Distracted driving accidents kill 8 Americans each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Numerous studies have shown that texting while driving and other distracting activities are among the leading causes of auto accidents in this country. Every day in the United States, distracted drivers cause thousands of accidents, injuring more than 1,160 people, reports the CDC.
How do victims of these preventable tragedies prove that another motorist was talking on their cell phone, texting, eating or otherwise distracted at the time of the crash?
Without compelling evidence, distracted drivers may avoid liability for the injuries, property damage and losses that ensue because of their negligent actions.
If you were involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, here are five important elements that can help prove your case.
How to a prove a distracted driver caused the crash
- Police Report – After any type of motor vehicle accident, a police report must be filed. If you personally saw the other motorist engaged in distracted behavior before the crash, be sure to include this important detail when speaking to the officer, who will include it in the report along with other observations regarding the circumstances leading up to the crash.
- Eyewitness testimony – Oftentimes, there are other people—whether bystanders, pedestrians, or other passengers – who witnessed the crash and are willing to provide a written statement about if they saw the other driver talking on his or her mobile, texting or engaging in other distracted behaviors. This statement will be included in the official police report and also may be admitted as evidence should the case go to court.
- Video footage – In some instances, surveillance cameras from traffic lights, parking garages and intersections may capture clear views of a driver engaging in other activities at the time of the accident. Such footage may compel the liable motorist to settle a claim quickly, rather than go to court.
- Cell phone records – A distracted driver’s cell phone records that show the exact time that phone calls and texts were answered are admissible in court, and may lend credence to a plaintiff’s claim for damages.
- Photographs of the scene – Photos or video taken of the accident scene (including the inside of both vehicles) can shed light on what the motorist was doing prior to the crash. A half-eaten sandwich, open laptop or make-up case may suggest that driver was not paying attention and introduce the very real possibility that the defendant was driving while distracted.
Consult with a Louisiana car accident lawyer
Establishing liability in a distracted driving accident isn’t always straightforward, which is why victims need to partner with a skilled car accident attorney in Baton Rouge and Lafayette who can help prove their case. If you or someone you love was hurt by a distracted driver in Louisiana, Bart Bernard has the resources and experience to secure just compensation from the at-fault parties.
Call 1-888-GET-BART to arrange a private, no-cost case review today.
Additional “Distracted Driving” Resources:
- NHTSA, Distracted Driving https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving
- CDC, Distracted Driving, https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/
- National Safety Council, Thousands have Died in Crashes Involving Cell Phone Use http://www.nsc.org/learn/NSC-Initiatives/Pages/distracted-driving.aspx