Guide to Prove Distracted Driving in a Car Accident Claim

For some people, driving isn’t about getting from point A to point B. It’s about what they can accomplish in the time it takes to get from A to B. More responsible people realize that driving isn’t the time to try to multi-task. You are four times more likely to crash when talking on the phone, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation. Distracted drivers are responsible for thousands of serious car accidents each year.

If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident, it’s normal to feel angry, frustrated, and upset. But you shouldn’t have to bear the financial costs of another driver’s poor decisions and disregard for safety. You may hold the distracted driver financially accountable and seek the money to pay your medical bills and move forward with your life. The Las Vegas car accident lawyers at Sam & Ash, LLP can answer your questions after a distracted driving accident. We believe you deserve What’s Right.

The experienced injury attorneys at Sam & Ash, LLP, know the types of evidence to seek to build a persuasive injury case demonstrating that a driver was distracted when a crash occurred. We will collect the evidence available and fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve.

If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, contact us today. We can review your situation and discuss the best path forward for you. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation. Call us today.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving describes any action or behavior that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or attention off the task of driving. Distracted driving is a broad term that covers a wide range of behaviors.

Some of the most common forms of driver distraction include:

  • Talking, texting, or taking photographs with a cell phone
  • Using a GPS unit
  • Eating food and drinking
  • Listening to loud music
  • Adjusting the radio or other sound system settings
  • Applying makeup or brushing hair
  • Reaching for an object in the cab
  • Rubbernecking or looking at a visual distraction
  • Daydreaming

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that a car traveling at 55 mph can move as much as the length of a football field in the five seconds it takes to read a text message. That means a driver can make it from goal to goal without seeing the road in front of them.

How To Prove Distracted Driving

compiling evidence for distracted driving casecompiling evidence for distracted driving caseBuilding a personal injury case requires evidence. There are several types of evidence that can be used to demonstrate that a driver was distracted at the time of an accident. It is important to act quickly to preserve the evidence.  Contacting an experienced attorney immediately after a crash will improve your chances of gathering this evidence before it’s lost or discarded.

An attorney can harness the power of the law to compel people and businesses to preserve crucial data and evidence.  Without that help, you might lose the proof you need to demand fair compensation from the distracted driver and their insurance company.

The evidence necessary to prove a distracted driving case depends on the circumstances of the accident. The following types of evidence may help establish liability in a distracted driving accident claim:

  • Police report – A police report can serve as an impartial record of the facts of the crash. The responding officer will likely record if they observed evidence of distraction. The lack of skid marks at the accident scene may indicate that a driver was distracted or dozing off and failed to apply the brakes before the accident.
  • Cell phone records – An attorney has the power to request records from cell phone companies after a collision. The records that the cell phone company provides may indicate that the driver was talking on the phone or texting in the moments before the crash. We move quickly to secure mobile phone records when distracted driving is suspected.
  • Driver statements – Statements made to an insurance company may help prove that the driver was distracted at the time of the crash. It’s important to avoid saying anything that could be construed as an admission since anything you or the other driver said at the time of the crash could be used later. Something as seemingly harmless as, “I’m sorry I didn’t see you! I was grabbing my coffee from the console” could prove crucial.
  • Witness statements – The statements of any bystanders who saw the accident may help establish what the at-fault driver was doing just before the accident took place. Your attorney can contact the witnesses and take their statements on your behalf.
  • Social media – Social media posts are often investigated by insurance companies and could implicate a driver who posted something or was streaming at the time of the crash. Data from web browsing platforms and messaging apps might demonstrate that a driver was active online just before the accident. You should avoid posting anything about an accident or your injuries on social media platforms. Any comments you make may be taken out of context and used against you by lawyers for the opposing side.
  • Pictures and videos – If you are able, it is a good idea to use your phone to take pictures and videos of the accident scene. Our attorneys also will seek any recordings from nearby traffic cameras or security cameras that may have captured the accident or the moments leading up to it. This is a reason why it is important to talk to an attorney quickly since businesses often record over surveillance camera footage after a certain amount of time unless they are required to preserve it.
  • Event data recorders – Many commercial trucks are now equipped with event data recorders, which are the equivalent of the so-called black boxes in airplanes. The data on these recorders may be downloaded and analyzed to determine a vehicle’s speed at the time of a crash, whether the driver applied brakes, and other relevant information.
  • Accident reconstruction experts – With the available information and pieces of the wreckage, it may also help to have accident reconstruction specialists recreate the accident. This data can give everyone a better picture of how the accident happened according to the circumstances of the case.

Distracted Driving Laws in Nevada

It is illegal in Nevada to talk or send text messages on a handheld cell phone while driving.

Regarding texting, Nevada law bans:

  • Manually typing a text while driving
  • Sending or reading text messages
  • Searching the internet
  • Emailing or instant messaging

Regarding phone calls, this law bans:

  • Handheld cell phone use
  • Holding a mobile phone to your ear while driving

Drivers may use a cell phone for calls if the phone is in voice-operated mode and is hands-free. Nevada law also allows drivers to use their phones to report a medical emergency, a safety hazard, or criminal activity.

In addition, law enforcement officers, emergency workers, firefighters, and public utility works may use their phones in the scope of their job duties.

A driver who violates Nevada’s ban on handheld cell phones may face fines and demerit points on their driver’s license. The distracted driver also may be held financially liable if he or she caused an accident, resulting in injuries to others.

Nevada Distracted Driving Facts

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that at least 3,142 people in the US were killed due to distracted driving in a recent year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has brought this number into focus by explaining that about eight people die every day in distracted driving accidents. Unfortunately, teens and young adults are most likely to drive distracted.

Between 2014 and 2018, Clark County reported the highest number of fatal distracted driving accidents in Nevada, according to Nevada Traffic Safety Crash Facts.

According to the Nevada Departments of Public Safety and Transportation, young people, especially young men, are more prone to driving while distracted.

State records indicate that crashes between distracted drivers and pedestrians or bicyclists are the leading cause of distracted driving-related fatalities. They also indicate that distracted driving crashes tend to occur during the day, and most fatal distracted driving accidents in Nevada happen on Saturday, with Tuesday and Wednesday not far behind.

The Nevada Department of Transportation estimates that just dialing a phone behind the wheel increases the chances of a crash significantly. Reaching for a moving object, such as a water bottle rolling under the seat, increase the likelihood of a wreck by nine times.

Contact a Nevada Distracted Driving Lawyer Today

Distracted driving puts others on the road in jeopardy. Distracted drivers should be held accountable for their bad decisions when their lack of focus on the road injures others. A distracted-driving car accident claim can hold an at-fault driver financially responsible for the injuries they cause and the losses they incur.

If a distracted driver injured you or a family member, you may be able to recover financial compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and property damage.

If you’ve been hurt by a distracted driver, let the legal team at Sam & Ash, LLP work on your behalf to make it right. Contact us today to talk about the ways we can help you fight for the money you deserve in a free case review.

Author: Ash Watkins

Ash started her legal career defending insurance companies against injury victims. She saw how insurance companies treated people who had legitimate injury claims. But she also saw how notoriously sleazy the personal injury lawyers were. Neither side was focused on the injured person, so she decided to do something about it.