How to Prove a Driver Was Distracted When They Hit You
June 20, 2021
Distracted driving represents one of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents in Florida. Unfortunately, drivers have multiple potential distractions in their vehicles, including cell phones, vehicle infotainment screens, food, and drink, or grooming or applying makeup in the mirror. While a distracted driver will normally be found responsible for an accident, how do you prove that the other driver was distracted or texting while driving at the time of the crash?
Investigating at the Scene of the Crash
Immediately after an accident may be the best time to recover evidence that the other driver was distracted immediately before the crash. Try to look around for evidence that may suggest the driver was distracted, such as the other driver stepping out of their vehicle with their cell phone in their hand. If possible, take a look into their vehicle for other potential distractions, like food or a makeup bag in the center console or on the passenger seat. Take photos of anything you think suggests that the other driver was distracted.
Cell Phone Records
Cell phone use represents one of the most frequent and most deadly types of distractions for drivers. It may be possible to recover data that can show if a driver was on their cell phone prior to an accident. First, the driver’s phone will store data about its usage, including when the screen was turned on and what applications were being used.
Records from the driver’s phone or email service provider can also show whether the driver sent or received a text, email, or phone call in the moments leading up to the accident.
The driver’s social media accounts should also be examined, as the driver may have been posting or interacting on social media when the accident took place.
You may need to hire a technology expert to recover and review this data.
Many vehicles built in the past couple of years are equipped with sophisticated computers that can record considerable information about the vehicle’s performance, including details such as how fast the vehicle was traveling, steering/braking/acceleration inputs by the driver, or whether the driver was using the vehicle’s infotainment screen and what functions were being used.
Eyewitnesses may also be able to provide testimony confirming that a driver was distracted in the moments leading up to a crash. The driver’s passengers, people in other vehicles, or pedestrians on the street may have witnessed the driver engaging in distracted behavior like using their cell phone, reaching around in the vehicle, or grooming or applying makeup in their mirror.
Surveillance/Traffic Camera Footage
Similarly, footage from traffic cams or surveillance cameras may conclusively show that the other driver was distracted in the moments leading up to the accident.
Police Accident Report
If police are called to the scene of the accident, the investigating officer may uncover evidence that leads them to conclude that the other driver was distracted prior to the accident. The other driver might even make statements indicating that they were distracted or expressly admit that fact to the officer. The officer will likely note this in the police accident report.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Distracted Driving Accident Case in Florida
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a distracted driving accident in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey represent clients injured because of distracted driving accidents in Coconut Creek, Plantation, Pompano Beach, and Pembroke Pines, and throughout Florida. Call (954) 525-2345 or email us to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 2211 Davie Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312, as well as offices in Pembroke Pines, Weston, Coconut Creek, Plantation, and Pompano Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.