Distracted Driving Accidents
Accidents Involving Distracted Drivers in Rochester, NY
If you were injured recently in a motor vehicle collision caused by a distracted driver, you may be thinking about filing a lawsuit against that motorist. Accordingly, you may be seeking information about how to prove that a driver was distracted. First and foremost, before you even begin thinking about proof of distraction in a car crash, it is critical to work with a Rochester car accident lawyer who can work with you on your case. Before you can be eligible to file a distracted driving accident lawsuit against a motorist who was texting while driving, for example, you will need to prove that your injuries meet the “serious injury” threshold under New York law. Since New York is a no-fault state for auto accident purposes, you will need an attorney on your side who can show that your injuries are sufficiently serious, based on the statutory language, to qualify you to file a car accident claim.
Once your lawyer shows that you are eligible to file a lawsuit, you should continue working with that Rochester car accident attorney to gather evidence that shows the other driver was distracted at the time of the crash.
Distractions at Every Turn
The real trouble with distractions to drivers is that they are virtually everywhere. If someone does not make an attempt to actually focus on the task of driving, they will easily engage in one form of distraction or another.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three main forms of distraction:
Cognitive: Anything that takes your mind off driving, such as talking to a passenger.
Visual: Something that takes your eyes away from the road, like a bright display screen on a cellphone.
Manual: Letting your hands move away from the wheel, gearshift, or clutch.
When these three forms of distraction are considered, the true danger of texting while driving is brought fully into the light. A young driver that is texting behind the wheel is no longer looking at the road, has at least one hand off the wheel, and is thinking about what they are saying, not where they are going.
Proving Distracted Driving in a Car Accident Lawsuit
If you are able to do so, gather evidence of distracted driving at the scene of the accident. It can be difficult to know how to identify signs of distracted driving since there are a wide variety of distractions that can result in a crash. However, any of the following could be indications that the at-fault driver was negligently distracted at the time of the collision:
- Driver was holding a cell phone after the crash or talking on a handheld cell phone just before the crash;
- Driver was looking down just before the collision occurred;
- Driver is a teenager and there are other teenage passengers in the vehicle;
- Driver has a half-eaten meal on the passenger seat, suggesting that the driver was eating when the crash occurred; or
- Driver’s face has makeup partially done with a cosmetic bag in the car, suggesting that the driver may have been putting on makeup when the collision occurred.
If you can, take photos of anything that seems like a possible sign of distraction, and seek contact information from witnesses who may have seen similar signs of distraction.
The Police Report
It can be notoriously difficult for law enforcement to say with certainty whether a driver was distracted at the time of a crash (i.e. there is no “breathalyzer” equivalent for testing a driver’s level of distraction), but sometimes the police report may note distracted driving, and the motorist may have been cited.
Seek Cell Phone Records and Check Social Media
You may be able to prove that the at-fault motorist was using his or her phone at the time of the crash by obtaining cell phone records, or by looking at the driver’s social media accounts. It is possible that the driver was on a call or sending a text when the crash happened, or that the driver posted something to Facebook or Twitter just a few moments before the wreck. This kind of evidence can help you to win your case, and a car accident lawyer can help you to obtain it.
Compensation for Your Injuries
If your lawyer can prove that the driver that crashed into you was distracted behind the wheel, then you will have a good chance of obtaining compensation for your injuries and losses. The challenge is being able to actually prove your case in court. This is where having an experienced Rochester car accident attorney comes into play and why it is so crucial to call a lawyer as soon as possible following a car crash involving a suspected distracted driver. Using our years of experience and keen eye for detail, we can center in on the cause of your accident and use it to your advantage.
We can fight for compensation that helps you pay for:
Vehicle repairs or replacement
Rehabilitation programs for severe injuries