There are many things that can distract a driver such as phone calls, texting, radios, or even children in the back or front seat. However, a driver is responsible for tuning out these distractions in order to focus on the road. Unfortunately, drivers all over the country fail to fulfill this obligation. The result in Florida has been a total of over 200,000 accidents involving a distracted driver in 2015, which resulted in 216 fatalities, according to the the Florida Department of Highway Safety.
Although many distracted driving accidents clearly demonstrate that the at-fault driver was distracted, not all cases have clear evidence that supports a distracted driving allegation. If you have been involved in a distracted driving accident, you need to understand that the burden of proof falls on you to demonstrate that the at-fault driver was distracted when the accident occurred. Therefore, you should always:
- Gather evidence at the scene of the crash
- Call a car accident attorney as soon as possible
- Get evaluated by a doctor to determine the extent of your injuries
- Gather Evidence at The Scene
You may have heard the old adage “It is not what you know. It is what you can prove.” This statement accurately summarizes the frame of mind you should have after a distracted driving accident. You and your car accident attorney must prove that the driver was distracted and that this distraction either directly or indirectly caused your accident. This is normally accomplished by gathering good quality evidence.
Pictures of the Accident
So, you should thoroughly photograph the scene of the accident. This includes documenting street signs, the damage to your vehicle, where your car was located after the accident occurred, etc.
Check for Cameras
Red light cameras, security cameras at local businesses, and traffic cameras are potential sources of evidence, and they could potentially save you the trouble of a legal battle if they captured a distracted driver. Therefore, you need to scan the scene of the accident for any cameras that may be in the surrounding area and give this information to your attorney later.
2. Call a Car Accident Attorney
Distracted driving cases are extremely adversarial by nature. Due to this, your car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL will play a pivotal role in proving exactly what happened at the time of your accident. One of the tools your attorney can utilize is compelling evidence out of the at-fault driver via a subpoena or a production request.
Discoverable Evidence in Florida
Your attorney has the ability to subpoena cell phone records from the at-fault driver’s cell phone carrier. This is a long standing practice that can provide information such as call made or texts sent at the time of the accident. This information can be used to demonstrate the at-fault driver’s use of their cell phone at the time of the collision.
Subpoenaing Cell Phone Data
However, cell phone records will only provide your attorney with a limited amount of information, but it is possible for your attorney to request that the at-fault party’s cell phone be analyzed by an expert in certain situations. This issue was decided by Florida’s First District Court of Appeals in 2014 in the case of Antico v. Sindt Trucking Inc., which found that, in certain scenarios, cell phone data that can only be obtained from extracting the information from the cell phone directly can be compelled out of a party to a lawsuit via a discovery request and if needed a Motion to Compel.
3. Get Evaluated by a Doctor
Some of the most common injuries in a car accident have delayed symptoms that you might not feel until days later. So, you should alway be cautious and get evaluated by a doctor, even if you don’t believe you have any injuries.
1800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service. If you’ve been injured in an accident, we can connect you with a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney who can examine your case for free.