Distracted driving is a growing problem on roadways in the United States. Although there are many ways distraction can happen when you’re behind the wheel, technology, such as smartphones and GPS, is a major contributor to the rise in distracted driving accidents.
The personal injury lawyers at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad have handled tragic cases in which victims of distracted driving accidents were injured due to no fault of their own. Proving distracted driving is challenging, so if you’ve been hurt in a crash you suspect was caused by a distracted driver, it’s critical to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney.
Evidence That Can Help Prove Distracted Driving
Gathering evidence immediately following a crash can help bolster any car accident claim. If you saw a driver texting, talking on the phone, fiddling with controls in their vehicle, or engaging in other distractions while driving, stay calm, be observant, and, if possible, look for evidence to back up your claim. For example, a driver may still have their smartphone in their hand, or it may be on the seat beside them with the screen still active.
Other things to look for if you believe someone was distracted include signs of eating, drinking, applying makeup while driving, and even kids or pets in the back seat. If possible, take photos of this evidence, the scene, damage to vehicles, and your injuries. Calling 911 is a must to ensure you get the care you need and law enforcement can document the accident.
Cell Phone Records
Your personal injury attorney can subpoena cell phone records, telling the story about what happened and help determine whether someone was using their phone when an accident occurred. If a motorist was texting or talking on the phone at the time of the crash, cell phone records could show the exact location, date, and time the phone was being used.
Social Media And Email
Cell phone records won’t capture all smartphone activity, social media, email, and other online activities can leave an electronic trail. For example, if someone was sending an email or posting on Facebook at the time of the crash, it may be time-stamped and logged online.
Proving distracted driving caused an accident may also involve gathering witness testimony. Potential witnesses include:
- Passengers in your vehicle
- The other motorist’s passengers
- People in other vehicles
- Pedestrians, bicyclists, and other passersby
- Police officers, EMTs, and other first responders
Sometimes you can be your own best witness, so write down everything you remember or use the voice recorder on your phone to document what happened as soon as possible.
Police reports can provide compelling evidence that can be key to proving distracted driving. A police report may include an officer’s observations of evidence of distracted driving, the at-fault driver’s own statement, witness statements, and what police may have discovered if they inspected the inside of a person’s vehicle or phone after a collision.
In today’s world, cameras are everywhere. Traffic cameras, police body cameras, recordings from witnesses, and surveillance footage from local businesses might catch what a distracted driver was doing at the time of an accident. This footage can provide substantial evidence that helps to prove your claim.
Some newer vehicles have sophisticated computer equipment that monitors and records a driver’s activity. There may be a record of how fast the car was traveling or even whether the driver was adjusting the GPS or radio when the accident occurred.
How An Attorney Can Help
Legal teams often have resources you may not have access to on your own, such as accident reconstructionists who examine the scene and other evidence to piece together how a crash happened. In addition to thoroughly investigating the circumstances surrounding the collision and how your injuries were caused, your lawyer will handle all communications and negotiations with any insurance companies involved.
Even with solid evidence, an insurer may try to minimize the extent of your injuries or deny your claim. Having a seasoned attorney to act as your advocate and fight for your rights can help hold responsible parties accountable and enable you to recover fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Contact A Car Accident Lawyer
Proving distracted driving can be challenging, but with an experienced personal injury attorney from Thomas, Conrad & Conrad by your side, you don’t have to go it alone. To schedule a free consultation, call our Bethlehem office at 610-867-2900 or contact us online today. Our lawyers represent clients throughout all counties in Eastern Pennsylvania with locations in Bethlehem, Stroudsburg, Topton, and Allentown, PA.