Evidence of Distracted Driving After an Accident
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Oct 31, 2019 in Car Accidents
There are a few ways an attorney may be able to prove the driver who caused an accident was distracted.
Our South Bend car accident attorneys know how to obtain detailed evidence to try to prove a driver was distracted or negligent in some other way. We offer crash victims a free consultation so they can discuss their accident and we can determine how we may be able to help them.
When you are involved in an accident it is important to contact the authorities. A law enforcement officer will arrive on the scene and complete a cursory investigation.
The officer may give the at-fault driver a citation for violating a traffic law, such as Indiana’s distracted driving law, which makes it illegal for all drivers to do the following with a handheld cellphone:
- Type a text message or email
- Send a text message or email
- Read a text or email
The only exceptions to these regulations are if the driver is using a hands-free or voice-operated function or if the cellphone is being used to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
All drivers under 21 years of age are also prohibited from using any wireless communication device while driving, including hands-free devices.
The distracted driving law is a primary enforcement law, so if an officer observes a driver breaking the law, the officer can pull the driver over. This is different from laws in some other states that do not allow officers to pull drivers over solely for distracted driving.
If you suspect distracted driving occurred, be sure to mention it to the law enforcement officer at the scene of the accident.
One of the most common forms of distracted driving is using a cellphone while driving. However, many people involved in an accident will not admit to being on their phone at the time of the accident, which may be because they are trying to avoid a fine.
Fortunately, your car accident lawyer may be able to obtain the other driver’s phone records to determine if he or she was using his or her cellphone before the crash. If necessary, your lawyer may need to issue a subpoena to get the phone company to release these records.
Phone records may show:
- The driver was on a call at the time of the accident
- The driver was using data at the time of the accident to surf the web, read email or engage in other distracting activities
- The driver sent or received a text message shortly before the collision occurred
Your lawyer may be able to obtain recordings from nearby traffic cameras or security cameras to see if the driver was engaged in some type of distracting activity, which could include:
- Talking to passengers
- Adjusting the radio, heat or air
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting the GPS system
- Applying makeup or grooming
- Reaching for objects behind or beside the driver
- Turning around to tend to children or pets
The law enforcement officer who responds to your accident will likely speak with witnesses at the scene to try to get more details about the crash and include this information in his or her report.
If it is safe for you to do so, you can also look for and talk to witnesses to find out what they saw. They may have observed the at-fault driver engaged in distracted driving. You should also ask for their contact information so your lawyer can contact them later.
Analysis of Damage to the Vehicles Involved
Sometimes damage to vehicles can indicate distracted driving. For example, if there were no skid marks left by the car of the at-fault driver it could mean he or she did not attempt to stop. This often happens because the driver was not paying attention.
Contact an Experienced Attorney After a Distracted Driving Crash
If you suspect your car accident was caused by a distracted driver, it is important that you contact an experienced attorney. The licensed lawyers at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak are prepared to discuss your claim during a free consultation. We accept personal injury claims on contingency, so there is nothing for you to pay up front. If we do not win a settlement or verdict on your behalf, we do not get paid.
Call now at (844) 678-1800 to learn about your potential legal options.