Question

How do I prove the other driver was texting during a car crash in Texas?

Adam J. Loewy

Answered by:
Adam J. Loewy

Located in Austin, TX
Loewy Law Firm

Adam J. Loewy - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Adam J. Loewy

Loewy Law Firm
Austin, TX
Phone: 512-518-6616
Fax: 512-900-2991

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Answer

You may have strong suspicions that the driver who hit you was texting while driving. Perhaps you saw them swerving, slamming on the brakes or not looking at the road before a crash. However, crashes happen in seconds and often with no warning. It is unlikely you will see signs of texting before or during an accident.

Fortunately, it is not your job to have seen the other driver’s behavior or prove they were distracted or texting. It isn’t even something the police need to know and prove for you. After a crash, you need to call an attorney right away. They can get permission to pull phone records and verify the negligent driver was texting when the accident happened.

An attorney will do the research for you

I cannot emphasize enough that people cannot figure out this evidence without a lawyer. Knowing if the other driver was on their phone during your accident is nearly impossible to see. It is crucial to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit as soon as possible after the crash.

As part of the lawsuit, your lawyers will get a discovery phase. This allows your attorney to pull the other driver’s cellphone records. You also need legally obtained forensic evidence to prove your case. An attorney who uses forensic experts to investigate the situation is your best bet for a favorable decision in court or a settlement.

An attorney will also be able to have the negligent driver give sworn evidence or testimony of what happened, which is known as “deposition.” Without having legal backing and permissions from a judge, it is difficult to figure out cases like this. Without filing a lawsuit, you cannot know for sure if the driver was texting.

Steps to take immediately after your crash

I always recommend that people follow basic steps after any car crash:

  1. Take pictures of everything right after the accident happens
  2. Take note of the date and time, surrounding streets and any weather or road conditions
  3. Collect the other driver’s information
  4. Call the police right away
  5. Seek medical attention and get any injuries on record
  6. Call an attorney as soon as possible

You do not need to tell the police you suspect the driver was texting. In fact, this could harm your case and alert the negligent party that they need to prepare a defense for their distracted driving. Instead, you should talk to a lawyer about your suspicions, not the police. 

After using experts to discover if the person was doing anything with their phone, a lawyer can determine which laws were violated during the crash. It may be a violation of 2017 Texas laws that ban texting while driving and put hands-free ordinances in place. The negligent driver can face misdemeanor charges, fines and jail time. Being on a phone call is still legal, however. 

There is no harm in investigating the car crash

The case is usually worth a lot more money if the other driver was texting and driving. It is worth hiring a lawyer to look in to so you get the compensation you deserve. 

If phone records are investigated, and the driver responsible for the crash was not on their phone, the case just changes to a regular car crash case. If the other driver was distracted by their radio or a built-in car feature, such as navigation equipment, it would be handled as a distracted driver case. 

A texting and driving case may involve injuries that become more serious over time or result in death. Having your case on record is a huge help if “catastrophic” injuries or a wrongful death lawsuit become involved. 

Waiting to call a lawyer is a big mistake I see repeated time and time again. When you wait, you hurt your case and the money you should be paid for personal and property damages.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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