Proving Cell Phone Liability in Auto Accidents

We all know about the dangers of driving while intoxicated, but there is an even more insidious form of distraction that can be just as deadly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has determined that texting while driving is more dangerous than operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08. Statistically, a collision is 23 times more likely if the driver is texting. Even worse, 30 percent of car accidents every year are caused by drivers who were texting just prior to the accident.

If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident with someone you believe was texting while driving, you should know that there are several ways to prove liability. Here is a brief outline of how to do so.

You Must Be Able To Prove Negligence

Having proof of driver negligence is crucial to determining whether or not they were the cause of the accident. If you do not have adequate evidence to prove negligence then it does not matter whether the driver is liable. Was the driver using their cell phone before the accident? Is using a phone while driving illegal in your state? Both of those questions would need to be answered in order to determine negligence.

Always Call The Police

Always call the police after an accident, no exceptions. If you suspect the driver was texting, be sure to inform the officers so they can attempt t corroborate. If they are able to determine that the driver was indeed on their phone, they may issue a citation, meaning the driver’s cell phone use will be recorded on the official report. From there, be sure to take pictures of the damage and any surrounding signs that could be imperative to your argument.

The Best Evidence: Cell Phone Records

Cell phone records reflect the time and location the user was using their phone at a particular time. Additionally, most companies now keep records that distinguish between talking and texting. However, be aware that the driver’s service provider will not release their records without a court order, so you will need to have your lawyer issue a subpoena for the documents.

Should You Hire An Attorney?

If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident and suspect the driver may have been texting, you should hire an attorney immediately. Injury claims can be arduous and time-consuming, so if you are in the Portland, Vancouver, or Southwest Washington areas, give Harlan Law a call at 360-735-8200. Their experienced team is ready and willing to assist with any auto injury-related case you may have.