Cell phones play a major role in more than 1.2 million car accidents every year. More and more states are limiting or banning cell phone use—especially text messaging—for drivers, resulting in laws that aim to better protect everyone on the roads. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about the law and how a car accident attorney can help in the wake of a crash.
Answers to Common Questions About Cell Phones & Car Accidents
What does Wisconsin law say about talking on a cell phone while driving?
It is legal for most motorists to talk on a cell phone while driving in Wisconsin. Drivers who only have an instructional permit or a probationary license can only use cell phones in emergencies. Commercial drivers cannot use cell phones, but they are allowed to use hands-free devices.
Is the law different for texting?
In Wisconsin, yes. The law prohibits all drivers from texting when at the wheel unless you operate an emergency vehicle or are a dispatcher in communication with an emergency vehicle. Hands-free and voice-activated devices that send text messages can still be used.
What is the fine for texting while driving in Wisconsin?
The fine for texting and driving or being distracted in any way by a cell phone will get you ticketed for “inattentive driving.” This comes with an automatic four-point demerit on your driving record. Fines can range between $20 and $400.
A driver on his cellphone crashed into my car. What should I do?
If an inattentive driver caused an accident in which you sustained a personal injury or damage to your vehicle, contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible. A legal professional will investigate the cause of the crash and set out to hold the responsible driver accountable for damages. A car accident attorney will communicate with other parties involved in the incident; negotiate with insurance companies; file all necessary legal motions and paperwork; and, if required, represent you at trial.
How can I make a strong case in a cell-phone-related car accident?
There are a few ways to maximize compensation potential in a car accident caused by cell phone use. First, call the police to the scene of the accident, tell them the other driver was using a cell phone at the time of the crash, and request a copy of the police report. Take photos of the accident scene, damage, and any injuries. Get the contact information for eyewitnesses who saw the accident. Finally, see a doctor right away and give them the details of your injuries; follow all prescribed treatment and obtain a copy of your medical records.
The car accident attorneys at Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC are here to help. For nearly 20 years, they have been serving clients throughout La Crosse County, WI. They also handle workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability claims. Call (877) 784-1230 or visit them online to schedule a free consultation.