It’s difficult to influence what other people do behind the wheel. Road users can only control their personal actions. Therefore, they can suffer injuries from the wrong actions of other motorists. That’s why it’s important to know how to prove that a driver was using a phone when necessary. A Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer can provide help in this area.
In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, many accidents happen when drivers use their phones as they drive. This action is called distracted driving. In 2021, distracted driving led to 333 deaths in Florida. While there are several causes of driving distractions, phone use tops the list. From social media to texting a friend, it’s tempting to use one’s phone while driving.
If anyone has been injured due to the carelessness of a distracted driver, seeking compensation can be tricky. They will have to know what to prove and how to do it.
What Is Distracted Driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” The agency also lists several top distractions for drivers. These include eating, drinking, talking with passengers in the car, and trying to operate a music player or navigation system.
Once anyone is behind the wheel, they must ensure that nothing else takes their attention away from driving. Unfortunately, even one second of phone use can lead to road accidents. These accidents can be serious enough to alter a victim’s life forever or cause the death of a loved one.
For anyone injured or whose loved one died in a distracted driving accident, proving that the responsible driver was busy with their phone is crucial. It must be established that the driver was carelessly distracted and that the phone use led to the accident.
How Can Phones Cause Car Accidents?
Even after numerous campaigns on the issue, the use of cell phones remains a major cause of road accidents. Drivers often find it difficult to resist the temptation to use their phones while behind the wheel. Here are the ways phone use causes road accidents today:
- Drivers send text messages and operate phone apps on the road. This activity affects them manually, visually, and mentally.
- Drivers make calls while driving. However, it becomes risky when a driver holds a cell phone in one hand and the wheel in the other. Handling the wheel with one hand reduces the driver’s focus and effectiveness in performing emergency maneuvers on the road.
Hands-free phone use is also dangerous. According to the National Safety Council report, using a phone’s loudspeaker can reduce what the driver can see by 50%.
- Using earphones while on the wheel can take a driver’s attention off the road, resulting in a crash.
How to Prove Distracted Driving in a Car Accident
Proving the use of a phone by a distracted driver requires several forms of evidence. These are:
- Police report
- Photos, videos, and audio
- Cell phone records
- Statement of witnesses
- Confession of the driver
After a car accident, the police are usually called to the scene to make a report. The police report forms the officially recognized account of how and why an accident took place. The police make the report by interviewing the people involved in the accident and witnesses.
The police will also inspect vehicles, measure distances, take photographs, and write down their findings. Among the information someone can find in a police report is the cause of the crash, including if the driver’s phone use led to the accident.
The victim can use this report to prove that financial compensation is merited. For this reason, accident victims must not fail to notify the police that the responsible driver was on their phone when the crash happened and obtain a copy.
Photo and Video Evidence
Photo and video evidence go a long way in showing that a driver was on their phone during a road crash. Unfortunately, car accident victims can’t depend on traffic cameras alone to prove their case.
While Florida law allows red light cameras in every part of the state, these are not always enough to prove the victim’s case. Instead, accident victims can obtain photos and videos from the CCTV of nearby buildings, traffic cameras, and dashcams of other vehicles on the road.
Cell Phone Records
One of the most widely used means of proving phone use in car accident cases is by presenting cell phone records. This evidence will only show phone calls and text message records. Cell phone records can back up suspicions if the car accident victim suspects that the at-fault driver was on the phone or sending a text during the accident.
Statement of Witnesses
Witnesses play a crucial role in proving phone use during driving. The court respects the statement of an eyewitness. If witnesses were at the scene of the accident, their testimony could help the accident victim.
Eyewitnesses must take an oath that they will tell the truth. Afterward, they will give their testimony. In many cases, the testimony of eyewitnesses proves the driver’s fault and helps accident victims seek financial compensation.
Confession of the Driver
Not all drivers will deny using their phones. It is quite possible that responsible drivers will admit to using their cell phones. This evidence is the most powerful way to prove that the driver was at fault for the accident. When drivers admit guilt in using their phones while driving, victims will have a stronger case.
Why Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
For victims of accidents caused by distracted driving, recovering from the experience could be a challenge. Unfortunately, personal injury protection (PIP) coverage isn’t always enough to cover the victim’s needs. The only option to seek adequate compensation is to take legal action.
A car accident lawyer will boost a victim’s chances of success. A lawyer’s experience and knowledge go beyond the negotiation table and the courtroom. A successful compensation claim begins with preparing a case. Lawyers know where to look for and access the needed evidence.
Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers Knows How to Win Compensation
Proving that a driver was using their phone isn’t a simple task. There are many twists and turns to wade through. Therefore, victims of distracted driving must have a solid case for a chance at a successful outcome.
Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers has built a reputation for helping distracted driving accident victims. Our Fort Lauderdale distracted driving attorneys thoroughly dig up evidence and present the facts for our clients (by appointment only).
We also work on a contingency fee basis and offer free initial consultations. Call (561) 800-8000 to book a free case review.