Drivers operating while distracted are a leading cause of vehicle accidents in California and throughout the US. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), distracted driving involves any type of activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the actual driving. There are many ways that distracted driving can occur, including eating or drinking behind the wheel, talking or texting on a cell phone, talking to others in the vehicle, reaching for objects inside the vehicle, and more. Here, we want to discuss how you can prove that another driver was distracted and that this distraction caused the vehicle accident.
The evidence-gathering process following a vehicle accident begins immediately. First and foremost, we need to say that if you are seriously injured or if the scene is unsafe in any way, do not try to gather any evidence. The number one priority is your health and safety.
However, if the scene is relatively safe and you do not have to go to the hospital right away, you can use your cell phone to take pictures of everything. Now, this may not necessarily prove that a driver was distracted when the incident occurred, but taking pictures can help substantiate any description of how the collision happened.
If there are any eyewitnesses around the incident area, including other drivers or passengers, or bystanders who simply saw what happened, you need to get their names and contact information written down as soon as possible. These individuals may have seen whether or not the other driver was distracted when the crash happened.
When the police arrive at the scene of the incident, you need to let the officer know that you suspect the other driver was distracted when the incident occurred. Tell them why you suspect that, including whether or not you saw the driver staring at their phone, reaching for something in their vehicle, looking in the mirror, eating, etc. This information may or may not be put into the police report.
There may be various types of evidence that can be gathered in the days and weeks that follow a collision that can help prove distracted driving occurred. Please understand how important it is to speak to a skilled personal injury lawyer who can handle every aspect of your claim. An attorney can go through the appropriate legal processes to gather this information.
Some of the evidence that can help prove distracted driving includes mobile device data of the at-fault driver, vehicle black box data from the at-fault driver’s vehicle, video surveillance footage from cameras on nearby homes or businesses, and more. Much of this evidence is very difficult for a crash victim to obtain, but an attorney can work to get subpoenas from the court to obtain the necessary data.
Proving distracted driving can be challenging. The overall goal is to make sure that fault is clearly established so crash victims can recover compensation for their losses. This includes coverage of medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering damages, lost wages, property damage expenses, and more.