Yesterday we posted about teen drivers and distracted driving. A recent study found that teenage drivers change clothes, put on makeup and even do their homework while driving, showing that they may not fully understand the risks associated with being distracted behind the wheel. Unfortunately, their behavior can cause serious injuries to other motorists.
In terms of a personal injury lawsuit, distracted driving may seem like a straightforward form of negligence. While there is no disputing that distracted driving causes car accidents, you will have to prove — using clear evidence — that the other driver was distracted if you hope to seek compensation for injuries. But how do you do that?
There are a few ways to prove that a driver was distracted when he or she caused a wreck. If a cellphone was the distraction, reviewing the driver’s phone records is a good place to start. If the records show that the driver sent a text around the time of the crash or was on the phone at the time, it can be strong supporting evidence in your case.
Another way to prove distracted driving is to talk to the police and review the police report. If the responding officer was nearby when the accident happened, he or she may have witnessed the other driver being distracted.
At the scene of the crash, you can also provide a statement to police saying that you saw the other driver talking on the phone or trying to eat while driving. Your statement will likely make it into the police report which may be used in court later. Along with taking your statement, police may also interview witnesses to determine what happened. If a witness also believes the driver was distracted, it can help bolster your case. Witnesses can also be called to testify later on.
A final way to prove distracted driving is for the other driver to admit it. Of course, many people know not to admit fault at the scene of an accident, but some people slip up. If the driver who hit you apologizes and explains that he or she was trying to answer a text, it can help your case. However, it does not necessarily seal the deal. Certain statements are not admissible in court, but they can be helpful if you are hoping to settle the claim.
One of the best ways to protect yourself after any kind of crash is to talk to an experienced lawyer. A personal injury attorney can help you build a case while protecting your rights.