Ask an Idaho Car Accident Lawyer: Can I Prove the Other Driver was Texting And Driving?
Were you hurt in a distracted driving accident in Nampa, Idaho? You are not the only one. According to the Idaho Traffic Crashes 2015 report of the Idaho Office of Highway Safety, distracted driving was the main cause for 23% of the motor vehicle crashes registered throughout the state in 2015 and led to 51 fatalities.
After stopping at the accident scene, assisting anyone injured, and reporting the accident, your priority should be to prove that the other driver was distracted and their lack of attention to the traffic and the road played an important part in how the accident occurred. Unfortunately, this is not easy, and many victims of texting and driving car accidents fail to prove the other party’s liability and obtain compensation.
The best approach for you would be to consult a Nampa car accident lawyer. Besides being familiar with Idaho laws on distracted driving, experienced attorneys have their own investigation methods in order to determine the cause of a collision. Here is what the law stipulates and what proving liability in texting and driving car accidents may entail.
Proving Texting and Driving in Idaho with the Help of an Experienced Lawyer
Idaho law, namely Statutes Section 49-1401A, only prohibits texting while driving. Otherwise put, drivers can talk on the phone while driving, and they can also pull over and text, or use voice-to-text or some other software to send text messages, as long as they do not use their hands for anything else but activating, deactivating, or initiating a function or feature.
This means that in order to seek compensation after an accident, you have to prove the driver responsible for it was texting and driving specifically. This will not be easy. Even Idaho senators and police officers acknowledge it. The media recently announced that, in an effort to reduce the number of cell phone use related accidents and make it easier to prove distracted driving, a Senate panel passed a bill that aims to ban talking on a handheld phone while driving.
However, the bill has yet to pass the Senate, clear the House, and receive the Idaho governor’s signature. Until that happens, proving texting and driving remains the only viable option for the victims of distracted driving, and it is much easier to accomplish with the help of a car accident lawyer. Here are a few suggestions on how you can prove that the other driver was texting and driving:
- Recordings from traffic and from the accident scene – Your lawyer will look for stores, gas stations, public institutions, or private properties with video cameras installed, and request copies of their recordings. One of them may have caught the few minutes or seconds before the accident and show the driver holding the phone in their hand and texting.
- Witness testimonies – If the driver who was texting and driving had passengers with them in the car, you may be able to convince those passengers to testify regarding the activities the driver was performing at the time of the accident.
- The police report – The accident report the police officers issue following their investigations at the scene of the accident usually clarifies how the accident occurred and who was at fault for it. You should request a copy of the report and read it. If it mentions texting while driving, you can consider your mission accomplished.
- Photos from the scene of the accident – Finding photos of the driver texting behind the wheel is unlikely, but any photos showing the driver holding their phone, the phone lying on the floor of the car or within the driver’s reach may help an experienced Nampa car accident lawyer prove liability.
- The driver’s confession – Although most drivers know not to discuss accident liability without an attorney present, it helps if you can record the one responsible for your accident admitting that they were texting and driving when the accident occurred. Even if they refuse to talk to you, they may tell the truth to their lawyer, insurance agent, or acknowledge their fault in front of their own passengers.
- The driver’s phone and driving records – Unfortunately, phone records are very difficult to obtain even for law enforcement officers. The only instance in which you or your car accident lawyer may be able to gather this type of evidence would be during a court trial. If obtaining the other driver’s phone records is not an option, any information on previous charges or convictions of distracted driving may help.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
As you can see, proving that the other driver was texting and driving can be a real challenge. However, your success will determine the outcome of your compensation claim, so you should at least try. Your chances will be considerably higher if you work with an experienced Nampa, Idaho car accident attorney, so you should get in touch with one as soon as possible.
Contact a Nampa Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Now
To find out what your options are and the best ways to prove that the other driver was texting and driving, contact Joe Frick Law to schedule a consultation. With an experienced and dedicated Nampa car accident lawyer on your side, your chances of success will greatly increase.