September 9, 2022
How Can I Prove the Driver Who Hit Me Was Texting and Driving?
People text and drive all the time, even though it is highly dangerous and leads to serious car accidents. As a form of distracted driving, it takes the driver’s eyes, hands, ears, and concentration away from the road all at once, which is even worse than talking on the phone behind the wheel. Proving that another driver was doing it when they hit you can be challenging but possible with legal representation.
Most drivers will not want to admit they were texting at the time of an accident, but this information can sometimes be found on a police report when officers see or hear evidence of it. If there were eyewitnesses, they might be willing to come forward and say they saw the driver texting or driving erratically. In some cases, there may have been cameras that recorded the crash, but this depends on where the accident took place.
During accident investigations, those who were involved and their attorneys can request phone records for the time of the crash. This will require submitting an official inquiry to the service provider, which can be protested from the person being accused.
Another option is to engage the services of an accident reconstructionist, a professional who specializes in recreating auto crashes to determine what happened.
Unless the at-fault driver admits to texting and driving, you will probably need to look at options for gathering evidence. There are a few elements that must be proven in a personal injury lawsuit:
- Duty of care: Every driver owes a legal duty of care to the other people who share the road. In other words, they must adhere to all of the laws, like speed limits, traffic lights, and not texting and driving.
- Breach of duty: The second part is proving a breach of duty. You and your lawyer will have to show the at-fault driver was negligent and they breached their duty of care by texting behind the wheel.
- Causation: Causation means you and your lawyer must show a direct link between that breach of duty, the car accident, and your injury.
- Injury and losses: Damages must have occurred from the accident in order to file a suit, such as bills for emergency room treatment, being unable to return to work, and bills from the auto repair shop.
What Should I Do After a Distracted Driving Accident?
It is best to call for emergency services following a motor vehicle accident, even if the injuries and damage do not seem that serious. Police officers will document the accident, and this is a good time to let them know if you think the other driver was texting when it happened. If anyone is seriously hurt, that takes priority, and an ambulance should be summoned right away.
Take photos of the other vehicle and its license plate first, and exchange information with the other driver. If you feel uncomfortable interacting with the other driver, wait for the officers to arrive. You can take more photos of all the vehicles involved, as well as any skid marks, broken traffic lights, poor weather conditions, and anything else that may have contributed to the crash.
Look for eyewitnesses. If it is safe to do so, ask if they saw what happened, and ask for their contact information.
Now is also a good time to call your auto insurance provider. Explain what happened without elaborating, and answer their questions with short, objective answers. Saying too much can work against your favor when they begin processing your claim; many statements can be misinterpreted and seen as admissions of fault. To best protect your interests, you can contact a knowledgeable car accident lawyer.
How Can I Prevent a Distracted Driving Accident?
Texting and driving is a bad habit for many drivers in Pennsylvania and other states in the country. It is hard to avoid the temptation to read incoming messages and send outgoing ones.
To change these behaviors, put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode or airplane mode before turning on the ignition. Cellphone service providers also have apps that can sense when your vehicle is motion and disable texting, emailing, and social media functions.
If you are a passenger and the driver is texting, you might want to speak up to tell them you are uncomfortable with what they are doing. Instead of texting and driving, suggest they pull over somewhere safe to do it, or to wait until you reach the destination.
Parents can stress the importance of avoiding this dangerous driving activity to their children, and they can even check their phone records to see if the children are texting and driving. Taking away driving and phone privileges can curb the behavior and help young drivers develop safer driving habits.
If you see another driver who is texting while behind the wheel, keep as far away from them as possible to avoid a distracted driving accident.
Norristown Car Accident Lawyer at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. Can Help You if Texting and Driving Caused Your Accident
Texting and driving leads to serious accidents. Drivers should do everything they can to prevent one. If you were involved in a crash like this due to no fault of your own, speak with our Norristown car accident lawyer at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. Complete our online form or call us at 267-861-7100 for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Chester County, and Norristown.