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How Do I Prove That a Driver Was Distracted After a Car Accident?

Posted on June 20, 2022 in

After an accident with a distracted driver, you could suffer from serious physical injuries, emotional trauma, and significant financial hardship. In these situations, you have the right to hold the driver accountable for your accident and recover a financial settlement for the losses that you suffered.

In these situations, you will need to prove that the driver’s actions caused your collision and resulting injuries. There are several ways that you can prove that a driver was distracted after a car accident—and an Oregon distracted driving accident attorney can help you gather the evidence that you need. 

proving that a driver was distracted

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is an extremely dangerous act that causes thousands of accidents and deaths each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,142 people died in distracted driving accidents in 2020 alone.

Any actions that remove your mind, eyes, or hands off the act of driving qualify as distracted driving. Many people associate cell phone use with distracted driving, such as texting, talking on the phone, or scrolling through social media. 

However, many other acts also qualify as distracted driving:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Applying makeup
  • Adjusting the radio 
  • Using a GPS system
  • Talking to other passengers in the car
  • Taking photographs or videos
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Wearing earbuds
  • Reaching for something in a vehicle

How to Prove That a Driver Was Distracted

When filing an Oregon car accident claim or lawsuit, you will need to prove that the other driver’s negligent actions caused your accident and resulting injuries. In cases involving distracted driving, you will need to show that the driver was distracted at the time of the collision.

There are several methods that you could leverage to prove a driver’s distracted state.

Gather Evidence at the Scene

Taking photographs or videos at the scene of the accident could capture evidence that the driver was distracted. For example, your photographs may show a lack of tire marks from the other driver, showing that he or she did not brake before the collision. He or she likely did not notice the hazard and did not have time to react.

Speak to Witnesses

First-hand accounts from people who saw the accident happen can go a long way in proving the other driver’s distraction. For example, another driver might have noticed the driver looking at a phone at the time of the accident. Speak to any witnesses after the accident and ask for their contact details.

Gather the Driver’s Cell Phone and Social Media Records

Many distracted driving accidents involve cell phone use. You could submit a subpoena to collect the driver’s cell phone records to see if he or she was using the device when the accident happened. You can also analyze his or her social media to see if any activity occurred around the time of the collision.

Look at Surveillance or Traffic Footage

Finally, one of the best ways to prove that a driver was distracted is to analyze traffic or surveillance footage. This video can capture what a motorist was doing at the time of the accident and establish that he or she was distracted.

Speak to a Portland Car Accident Lawyer

A car accident lawyer in Portland can analyze your case and identify the best strategies to prove that a driver was not paying attention to the road at the time of the collision. As soon as possible after your accident, contact an Oregon car accident attorney to discuss your case and identify your optimal path to compensation.