If you’ve been involved in a car accident with a distracted driver, proving that the driver was distracted will be an important step in the recovery process. No matter how obvious it may seem that the other driver was at fault, their insurance company will not pay unless you can prove that they are liable.
5 Types of Evidence Used to Prove Distracted Driving in Louisiana
So, how do you prove that a driver was distracted behind the wheel? There are actually several possibilities, and the evidence you can use to prove your claim will depend on the specific circumstances at hand. With this in mind, here are five types of evidence that will frequently be available to prove distracted driving:
1. The Police Report
If you (or anyone else) called 911 from the accident scene, a police officer should have responded to the scene and prepared an accident report. This report could potentially contain several key pieces of information. If the other driver admitted to being distracted, this might be reflected in the police report. Or, if the officer found the driver’s cell phone in their footwell, this could be reflected in the report as well.
2. The Driver’s Cell Phone Records
These days, most distracted driving accidents involve talking on the phone, texting, sending emails, or using social media behind the wheel. If the driver who hit you was using their phone at the time of the crash, their cell phone records should prove it. Your lawyer can work to obtain these records from the driver’s phone company, and then your lawyer can use them to prove that the driver was on a call or using data when the crash occurred.
3. Vehicle “Black Box” Data
If the other driver was distracted by their GPS directions, infotainment system, or anything else inside their vehicle, this might be reflected in the vehicle’s “black box” data. Modern vehicles store enormous amounts of data about drivers’ behaviors and activities, and your lawyer can seek to obtain copies of any data that appear to be relevant to your case.
4. Eye Witness Testimony
If anyone witnessed the accident, they might be able to testify what the other driver was doing at the time of the accident. This includes other motorists, bystanders, or passengers in either vehicle involved in the crash.
5. Video Footage
Video footage can provide incontrovertible evidence that a driver was distracted in the moments leading up to a collision. This would include traffic camera footage, surveillance camera footage, dash camera footage, and even cell phone video footage if anyone happened to capture the accident as it happened.
These aren’t the only possibilities—just some of the most common. For example, it is becoming increasingly common for people to post about their car accidents on social media. If the other driver posted about causing the accident on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, their social media posts could serve as evidence in your case. When you hire a lawyer, your lawyer can also seek to obtain the driver’s sworn testimony, and your lawyer may be able to collect other forms of evidence through the discovery process as well.
Filing an Insurance Claim After a Distracted Driving Accident
Gathering evidence is just one step (albeit a crucial step) in the process of seeking financial compensation for a distracted driving accident. To preserve the best possible chance of recovering full compensation for your distracted driving accident, you should:
- Seek Medical Attention – After any car accident, seeking medical attention should be your first priority. Go to the doctor, follow your doctor’s advice (or seek a second opinion), and do everything you can to recover as fully and quickly as possible. If you have already seen a doctor, make sure you know your next steps, and don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions about the recovery process.
- Report the Accident – You will need to report the accident to your insurance company; and, if you haven’t done so already (i.e. by calling 911 at the scene of the accident), you must also report the accident to the policy. When you report the accident to your insurance company, only provide the basic information that is needed to file a claim—don’t make any assumptions or editorialize about who you think is responsible.
- Start Keeping Records – You will want to keep any and all records you receive that relate to the accident, the accident’s effects, or your medical care. This includes your copy of the police report (if you have one), any records you receive from your employer if you miss time from work, and all of your medical bills and receipts.
- Avoid Discussing the Accident – Aside from reporting the accident, you should avoid discussing the accident at this time. This applies in person, over the phone, and online. Keep the details and your opinions to yourself, and the time will come when you can tell your friends, co-workers, and loved ones exactly what happened.
- Contact an Attorney – If you are serious about recovering just compensation for your losses, you will need to hire an experienced attorney to represent you. There are many more steps involved in filing an insurance claim, and several of these steps require in-depth knowledge of Louisiana law. In addition to gathering evidence to prove that the other driver was distracted, your lawyer can also gather evidence to prove how much you are entitled to recover, and your lawyer can negotiate for a favorable settlement on your behalf.
Speak with an Alexandria, LA Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Were you injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver? If so, we can help, and we strongly encourage you to contact us right away. To speak with an Alexandra, LA car accident lawyer in confidence as soon as possible, call 318-487-9537 or request a free consultation online now.