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5 Tips To Follow If You Were Involved In An Accident While Using Your Cell Phone

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In many states, using your cell phone while you are driving is illegal. Talking on your phone, texting, looking up directions, or playing Pokemon Go can all lead to you being held liable for an accident, even if the other driver's negligence or outside road conditions also contributed to the accident. If you were using your phone while you were driving and were involved in an accident, it is important that you follow these tips to avoid unnecessarily claiming liability for the accident. 

Remember That You Do Not Have to Give a Statement to the Police 

After an accident, police are usually called to the scene. At the scene of the accident, both parties generally issue statements to the police and then the police decide who, if anyone, was at fault for the accident. However, you are not obligated to give a statement that may incriminate you. In most states, you only have to give the police your license, registration, and proof of insurance

If you were using your cell phone during an accident, it is best to not issue a statement to the police, even if you end up with a ticket. You can fight the ticket in court later. Simply inform the police that you feel unsettled by the accident and do not feel comfortable giving a statement. Do not give a statement until you have spoken with a lawyer. 

Take Photos of the Scene

Accidents often have more than one cause. However, if a police office knows a driver was on their phone, they may stop looking for additional causes. It is important that you document the scene of the accident by taking photos of the area. Pay special attention to anything that may have contributed to the accident, such as obstacles in the road or visual obstructions. This way, even if you are found at fault, your lawyer can still prove that there were other contributing factors to the accident which may lead to you paying less in repairs or being able to file an insurance claim against the other driver. 

Do Not Apologize for the Accident or Claim Responsibility for the Accident 

It is important that you do not apologize for the accident or claim that you were responsible for it. You should not tell anyone that you were using your phone, even close friends and family members, as this can eventually be used against you if your case goes to court. 

Do Not Attempt to Hide Evidence

If you were sending a text or email, you may be tempted to delete it. Similarly, if you were playing a game, you may be tempted to delete your account. However, this can be seen as suspicious behavior that can be used to show that you were actually using your phone during the accident. Additionally, you may be charged with tampering with evidence if you try to delete any accounts or erase records related to your phone or data usage. You should keep in mind that even if you delete your records, your phone company will still have a record of your cell phone and data usage at the time of the accident. 

Talk to a Lawyer About Your Case

Although it is always important to discuss an accident case with a lawyer, it is especially important if you may have been at fault for using your cell phone. A lawyer from a law firm like Welsh & Welsh PC LLO can help you understand the burden of proof and guide you through the process, helping you to avoid criminal charges as well as potentially to avoid being found at fault by your insurance company, which can save you money in extra insurance fees.