Long Island Accidents Involving Cellphones

In the state of New York, which includes Long Island, there are prohibitions against using a mobile phone while operating a vehicle. That would include anything which requires a person using their hands, like using the phone. That is a traffic violation.

To better understand the role of cell phones in Long Island accidents, it is important to contact an attorney immediately. If you have been injured due to another’s distracted driving, a Long Island car accident lawyer can build a claim to help produce a successful recovery on your behalf.

Prohibited Behaviors

What is not allowed is using a person’s hands while driving to operate a phone, including texting. That would mean using anything that requires the person’s hands and fingers to be off the steering wheel. What is allowed is a hands-free phone system, which most cars have.

If a person has that, it is permissible. This helps to prevent car accidents involving cell phones in Long Island.

The laws apply to novice drivers and to experienced drivers as well. They cannot use cellphones while driving, because it requires the use of their hands, whether a novice or experienced.

Plaintiff’s Cell Phone Use

The use of a cell phone while driving makes it a difficult case. If the plaintiff is using a phone that they should not be using, in other words, using their hands, it is probably going to be a case that is going to be extremely difficult for a lawyer to take.

If, on the other hand, the person is using a hands-free phone, which is permissible, it makes it a much more palatable case for an attorney to handle.

Use of a Phone by the Defendant

If the defendant is using a phone that requires the use of the hands, the attorney starts allocating liability, evaluating a case, and looking at the person using the phone as having more significant liability, which makes the case better if it is the defendant holding the phone and using it.

On the other hand, if the defendant is using a hands-free phone, the same rules apply. It is just as a matter of distraction when talking on the phone, but it is not a slam dunk case because the defendant was speaking on a hands-free phone. An individual will still have to prove that they were not the one who caused the accident involving a cell phone in Long Island.

Evidence in Car Accident Claims

The evidence in car accidents can be the telephone records, which has become an increasingly popular issue in the courts as to whether to allow the use of records or not. In some cases, courts will allow it and in some cases, courts will not allow it. It depends on if there is enough evidence that basically says that one or both of the drivers were using a phone at the time of the accident. Then the courts will probably allow the use of phone records to try to find out with some level of definitiveness whether they were, in fact, on the phone, which might have a detrimental effect on either party.

For example, if the police report says that one party was using their phone or witnesses said that one party was using their phone at the time of the accident, the courts might allow looking at the person’s telephone records to see if it coincides at the time of the accident. On the other hand, if one party was just going on a fishing expedition and says, that the other party was on their phone, the courts may not allow that unless some other evidence is pointing to that.

Behavior of Both Parties

For example, if two people passed a stop sign at the same time, a person has to evaluate the specific facts. For example, if one is using a hands-free phone and one is holding a mobile phone that could be different. In this case, one driver is doing something that is permissible and one is not.

If both are doing something that is permissible, it becomes like any other case. The attorney will have to look at other factors of the accident, such as speed and attentiveness.

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