How to prove a driver in an accident was distracted
Distracted driving is considered a form of unsafe driving, while certain distracted driving behaviors, such as using a cell phone, are illegal in most states and can result in law enforcement issuing citations for fines. Distracted driving causes many accidents in New Jersey. However, if you have been injured in an accident that you believe was caused by a distracted driver, how do you prove that the other driver was distracted?
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving refers to any situation where a driver is not fully focused on the task of driving. Distractions behind the wheel can come in three basic types:
- Manual distractions, or not having both hands on the steering wheel
- Visual distractions, or not keeping eyes on the road
- Cognitive distractions, or thinking about things other than the task of driving
Many distracted driving behaviors involve two or all three types of distractions. Common examples of distracted driving behaviors include:
- Texting while driving, or holding and using a cell phone while driving
- Eating or drinking
- Grooming or applying makeup
- Adjusting the climate control, radio, or navigation/infotainment system
- Reaching around the passenger cabin for an object
- Interacting with passengers or pets in the vehicle
- Looking at objects off the road
Why You May Need Proof That the Other Driver Was Distracted
If you have sustained serious injuries in a distracted driving accident in New Jersey, you may be entitled to pursue a legal claim for compensation against the other driver after you have exhausted the limits of your no-fault insurance. However, motorists who were engaged in distracted driving in the moments leading up to a crash often will not admit that they were distracted, as they know that driving distracted likely will make them liable for the accident and injuries. As a result, you may need to secure evidence that can help prove, despite the other driver’s protestations, that they were distracted right before the accident.
How to Prove Distracted Driving
To prove that the other motorist was engaged in distracted driving right before an accident, you might rely on pieces of evidence such as:
- Accident scene photos, including photos from inside the other driver’s vehicle of things like food or beverages, or makeup, or grooming tools
- Surveillance or camera footage that captured the driver not paying attention to the road ahead of them
- Eyewitness statements, if a fellow passenger or a bystander saw the driver not paying attention in the moments prior to an accident
- Cell phone records or metadata, which can show if the driver made texts or calls or was actively using their phone right before a crash
- Social media posts, which may show if the driver was posting on social media prior to a collision
While this evidence will help to prove that the other driver was distracted right before a crash, you must also prove that it was the other driver’s actions or errors that caused the accident. In some cases, you may need to consult with an accident reconstruction expert who can provide an opinion as to what the other driver did or did not do that resulted in the accident.
Contact a Clark Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Distracted Driving Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a distracted driving accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Team Law represent clients injured because of distracted driving accidents in Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 540-1394 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 136 Central Ave., Clark, NJ 07066, as well as offices in West New York, Perth Amboy, Edison, Summit, Newark, New Brunswick, Orange, Plainfield, and Jersey City.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.