Do Hands-Free Devices Affect Arizona Personal Injury Lawsuits?

Many states (including Arizona) have banned drivers from using handheld devices while behind the wheel. While this ban stretches across most of America, all states permit the use of hands-free devices. Although hands-free devices are a smart way to subvert the ban on handheld devices, personal injury lawsuits prove that just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should.

Legal Activities & Personal Injury Negligence

When someone is injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, he or she has the right to pursue financial recovery through a car accident personal injury lawsuit. Many people believe negligence in a traffic accident only results from illegal activities; however, this is just not the case.

Legal activities that can affect car accident negligence in a personal injury case include:

  • Driving while eating;
  • driving while drowsy;
  • driving while applying makeup;
  • driving while distracted; and
  • driving while using a hands-free device.

These perfectly legal activites can heavily impact a personal injury lawsuit in Arizona. Legal activities affect car accident negligence in Arizona because Arizona is a pure comparative negligence state.

Pure Comparative Negligence & Hands-Free Devices

In other states, personal injury lawsuits and insurance claims are determined by majority fault. If someone is at fault for more than 50% of an accident, he or she will recover nothing from the accident as the court determined he or she are responsible for the accident’s occurrence.

However, Arizona is a pure comparative negligence state.

Pure comparative negligence means the court can find each party accountable for a portion of the accident. Therefore, the court can find one person at fault for 10% of the accident, while finding the other person at fault for 90% of the accident. The court determines fault percentages based on a variety of factors: one of these factors is the use of a hands-free device.

Studies show that talking on hands-free devices are just as detrimental to someone’s focus as talking on a regular cell phone. In fact, drivers who are talking on a hands-free device will miss seeing up to 50% of what’s around them when driving.

Therefore, courts are likely to find someone using a hands-free device guilty of distracted driving, which, thanks to pure comparative negligence, can result in the court holding the person accountable for a higher percentage of the accident. This scenario is why hands-free devices can and will impact negligence in Arizona personal injury cases.

We hope this blog helped you learn a lot about negligence, and made you realize that just because something is legal (like using a hands-free device), it doesn’t mean it won’t impact a personal injury case.

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident caused by a hands-free device, give Suzuki Law Offices a call at (602) 842-6762 for a free consultation.

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