In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 3,300 people were killed and 416,000 people injured in car accidents involving distracted drivers. It is estimated that 20 percent of fatal accidents in the U.S. are due to texting while driving—making text messaging 300 percent more dangerous than drunk driving.
Florida’s No Texting Law
Each state in the U.S. has slowly adopted its own no-texting laws and Florida is no different. This law went into effect October 2013 and prohibits all drivers from texting while behind the wheel.
Despite the law, there are plenty of drivers on the road in Miami texting while driving. And, if you are hit by one of these distracted drivers, it is up to your legal team to prove distracted driving was a factor—and that it caused the accident.
How to Prove Distracted Driving
Proving distracted driving requires an in-depth investigation. But there are also things you can do immediately after your crash (and long before you call an attorney) to help prove there was distracted driving involved. Some ways to prove the other party was texting and driving include:
- Speaking to the Police and Filing a Report – Do not let the other party talk you out of calling the police. Police reports are critical for civil lawsuits and as long as the report is completed at the crash site, you have a better chance of proving the other party’s negligence. If you saw the driver texting before they caused the crash or there is a witness that saw them using their cellphone, make sure it is included in the report. If the police ticket or cite the other party for texting while driving, that will help your case too.
- Admission – The other driver may admit they were texting while driving. While this is rare, if they admit it and you get it on record, your case will be much easier to prove.
- Witness Statements – There may be witnesses in your vehicle or the other vehicle that can testify about the negligent party’s cellphone use.
- Cellphone Records – Your attorney may subpoena the other party’s cellphone records to prove that they were texting at the time of the accident. These records can be used in court and are strong evidence of the plaintiff’s negligence.
- Video or Photographs – There may be surveillance video or photographs of the other party using his or her phone. Also, if the individual uploaded a photo via social media, while driving, that photo can be used against them in court.