Distracted driving is a growing problem in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver distraction took 3,142 lives in 2019 alone. If you have been involved in an accident you believe was caused by a distracted driver, there are steps you can take to protect your rights. Learning how a personal injury attorney will investigate these claims can help you understand the process and make informed decisions about the options that may be available for recovering compensation.
Types of Distracted Driving
Although texting and talking on the phone are two of the most common types of driver distraction, eating, drinking, putting on makeup, talking with passengers, adjusting controls, and dealing with kids or pets in the backseat are also considered distractions that can cause an accident. There are many different types of evidence that can help prove distracted driving. Top accident attorneys know how to put them all together to create cohesive cases that prove a distracted driver was at fault.
Analyzing the Scene of the Accident
Photographs, traffic and surveillance cameras, and other tools can help investigators piece together how an accident occurred. Skid marks and damage to vehicles, guardrails, and traffic signs can tell a story as well. Personal injury lawyers often employ car crash reconstructionists who examine evidence from the scene to determine whether a driver’s attention was diverted when an accident happened. These car accident experts provide critical testimony that can provide convincing evidence to support a claim.
Cell Phone Data and Records
Cell phone records are one of the most valuable tools when it comes to proving distracted driving behaviors such as texting or talking on the phone. A lawyer can subpoena a driver’s cell phone data and records to determine whether they were texting, checking email, or using a device for GPS or other purposes while driving.
If another driver, passenger, pedestrian, or bystander noticed that a driver was distracted at the time of a collision, their statements or testimony also can help prove your case. If you are involved in an accident, obtaining witness statements and contact information at the scene can add another layer of evidence that your car crash injury lawyer can use to help prove your case.
It is critical to call 911 or local law enforcement after a crash. Police scrutinize the scene and collect evidence to try and determine the circumstances of a crash and who may be at fault. They also collect the statements of the other driver, passengers, and witnesses to document what happened. Police reports and law enforcement testimony can provide important information that helps to confirm that a driver was distracted or exhibiting other dangerous behaviors when an accident occurred.
How an Attorney Can Help
In addition to building a case that proves your distracted driving claim, your car accident attorney can aggressively negotiate on your behalf and help you recover maximum compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, wage loss, emotional distress, and other damages.