Distracted driving has become a major cause of car accidents in and around Chicago, with texting being a common distraction. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving results in more than 3,100 traffic fatalities annually.
All these deaths could be prevented.
It is illegal to use hand-held cell phones and texting devices while operating a motor vehicle. However, cell phones are not entirely prohibited while driving.
Drivers aged 19 and older may use hands-free devices and Bluetooth. Despite this, a person using hands-free technology can still be cited for distracted driving if they cause a wreck.
If you are involved in an accident with a distracted driver and want to pursue a car accident insurance claim for your various losses, you will have to prove that the at-fault driver was texting.
There are several ways you and an experienced attorney can obtain information about the other driver’s potential distracted driving.
The officer who arrived at the scene will have completed an assessment of what they believe happened. They may include clues about what type of evidence needs to be collected and contact information for eyewitnesses.
The police report will also indicate if anyone received a citation for the accident or any other actions associated with the crash.
If the officer believes someone was texting and driving, they will have issued a ticket. That driver will have to pay a fine or dispute the ticket, all of which will be public record that can be used to support your case.
Your attorney can also subpoena cell phone records from the carrier or cellular service provider of the at-fault driver. A subpoena is a request for the production of documents. Those documents will show how the other driver received and responded to text messages.
By cross-referencing this with the time of the accident, you can prove that the driver was engaged in texting while driving.
Another way to prove that the driver of another vehicle was texting while driving is to talk to eyewitnesses. That may mean bystanders who were at the scene of the accident or passengers in the same car as the other driver.
Anyone in the area may have seen the other driver looking down or taking actions that appeared to be texting.
Many intersections, especially in large cities like Chicago, have traffic cameras. Those cameras can view the inside of a car to see what the driver was doing just prior to an accident.
If a traffic camera catches a driver texting right before a crash, that evidence can be used to prove fault.
Although the driver might deny texting while driving, they can be pressed to tell the truth. A deposition is an official hearing where the person being questioned is sworn to tell the truth. If they lie, they can be charged with the crime of perjury.
If a person claims they were not texting and it is later shown that they may have been, their entire testimony will be questioned.
Texting and driving accidents can be complex because you must obtain specific information to prove fault. That information can be difficult to obtain. It’s best to work with a lawyer familiar with collecting evidence after a car accident. You deserve to have someone who will stand by your side and conduct an in-depth investigation.
Staver Accident Injury Lawyers P.C. has worked with countless clients involved in texting and driving accidents. Our car accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan. We know how to handle these cases effectively. Call us today at 312-236-2900 or use our online contact form to reach out.