Proving Fault in a Florida Texting and Driving Accident
Texting and driving has become a significant cause of auto accidents in recent years. If you have been involved in an auto accident in which the other driver was texting, you have the right to seek compensation. It is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to determine the best course of action.
Attorney Brian M. Hoag of the Hoag Law Firm serves clients in the Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Clearwater, and Land O’ Lakes areas of Florida.
Auto Accidents Caused by Cell Phone Use
When you have been injured an auto accident and the other driver was texting or otherwise distracted by their phone, there are several steps you should take immediately following the accident:
- Seek medical attention without delay
- Contact the police
- Report that you believe the other driver was texting
- Take photos or videos of the accident (send a friend to do this for you if you are unable to do so immediately following the accident)
- Keep close records of medical treatment costs
- Consult a car accident attorney
Each of these steps is an important element in building a case so that you have an opportunity to pursue compensation for injuries or other damages.
Is It Possible to Prove the Other Driver was Texting?
Although it is possible to establish liability in an auto accident, proving that a distracted driver was texting is more difficult and requires substantial evidence. For this reason, it is important to report the accident and suspicion of texting and driving to the police as quickly as possible after the accident.There are some ways that you can (with the help of your attorney) demonstrate that the other person was texting and driving:
Cell Phone Records
Most individuals or cell phone companies will not readily release phone records. You may have to appeal to the courts to subpoena the records to establish a texting and driving claim. An attorney can help you retrieve the records quickly to prevent delaying litigation.
Passengers or other eyewitnesses may have been present when the accident occurred. Witnesses may give their statements to the police officer on the scene so that they can go on record. An attorney can also interview witnesses that can corroborate your claim.
A police officer may be able to testify that they believe the at-fault driver was texting and driving. The police report may also contain information that suggests that the other driver was distracted.
Security Feed or Video Footage
Photos or video footage may establish that the other driver was using a cell phone while operating the vehicle. Video can be pulled from a security feed or an individual’s phone and used as evidence.
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help
Since proving that the other driver was texting and driving can be difficult, it’s wise to seek legal consultation and representation from a car accident attorney. An attorney can assist you in the following ways:
- Gathering proof of fault and liability
- Collecting statements from eyewitnesses and/or expert witnesses
- Requesting a subpoena of the at-fault driver’s phone records
- Building a legal strategy for your case
- Determining the total value of your damages
- Negotiating a settlement with the insurance company
If the at-fault driver denies fault or the insurance company rejects your claim, you may have the option of filing a lawsuit and taking the case to court. If so, a car accident attorney can represent you throughout the litigation process.
Claiming Damages in a Texting & Driving Accident
In an auto accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for a wide range of damage, including medical bills, lost pay, property damage, and pain and suffering. Medical bills may include ER visits, surgical care, ambulance services, physical therapy, pain medication, and related expenses.Your employer can provide documents that show the total sum of lost wages or benefits. In addition, you may be able to claim disability or lost future earning capacity if you are unable to work again. Pain and suffering typically involves noneconomic damages such as ongoing pain, emotional distress, loss of consortium, or loss of joy of life. An attorney can work with you to estimate the value of all damages.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Tampa, Florida
The Hoag Law Firm offers comprehensive legal services for victims of texting and driving accidents in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Clearwater, and Land O’ Lakes, Florida. To find out more about your legal options after a car accident, call for a free case assessment.