At a minimum, automotive accidents can disrupt a driver’s usual routine. At worst, they can instantly alter or even end the victims’ lives. And the damages and difficulties arising from a car accident can seem all the more onerous when the at-fault driver was distracted by their smartphone.
Texting or using a cell phone while driving constitutes a dereliction of the “duty of care,” meaning the obligation to be attentive and cautious while driving and to follow the rules of the road, that is legally presumed of all US drivers regardless of any applicable state laws that explicitly forbid texting and driving. Victims may be entitled to several different categories of compensation, including potential lost wages and even punitive damages, but getting justice can be complicated. A skilled car accident attorney can recover fair compensation in a court of law if the driver concedes fault, or if admissible evidence proves the distraction caused the accident.
How to Prove Fault in a Texting and Driving Accident
Should the at-fault driver admit guilt, either verbally at the scene of the car or trucking accident or in a subsequent statement, there may be no need to go to court. Even after admitting guilt, however, the driver may later change his or her story, and/or the insurer(s) involved may choose to deny or contest the claims of either driver. Under any such scenario, the victim needs to act fast to collect proof that the at-fault driver was texting so that a car accident attorney can use it to support that claim.
Specific Steps to Take ASAP
To prove fault in a texting and driving accident, it’s critical to gather as much potentially admissible evidence as possible, at the time and place the accident occurred or as soon as possible thereafter, notably:
A complete and timely police report should contain the contact and insurance information for all involved parties, the drivers’ versions of events, and a preliminary assessment of fault.
A car accident attorney can use pictures and recordings taken immediately at the scene with cell phones or by adjacent surveillance cameras to provide proof of fault as well as proof of damages claimed.
Anyone who observed the distracted behavior and/or the accident itself should give an account to the attendant police, and they may be subpoenaed thereafter to testify in court.
Victims should seek medical attention immediately (ER or PCP), regardless of injury severity. Bills and other records can establish a causal relationship between the accident and any resulting conditions and treatments, including pain and suffering.
Experienced Representation Matters
Proving the fault of a distracted driver can be a difficult task, but an experienced car accident attorney like Jiles Law P.A. can help shoulder that burden. We manage paperwork, contact witnesses, mediate with insurers, and defend the rights of victims of distracted drivers in Florida. Call (863) 875-6900 for a free consultation.