigation, we will contact the other driver’s insurance company and negotiate a settlement.
If the insurance company refuses to pay a fair amount or pay in a timely way, we will take your case to court to obtain full reimbursement for your harms and losses.
After an accident, it’s natural that you will ask people you know about the “best accident lawyer near me.” Eventually, your search for “lawyers for car accidents near me” may lead you to The Dixon Injury Firm because many people who have had car accidents consider Chris Dixon the best lawyer for car accident cases.
Christopher R. Dixon and the Dixon Injury Firm focus on cell phone accident claims and additional personal and workplace injuries. Recognized by the National Trial Lawyers Association as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer, Chris, an experienced personal injury lawyer who has worked with many victims over the years, understands how difficult these types of cases are for them.
To help alleviate financial stress, The Dixon Injury Firm’s trial lawyers make it easier by offering a no-fee guarantee. This allows you to pay fees only if damages are recovered—otherwise, The Dixon Injury Firm’s legal services are free if we do not win your case.
The Dixon Injury Firm in St. Louis can help you gather the evidence you need to get the compensation you deserve for your cell phone accident. We understand that you have bills to pay while you’re recovering from the injuries you sustained. Our cell phone accident attorneys will help fight to make sure you receive reimbursement for all of your damages.