Texting While Driving: How to Prove a Driver Was Distracted
In recent years, texting while driving has become the target of nationwide campaigns for safe driving, and understandably so. On average, sending or receiving a text message can take a driver’s eyes off the road for about five seconds, which is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with a blindfold. The dangers of texting while driving are unspeakably real and have led to an increasing number of deadly car accidents.
Unfortunately, Texas is one of the last states standing without bans on texting while driving, despite continuous efforts to legislate against it. Many safety-conscious Texans look forward to the state’s adoption of a ban, but in the meantime, our Beaumont personal injury lawyers want you to know how you can take action if you’ve been injured in a car accident with a driver who was texting.
Texting while driving can fall under the umbrella of distracted driving, which is defined as driving while performing any act that potentially removes a driver’s eyes or concentration away from the road. Distracted driving can be used in a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent or reckless driver in order to seek compensation for damages.
How can I prove a driver was distracted at the time of my accident?
When pursuing a lawsuit for personal injury on the grounds of distracted driving, it is crucial to be able to provide sufficient evidence. There are a number of ways that you can prove in court that the driver of a car involved in an accident was distracted.
Potential evidence can include:
Cell phone records: As texting and other use of cell phones are one of the most common forms of distracted driving, cell phone records can be extremely useful in proving that a driver was using their phone at the time of the accident. Time stamps on text messages or phone calls will hold up in court as evidence of distracted driving.
Police officer testimony: The officer called to the scene of the accident will fill out a police report. If you witnessed the other driver texting or engaging in other distracting acts, it is crucial that you tell the officer so that he or she can include it in the police report. Additionally, if the officer actually witnessed the distracting act, his testimony can be paramount in your suit.
Witnesses: An officer can also take statements from bystanders who witnessed the accident or passengers in the vehicles involved. If any of them saw the driver texting or performing other actions, their testimony can act as evidence of distracted driving.
Admission: Most drivers know the unspoken rule of what not to say immediately after an accident and avoid saying anything that might admit or imply fault. However, it is not uncommon for a driver to speak without thinking and admit that texting or other actions may have distracted them. While this might not be admissible due to hearsay, it can help in the general construction of your case.
If you have been involved in an accident with a driver who was texting or engaging in other distracting activities behind the wheel, contact the Beaumont personal injury attorneys at Brasher Law Firm, PLLC to learn more about your options for filing a lawsuit for distracted driving. You may be entitled to compensation for damages caused by another driver’s negligence or recklessness, and we want to help you fight for it.