A Florida jury returned a verdict of $21.62 million in a wrongful death and survivor action where a 32 year old woman was rear-ended by another driver talking on her cell phone while driving. The force of the rear-end collision pushed the decedent’s car across the median strip and into oncoming traffic. She was killed when an SUV struck her vehicle head-on.
The decedent’s husband, individually and on behalf of his wife’s estate, and their two minor children sued the driver of the vehicle and the company that owned the driver’s car. The vehicle had been given to the driver’s husband for company business.
Incredibly, the defendants claimed that the rear-impact was minor and was not forceful enough to push the decedent’s vehicle across the median strip. The defendants argued that the decedent had accidentally accelerated after the impact and that the car that struck her when her vehicle was pushed into oncoming traffic failed to take appropriate action to avoid the collision. The defendant driver also maintained that she wasn’t talking on her cell phone at the time of the collision. The plaintiffs, however, subpoenaed the driver’s cell phone records, which indicated that she was talking on the phone with her husband at the precise time of the collision.
In Maryland, many serious car accidents have been caused by drivers talking on their cell phone. Unfortunately, it is an occurrence that seems to happen with increasing frequency despite the devastating and tragic consequences. In many automobile accident cases, it is important to subpoena the defendant driver’s cell phone records to determine whether improper and negligent cell phone use may have been a cause or contributing factor in the collision. Many states outlaw the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. While Maryland law does not prohibit the use of a cell phone while driving, such use may be evidence of negligence in certain circumstances.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an automible accident, and you suspect that cell phone use may have been a cause of contributing factor in the accident, please contact an experienced trial attorney at www.silvermanthompson.com for a free consultation.