Many people are alarmed at how often they see other drivers staring down at their phones or not looking at the road while their vehicles are in motion. These individuals do not seem to care about the danger they are creating for themselves and others on the road.
While some drivers get away with being distracted, others are not so lucky, and they cause serious crashes that result in life-changing or fatal injuries.
If you were a victim of a distracted driving crash, Schmidt Kramer is here to help. Below, we discuss the various types of evidence that may be used in a distracted driving case.
Call for legal assistance: (717) 510-1782. No upfront fees.
Pennsylvania Law on Distracted Driving
In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to use an interactive wireless communication device, such as a smartphone, for sending, reading or writing text messages while your vehicle is in motion. This is a primary offense, which means the police can pull you over for breaking this law. They do not need to have another reason to pull you over.
While the law does not address other forms of distracted driving, operating a motor vehicle in a reckless manner could result in a dangerous collision. If your reckless actions were found to be the cause of the crash, you could be held liable for injuries and damages caused by the accident.
Crash Victims Have the Burden of Proof
If you were injured by a distracted driver, that driver can be held liable for your damages. However, as the victim, you have the burden of proof. That means it is up to you to provide evidence the other driver caused the crash.
Evidence That Might Indicate Distracted Driving
There are many types of evidence your lawyer may be able to use to prove distracted driving. Harrisburg car accident lawyers often use multiple pieces of evidence to prove these types of claims.
Statements From Eyewitnesses
Sometimes there are eyewitnesses who saw the driver in the moments before the crash. They may have seen the driver looking at his or her phone or being distracted in some other way. An eyewitness account can be powerful, particularly if this account is backed up by other evidence.
Your lawyer may be able to take formal steps to obtain the driver’s cellphone records. These records could show that the driver made a phone call or sent a text message before the crash. These records could also show whether the driver used a smartphone app or took pictures before the accident happened.
Activity on Social Media
Your lawyer could review the driver’s social media accounts to see if he or she posted anything at the time of the crash. Evidence of social media activity in the moments before the accident could indicate distracted driving.
If the responding officer sees signs of distracted driving, he or she is likely to note those signs in the police report about the crash. For example, a lack of skid marks may indicate that a driver did not hit the brakes before the collision. This might be a sign of distracted or drowsy driving.
Physical Evidence From Inside the Car
There might be evidence inside the car that indicates distracted driving. This could include a spilled drink or spilled food.
Video Footage of the Crash
Most car crashes are not caught on camera. However, sometimes you might get lucky. Maybe there was a traffic or security camera in the area. If you have a dashboard camera that was running, it may have captured the other driver engaging in distracted driving. Another driver may have witnessed the crash and caught it on his or her dashboard camera.
If there is camera footage, you may need a lawyer to obtain it. For example, if the crash was caught by a security camera, your lawyer may need to contact the security company and go through a formal process to obtain the video. If the crash was captured by a dashboard camera, and the driver of the car does not want to release the footage, your lawyer may have to take legal steps to force the driver to give up the footage.
Testimony From Expert Witnesses
When a crash causes serious, life-changing injuries, your lawyer may need to bring in an expert witness to help build a strong case.
Your lawyer may bring in an accident reconstruction expert who can evaluate the crash to determine why it occurred. He or she can use technology to reconstruct the collision and provide detailed analysis. For example, the analysis may show the crash occurred at high speed and the driver did not turn the wheel or slow down. This could indicate distracted driving.
A medical expert may also be able to provide testimony that sheds light on how your injuries occurred. For example, the expert may talk about the force of the collision. This could back up claims about the speed of the crash and how the driver clearly was not paying attention.
Expert witnesses are often brought in when the case goes to trial. This is because juries need additional explanation of the claims being made by the crash victim’s lawyer.
Contact Schmidt Kramer To Discuss Your Distracted Driving Crash
If you were injured because another driver was distracted or engaging in some other form of negligence, Schmidt Kramer is ready to help. Our firm has been helping crash victims for more than 30 years and we have obtained more than $100 million for our clients.
Our attorneys provide legal help on contingency, which means no upfront fees.
Schedule a free legal consultation. Call us at: (717) 510-1782.