Texting is the number one issue with regard to distracted driving. All across the nation, we see over 1.6 million crashes every year because of cell phone use. Those crashes make up about 390,000 injuries. Back to the National Safety Council estimates that 25% of car accidents resulting in a need for a car accident lawyer happen because of phone use or texting.
Unfortunately, there’s this misconception among the general public that people don’t text behind-the-wheel anymore because of all the hands-free options. Georgia recently adopted a very strict hands-free law, and although we haven’t seen it full of fact yet, drivers all throughout the state should put the phone down. Hands-free means not touching the voice control button, it also means not holding the phone closer to your body or face, and it means not engaging in any app while driving, including music or GPS apps.
If your crash has some element of texting or phone use, how can you prove that? We’ve brought together quite a bit of information here to help you understand that it’s difficult to prove texting and driving, but it is not impossible.
What Information Can You Get From a Phone Company?
If you go through your own phone company, you’ll find that you can access quite a lot of information about cell phone usage. For example, AT&T makes it extremely easy. You don’t even have to call the company. You can get all of your usage information for a phone that you pay for through their My AT&T service. Simply heading over to the usage tab, you can select the phone number that you have or the device. Then see the data usage, text message frequency, and some text message content, and talk patterns such as phone calls coming in and going out.
Now, this is easily provided to customers of that service provider, but accessing this information as a third party is a challenge. In fact, you have to submit a formal legal request to get this information if you want to use the information in the crash resolution.
Can a Responding Officer Request to Review The Driver’s Phone?
On a very general level, officers cannot search a phone or other mobile device without a warrant or apparent probable cause. Now, they may ask to see a device and search it at the scene, and if the driver consent, then that matter is handled. Most police officers don’t make this request at the scene because of the Fourth Amendment and the very murky waters that surround electronic searching devices.
It is likely that an officer will not ask to review or search the other driver’s fault. However, if the damage is extreme or is apparent that the other driver violated the law as part of the crash, then their phone may be confiscated as evidence and searched later.
If the officer makes any findings through searching the phone as part of a criminal investigation associated with a crash, they don’t have to outright provide you with that information. You’ll still need to make a formal request to access information that police sound relating to your accident. This all seems very confusing, but the issue with accessing information from police is that they may have outstanding criminal charges which are separate from your insurance claim or civil lawsuit.
Getting Support from People Who Work for You – Atlanta Car Crash Attorneys
As a victim of a texting and driving accident, it can seem extremely unfair that you have to put effort into the crash resolution. It should seem as though you tell your insurance company that the other driver was texting, and they investigate and dive into that allegation. Unfortunately, that is not what auto insurance companies do. They simply take the word that there was probably texting and give it a small attribution to the fault. You could end up with a small percentage of fault if the other driver claims that you did some small action to contribute to the crash.
The people who are actually going to look into the allegation of texting and driving, and who would put in the effort to recreate the accident are attorneys. At the Weinstein, our investigators will assess if someone was texting behind the wheel or using an application, and find out exactly what percentage of fault is fair for each driver based on their actions. When we present our findings to the insurance companies involved and handle negotiations to strive for the highest settlement possible.