You just received a message from a friend while you are driving, you respond back to the message but then in an instant something horrible happens. Are you always tempted to look at your phone while you’re driving? Or is your mind simply somewhere else? These temptations and simply just daydreaming may not seem like a big deal while you’re driving but they are and you are putting your own life at risk.
In 2016 the National Safety Council reported that 3,450 people died from distracted driving-related crashes and hundreds and thousands of drivers in America are engaged in distracting behaviors at any given moment.
In the event of a tragic accident, a distracted driving attorney in Houston can help you understand the legal aspects of your case and recover the compensation you deserve.
Different Types Of Distracted Driving
In Texas the most common form of distracted driving is the use of cell phones. With the increase of distracted related accidents caused by cell phone use, many states have adopted strict laws forbidding the use of electronic devices and cell phones behind the wheel. Furthermore, several states have enacted laws that specifically forbid the use of texting while driving. Texting is the most dangerous distraction because it involves all three major types of distraction behind the wheel:
- Visual Distraction: not paying attention to the roads
- Manual Distraction: inappropriately operating the vehicle
- Cognitive Distraction: Mentally occupied somewhere else
In Texas, the use of cell phones while driving is prohibited, but how do you prove that the driver who hit you was using his/ her cell phone or engaging in other related distracted behaviors?
How To Prove Distracted Driving
There are several different ways to prove a driver was distracted. A competent attorney in Houston may attempt to subpoena the defendant’s phone records in order to prove he/ she was using their cell phone at the time of the accident. Moreover, a witness present at the accident may have also seen the at fault driver on the phone at the time of the crash. There may also be other types of evidence present at the scene of the accident that will help build your case, like eating behind the wheel, applying makeup, arguing with a passenger, or distracted with kids in the vehicle. Passengers present with you at the accident can also testify to prove the driver who caused the accident was distracted.
Physical evidence is critical in any car accident related lawsuit and it will make or brake your case. If you or your loved one was involved in an accident, it is crucial to take as many photos as possible and collect any evidence at the scene of the accident that may be important in proving your case.
Getting The Help Of An Expert Witness
In some distracted related accidents your attorney may call upon an expert witness that specializes in gathering relevant evidence to testify if the defendant was distracted at the time of the accident. An expert witness is someone that provides the court with a professional interpretation of the evidence. An expert witness can help you win a case but you must also remember that the defendant may also have an expert witness of their own.
Police Reports & Data From Traffic Cameras
At the scene of the accident an officer will develop a police report that includes statements from the drivers involved in the crash and any other witnesses who saw the crash occur. It is crucial for your attorney to get a copy of the police report for use in trial.
Many roads in Texas have traffic cameras that may have captured the at fault driver engaging in any distracting behaviors or using their cell phone at the time of the accident. Your attorney may be able to secure the footage from the traffic cameras to use in trial in order to prove the defendants distracted driving caused the accident.