After you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may notice various details that indicate that the other driver may have been texting before the crash. However, short of an explicit admission from the other driver that they were texting while driving, how do you prove that the accident was caused by the other driver’s distraction?
Dangers of Texting While Driving
According to a report by the Virginia State Crime Commission, multiple studies have found that the percentage of drivers who have engaged in texting while driving ranges from approximately 25 percent to just under 50 percent.
Texting while driving is often considered just as dangerous or even more dangerous than other types of unsafe or unlawful behavior behind the wheel, such as drinking and driving. Texting while driving is believed to be more dangerous than talking on a cell phone call (especially while using a hands-free system) since texting not only requires the driver to divert their attention to the text conversation but also requires them to take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel.
On the highway, in the few seconds that it may take a driver to read a text message, their vehicle may have traveled the length of a football field or more. Drivers who engage in texting while driving often repeatedly take their eyes and attention off the road over a short period of a few seconds or a few minutes.
During these brief periods where a driver is reading or sending a text, the driver may remain unaware of an emergency or other situation developing on the road in front of or around them that they need to immediately react to. By the time the driver puts their attention back on the road, it may be too late for them to avoid a collision.
Texting While Driving Laws in Virginia
In Virginia, texting while driving is illegal and considered a primary offense. If a driver is convicted for texting while driving, they may be fined $125 for the first offense and $250 for second and subsequent offenses.
As of January 1, 2021, drivers are prohibited from even holding a cell phone or any other type of wireless communications while driving, unless they are reporting an emergency or lawfully parked or stopped.
Proving the Other Driver Was Texting
Fortunately, you may be able to recover evidence that proves that the other driver was texting on their cell phone right before the crash. This evidence may include:
- The other driver’s cell phone records, which can show when text messages were sent or received by the driver. Data from the driver’s cell phone itself can also show if and when the driver was using their phone and what applications were being used.
- Social media posts, as timestamps may show whether the other driver was posting right before the accident.
- Eyewitnesses, who may have seen the other driver on their cell phone while behind the wheel in the moments leading up to the accident.
- Surveillance or traffic camera footage, which like eyewitnesses, may show the other driver on their cell phone right before the accident.
- Accident reconstruction reports, which may establish that the other driver made no effort to avoid the collision, which can indicate that the driver’s attention was not focused on the road.
How Our Virginia Law Firm Can Help
The Virginia car accident lawyers of The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, P.L.L.C., can help you prove that the other driver was texting before the car accident and help you pursue accountability for your injuries and losses from that driver by:
- Recovering evidence that may show that the other driver was using their cell phone in the moments leading up to the crash.
- Working with experts to provide strong, persuasive opinions to explain how the evidence shows that the other driver was texting while driving.
- Filing claims for compensation on your behalf with the at-fault driver, their insurance company, and, if necessary, with your own insurance company.
- Aggressively pursuing fair and full compensation through a settlement or taking your case to court and advocating for a result in your favor when a reasonable settlement cannot be reached.
If you were injured in an accident caused by another motorist who was texting while driving, contact our law firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer. Learn more about how our firm can help you pursue financial compensation and accountability from the negligent driver responsible for your injuries. Call us at 757-260-3675, or fill out our contact form.