As anyone can tell you, we live in the age of the smartphone. In most cases, this is a good thing—we have a wealth of information constantly at our fingertips and we are able to get in contact with our loved ones any time we want. Unfortunately, one of the downsides is the rise of distracted driving. Probably the most popular form of distracted driving is texting while driving. In fact, some studies account texting while driving for about 25% of all distracted driving accidents in the United States.
It may not be overdramatic to call this an epidemic, especially since the NHTSA has reported that distracted driving claimed over 3,000 lives in 2017 alone. Many people underestimate the danger that texting while driving poses. Keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel are two of the top tenets of safe driving. If you take your eyes off the road for five seconds when you are going 55 mph, you are essentially driving the length of an entire football field while blindfolded.
Taking your eyes off the road for even one second can have disastrous results, so it is easy to imagine what texting and driving can lead to. Unfortunately, it is likely not a problem that will be going away any time soon. If you or a loved one have recently suffered personal injury as a result of an automobile accident with a texting driver, you may be wondering what your next options are. We may be able to help.
You may have not considered that it was possible to find proof that someone was texting and driving at all. It is, after all, an easy thing for someone to deny. However, there are at least five main ways that you may be able to prove that someone was texting and driving at the time of your accident.
Cell phone records may be the most obvious help in cases like these. A seasoned attorney may help you submit a subpoena request form for the negligent driver’s cell phone records. However, this may only be useful in the case that the driver actually sent any messages or calls at the time of the accident. In other words, it may not be particularly beneficial to you in cases where the driver only had the phone pulled out in anticipation of doing so.
Fortunately, witnesses are extraordinarily useful in building up your case no matter the context of your situation. If you know of any bystanders, other drivers, or pedestrians who saw the accident take place, they may be able to attest that the negligent driver was, in fact, using their phone at the time of the crash. It is important to collect witness information quickly, as most uninvolved parties do not stay at the site of an accident for too long.
Similar to an eyewitness report, an officer’s testimony may also prove to be useful in order to prove your case. If the police report of your accident states that the other party was texting and driving, or even if it states that they were negligent or at fault for the accident, it can be incredibly helpful to your assertion that they were texting and driving. Accident reports must be made immediately after the accident takes place.
It is also wise to check whether or not any surrounding businesses have any surveillance video footage of the accident. Many intersections have surveillance cameras for security purposes. It may be possible that your accident was caught on camera by these or even inadvertently by other drivers or passersby. You may be able to obtain this evidence with the help of an experienced attorney.
Finally, an accident reconstruction expert may be able to help you pinpoint exactly what happened at the time of your crash. A proper reconstruction may be able to prove what was preventing the other driver from giving their full focus to the road. However, this is not always applicable to every distracted driving case and is only able to be performed by an expert.
The first thing you should do after any car accident that causes personal injury is to call 911 immediately. Make sure to document any and all evidence you can and present it to the officer once they arrive at the scene of the accident. Remember to make statements presenting your case to the officer. Police reports can be incredibly useful in legal investigations, so this information could help your case immensely.
Next, you should make sure to seek out medical attention as soon as possible. This is true even if you do not feel like you have been injured. The reason for this is that many common sorts of automobile accident injuries are able to lie dormant for some time. A while may pass before you start showing any symptoms at all. This is even true of injuries like whiplash. If you wait too long to find out whether or not you have suffered any personal injury, your statute of limitations may end up running out.
You also want to make sure that you are keeping proper documentation of the accident and all your injuries and medical expenses throughout this process. Jot down your account of the accident immediately after it happens, and remember to take lots of pictures of any damage you suffered to either your person or your property (e.g. your car). Keep copies of the police report and any other relevant information you are allowed.
At Injury Victim Law, we believe that you should never have to suffer for somebody else’s mistakes—especially when the mistake is something as negligent and careless as texting and driving. We understand that every car accident is a huge inconvenience and that you just want to move onto the next step of your life. This can feel even harder to do if you have suffered personal injury as a result. That is why we are here to help.
Although we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is dedicated to helping automobile accident victims all over the United States. Our nationwide personal injury attorneys are dedicated to putting our clients first and protecting their rights. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with a qualified member of our legal team.