Texting while driving continues to cause thousands of injuries every year. The National Safety Council reports that 25 percent of all car accidents are caused by texting drivers, resulting in more than 1.6 million crashes every year in the United States. The chances that you or someone you know will be injured (or even killed) by a distracted driver continues to rise. In Idaho, it’s illegal to text and drive, but that seems to have little effect on these disturbing statistics. If you are involved in a car accident and you believe the other driver may have been texting, here are some important things to keep in mind.
A Driver’s Duty of Care
All drivers have a legal duty of care to others on the road. This prohibits them from engaging in behavior that may put others at risk, including driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol or using a smartphone while driving. Consequently, if a driver breaches this duty of care, he or she is legally liable for any injury or damage that results. This includes all medical costs of the victim, damage to your vehicle and other property and intangible losses such as pain and suffering. The onus is on the victim, however, to prove that the other driver was negligent.
Proving Negligence in an Auto Accident
Proving a driver’s negligence in court is not always easy. If texting while driving is prohibited in the location where the accident occurs, and it can be proven that the other driver was doing so at the time of the collision, this alone is evidence of liability. At the scene of an accident, keep your eyes and ears open for anything that may indicate the other driver was using his or her phone behind the wheel. If you see the other party trying to erase text messages, or admitting to someone that they were on or using the phone, make note of it and alert the officers on scene. If you can do so, take photos of anything you believe may help establish negligence and write down any relevant facts or observations.
Using an Attorney to File a Claim
If you are injured in a collision that may have involved a distracted driver, an attorney can help you establish your negligence claim. It may be necessary to subpoena the other driver’s cell phone records to prove your suspicions. A personal injury lawyer understands the process and has the resources to assemble the documentation and witness statements necessary to substantiate your claim. Despite the prevalence of texting while driving today, it can be difficult to actually prove. To receive the settlement award that you deserve, contact a personal injury attorney in your area to explore the facts of your case.
In Boise, the professional attorneys of Montgomery Dowdle, specialize in helping people who have been harmed by others’ neglect. Contact them today to learn more about their skills and expertise, especially if you believe you’ve been injured by someone who was texting while driving.