How to Prove Someone Was Texting & Driving
California prohibits all motorists from using mobile devices while driving, unless they’re in hands-free mode. An exception applies to school bus drivers and motorists under 18, both of whom are prohibited from using their cellphones period, regardless of whether they’re relying on hands-free technology.
Since violating the state’s texting and driving law is merely an infraction, though, it only carries a fine. As such, it’s not enough to deter everyone from using their phone behind the wheel. It is, however, enough to keep some motorists from admitting they were texting and driving in the event of a wreck.
That means if you were struck by a distracted driver, you probably can’t rely on a confession to prove liability. Instead, you’ll have to gather evidence of the transgression. Such evidence might include:
- The Official Police Report
If officers who responded to the scene suspected the at-fault motorist had been texting and driving, they may have noted as much in their report. While their initial impressions won’t serve as indisputable evidence of fault, they could provide a jumping-off point for a more thorough investigation.
- Eyewitness Deposition
If any motorists, passengers, or pedestrians who were in the vicinity witnessed the other driver texting just before the wreck, their deposition could prove invaluable to your claim. If there were any passengers in the at-fault motorist’s vehicle at the time, your legal team will undoubtedly want their statements, as well.
- Cell Phone Records
When it comes to car accident claims involving texting and driving, the strongest evidence of liability is usually the at-fault motorist’s cell phone records. Since his or her carrier is unlikely to release these records without legal pressure, though, your attorney will probably have to file a subpoena to obtain them.
- Social Media Posts
Considering how ubiquitous social media usage is nowadays, there’s a good chance the distracted driver wasn’t actually texting but was interacting with friends online. Should this be the case, screenshots of relevant timestamped posts may strengthen your claim.
- Video Footage
Even if you don’t have a dashcam on your own car, the wreck may have been captured by one that was mounted on a passing vehicle. If this footage happens to show the at-fault motorist using a mobile device behind the wheel just before the accident, you should be able to use it to demonstrate negligence.
If the crash happened in a relatively developed area, there’s also a chance it was captured by one or more surveillance cameras. Depending on the quality of any such footage, it may depict the liable party texting and driving before the collision.
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If you were struck by someone who was texting and driving, contact Harris Personal Injury Lawyers. We have recovered more than $300 million for our valued clients.
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