When a distracted driver causes an accident, you can hold them financially responsible for the damage — but only if you can prove they were at fault. How you respond in the immediate aftermath of a distracted driving accident can help ensure evidence is preserved and your finances are protected.
Distracted driving cases can quickly become complicated, especially if the other driver denies responsibility. Contacting a car accident lawyer from the start and preserving as much evidence as possible helps you prepare for a successful claim.
Proving Distracted Driving
Gaining compensation for a car accident comes down to liability. Your car accident lawyer needs to compile evidence that proves the other driver acted negligently. Once negligence is proven, the other driver is liable (responsible) for the damage.
Proving negligence is a four-step process. Your lawyer needs to show:
- The other driver had a duty to drive with care
- They violated that duty
- That violation caused harm to you
- You can provide proof of the harm
When distracted driving was the cause of the accident, your lawyer will need to compile convincing proof that the other driver failed to drive safely because they were distracted by something.
Types of Evidence in a Distracted Driving Case
Evidence is required to prove distracted driving. Since distracted driving can take many forms, the type of evidence needed can vary by case.
Distracted driving cases vary in complexity. For example, when a distracted driver causes an accident by running a red light, proving fault can be comparatively straightforward.
When an accident involves a situation in which fault is less clear-cut, the other driver may fight back harder against being found liable since the evidence is less compelling.
A picture tells a thousand words — and it’s hard for a distracted driver to escape liability when they are caught on camera. A lawyer will look for nearby traffic cameras that may have captured the accident. They can also check to see if local businesses or homes in the areas had security cameras that recorded the accident.
Many drivers today also use dashboard or license plate cameras, which means that other drivers may have footage of the accident as well.
Cell Phone Records
If you believe a distracted driving accident was related to cell phone use, your lawyer may request access to the other driver’s cell phone records. Phone records can prove that a driver was sending a text or taking a call at the time of the accident.
If other drivers or pedestrians were present when the accident took place, witness testimony could help your case. Sometimes, a car accident lawyer will call in an expert witness, such as an accident reconstruction specialist, to further build a case for liability against the other driver.
Common Types of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving can take many forms. Some of the most common causes of distracted driving include:
- Talking on the phone
- Using GPS navigation tools
- Adjusting music or the radio
- Talking to passengers
A distracted driver might take their eyes off the wheel or their hands off the road. Distracted driving can also include any other activity that leads to a failure to pay attention to factors like other cars or stoplights.
After a Distracted Driving Accident
Successfully gaining insurance compensation for an accident caused by a distracted driver depends on many factors, including state laws regarding what constitutes distracted driving and the amount of evidence you can produce that proves the other driver was at fault.
An experienced car accident lawyer will consider the circumstances of the accident and identify what types of evidence need to be collected for a winning case.
Privette Law Office is a personal injury law firm serving clients in southern Missouri. Give us a call today to speak with a knowledgeable Missouri car accident lawyer.