Proving Negligence When Injured by a Distracted Driver
These days, it is extremely easy to get distracted when driving. Many activities fall into the category of “distracted driving,” a broad category that includes driving while texting, putting on makeup, eating, and tending to a noisy child. These distractions can lead to accidents, injuries, and death. Since most states have enacted laws against distracted driving, the distracted driver is likely to receive a citation for a traffic violation as well. A third of all motor vehicle accidents are the result of drivers who were texting rather than paying attention to the road. Distracted driving has been described as a serious public health issue, especially to young drivers.
Negligence is the failure to take proper care in doing something. In the driving context, each driver owes other drivers the duty of driving safely and responsibly, which includes following all of the rules of the road. Every driver is expected to drive in a reasonably safe manner. There are no exceptions to this duty. Breaching this duty would mean that the negligent person is liable for injuries caused by that negligence. If a driver was negligent and that negligence results in an accident, that driver is responsible for any injuries inflicted on other people. This includes both personal injuries and damage to the vehicles involved. The negligent driver may be found responsible for paying medical bills, any out of pocket expenses involved, and for pain and suffering of the victim involved. If someone was distracted while driving, it is not enough to state your suspicion that this was the cause of the accident. Some sort of evidence must be offered to show that the driver who caused the accident was distracted.
There are several options that can be explored to prove that distracted driving was the cause of an injury. Police reports that are filed after the accident happens will have detailed explanations of how the accident was called. Sometimes these reports may include the officer’s opinion as to who caused the accident. This will be admissible in court, and can help prove that the other driver was distracted.
Sometimes people are honest about their part in causing an accident. If the other driver does admit that the accident was their fault, this statement may be able to be used later to support your case. Depending on the situation, this could be an easy way to prove that the accident was caused by a negligent and distracted driver. Unfortunately, people are usually not this honest. If there are any eyewitnesses to the accident, such as bystanders or passengers in the vehicle, their testimony would be useful in determining how the accident truly happened. If there were no witnesses and you suspect that the other driver was on the phone or texting at the time of the accident, it is possible to use cell phone records to prove that the driver was on the phone at the time of the accident. Depending on the area in which the accident occurred, it may be possible to find surveillance videos or photos documenting the accident.
It is important to remember that the best way to prove that the driver was distracted will depend on the type of distraction. For instance, it would be difficult to prove that someone was driving while putting on makeup unless there was some eyewitness who saw the driver doing so or if there’s a photograph of the driver doing so. If the distraction was caused by cell phone used, then this would be much easier to prove because there are cell phone records that can easily be examined to determine if that distraction was the cause of the accident.
Further, each state has its own set of unique laws regarding distracted driving that is and is not prohibited. An activity that may be considered an illegal distraction in one state may be perfectly acceptable in another state. Depending on your injuries, it may be necessary to bring forth your medical records as evidence that injuries were directly caused by the negligent driving. This will vary in each case.
If you or a loved one was injured by a distracted driver, you should contact an attorney so that a strategy of proving that the driver was distracted can be developed. The New Jersey Lawyers for injuries at the Clark Law Firm, P.C., are experienced in cases involving car accidents and in developing strategies for proving liability of other drivers. We would be happy to use our zealous advocacy skills to assist with your case. There are many options that can be explored in proving negligence from distracted driving, and our experienced attorneys will help you so that you receive the compensation that you deserve.
Contact the experienced attorneys at Clark Law Firm today to discuss your situation.