Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of serious and fatal car accidents in Connecticut and throughout the U.S. You may believe that the other driver in your crash is at fault for driving while distracted, but it is not enough to have only suspicions. You must prove distracted driving using clear and convincing evidence to qualify for financial compensation from the other driver’s insurance company.
A Police Report
The steps that you should take after a distracted driving accident always start with contacting the police. Reporting your car accident to the police is critical for many reasons. First, it will document all of the key facts about the crash, including the time, date and location. It will also contain information about the other driver, his or her vehicle, and the driver’s insurance company.
If there is evidence that the other driver was distracted, such as fast-food wrappers in the front seat or an open social media app on a cell phone, the police can document this evidence and take official photographs. You can use a copy of your police report as evidence against the distracted driver later. It is important to call 911 after any type of car accident, major or minor.
If anyone saw the driver engaged in a distracting behavior before, during or immediately after the car accident, you can use signed eyewitness statements as evidence. If an eyewitness recalls seeing a cell phone in the driver’s hand right before the crash, for example, this could serve as evidence against the driver. Speak to eyewitnesses at the scene before you leave; get their names and contact information to collect statements later.
Cell Phone Records
Texting while driving is the most dangerous form of driver distraction. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most common. Subpoenaing the other driver’s cell phone records could provide key evidence that the driver was on his or her cell phone in the minutes leading up to your crash. Cell phone records can track device usage, including any apps that were open, calls that were made, photos that were taken, content that was posted and messages that were sent right before the collision.
In some cases, a distracted driving accident is caught on tape. After your collision, look around for cameras that may have captured the crash. These can include intersection cameras, dashcams and surveillance cameras at nearby businesses. Footage of the accident could show the driver engaged in a distracting behavior before the accident. It could also prove that the other driver did not hit the brakes before the time of impact – a sign of driver distraction.
Many distracted driving accident cases bring in qualified medical or crash experts to testify. A car accident expert, for example, may be able to clarify what a safe and prudent driver should do and how the defendant fell short of this duty of care by driving while distracted. Information from an expert can help a jury understand the facts of a car accident case and make an educated decision.
Accident reconstruction uses physical evidence from the scene of the accident and other sources of information to recreate how the crash must have occurred. Crash reconstruction may be able to prove distracted driving by demonstrating that the at-fault driver did not swerve or hit the brakes before the impact, pointing to the fact that his or her attention was on something other than the driving task.
Contact an Attorney for Assistance
Collecting evidence to build a compelling car accident claim is something that a personal injury lawyer in Connecticut can help you with. Hiring an attorney from the very beginning of your case can make it easier to preserve and present evidence against a distracted driver. For more information about filing a distracted driving accident case, contact the Waterbury distracted driving accident attorneys at the Law Offices of James A. Welcome to request a free injury consultation.