What If the Other Driver Was Texting During a Car Accident?
Texting and driving, as well as other types of cellphone use, are serious hazards for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. A driver who is texting behind the wheel cannot dedicate 100% of his or her attention to the road. This can lead to preventable collisions and serious injuries, such as bone breaks, concussions, spinal cord injuries and organ damage. Driver distraction took 2,841 lives in the US in one year alone. If you suspect the other driver in your accident of texting and driving, exercise your rights with help from an attorney.
Texting and Driving Is a Prevalent Problem
Texting and driving is one of the riskiest things a driver can do. It is the worst type of driver distraction – as well as the one that occurs the most often. Texting requires a driver’s eyes, hands and mind. Removing visual, manual and cognitive attention from the road can make it impossible for a driver to safely control a motor vehicle. Many drivers falsely believe they can multitask when, in reality, texting and driving can inhibit a driver’s abilities in many ways.
- Delayed reflexes
- Slower reaction times
- Failure to keep a proper lookout
- Missed stop signs and red lights
- Broken roadway rules
- Speeding without noticing
- Tailgating/following too closely
- Missed exits or turns
- Rolling through crosswalks
- Ignored rights-of-way
Massachusetts banned texting and driving as of February 23, 2020. This law makes it an offense to use any electronic device if it is not in hands-free mode. Violating this law could lead to a fine of $100 to $500 depending on the number of offenses. A driver who texts and drives could also face civil liability for causing a car accident. If you get into an auto accident and suspect the other driver of texting and driving, you may be able to bring a claim to damages.
How to Prove a Texting and Driving Accident
In Massachusetts, you do not need to deal with fault if you only have minor injuries from a car accident. Minor accidents will utilize the state’s no-fault laws, meaning you will seek benefits from your insurance provider without needing to prove the other driver’s fault. If, however, your injuries are serious, you or your car accident lawyer will need to prove the other driver was at fault for texting and driving.
- Cellphone records. With a lawyer’s assistance, you could subpoena the other driver’s cellphone records to find out if he or she was texting before the accident. Cellphone records can track texts, calls, pictures, videos and social media activity around the time of the crash.
- Eyewitness statements. Eyewitnesses at the scene of the crash may have information about what the driver was doing before the accident. Someone may have seen the driver with a handheld cellphone in the minutes before the accident, for example.
- Crash evidence. Investigators and accident reconstructionists can examine the damage to both vehicles and the scene of the accident to piece together what happened. Evidence such as no brake marks and the speed of the crash could demonstrate the other driver’s distraction.
- Police reports. Call 911 immediately after a car accident in Boston. The police can investigate and help you gather evidence of the other driver’s fault. If an officer cites the other driver for cellphone use or reckless driving, you could use this as evidence.
A Boston car accident lawyer can help you prove a distracted driving case. If you win a civil claim against the at-fault driver, his or her insurance company may have to pay for your medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost wages and other damages. A successful texting and driving lawsuit could compensate you for many economic and noneconomic losses. Speak to an attorney as soon as possible after an accident with a distracted driver for assistance.