If I’m in an Accident, Should I Tell the Police I Was on My Phone?

by in Car Accidents
Our Austin accident attorneys discuss if you should inform the police you were on the phone during the accident.

One of the top causes of car accidents in the U.S. is the use of cellphones. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that those who text while driving are up to 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident, and it further reports that “multitasking is a myth.”

However, the fact that cellphones are so dangerous – and that many states have passed laws to deter drivers from using their cellphones – is doing little to solve the problem. Drivers on their phones are still causing accidents on a routine basis. So how could your claim be affected if you were on your phone at the time of an accident?

Filing a Police Accident Report and Insurance Claim After Your Crash

One big mistake that drivers make after a crash is misrepresenting what happened or who was at fault. Here are three extremely important things you should know about reporting your accident:

  • Although you should never assign fault after a crash – either to yourself or to the other driver – you should stick to the facts.
  • If you are asked a question to which you do not know the answer, you should say, “I don’t know.”
  • If you are asked a question that could lead to your culpability, you should refrain from answering and speak to your attorney.

How Being on Your Cellphone May Affect Your Claim

Texas is an at-fault car insurance state. In other words, those who cause accidents have to pay for them (typically, through their car insurance). As such, if you were on your cellphone at the time of the crash, and if your distraction caused or contributed to your accident, you could be held liable for damages.

However, just because you were on your phone does not mean the other driver did not contribute to the accident. Texas also has proportionate responsibility (or modified comparative fault) laws, which means that you could recover compensation even if you were partially at fault for the accident. However, your damages could be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. (This is assuming that you are not more than 50 percent at fault for the crash.)

If You’re in a Car Accident in Texas, Contact Us Today

Even if you were on your phone at the time of your crash, you may still have a right to compensation. How you handle your claim and the evidence available in your crash will make all the difference.

Contact us today to discuss your case in a free consultation, and find out how we can help protect your rights.