How Can I Prove a Driver Was Distracted?
Distracted drivers cause accidents when they do not look carefully at the road and traffic or they look but do not pay attention. Driver distraction may be the leading cause of car crashes. Some of the reasons for distraction are common. Regardless of the reason for distraction, drivers are always required to use ‘the highest degree of care’ when operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway. Careful drivers do not allow distractions to cause accidents. If they do, and someone is hurt, distracted drivers are responsible for the harms they cause.
Cell Phones In Car Accidents: MO Car Accident Lawyer
Sometimes events inside the car cause driver distractions. The clearest example is texting, operating or talking on the driver’s cell phone. Nothing is more disturbing than having a vehicle perform a dangerous maneuver on the road, causing other vehicles to brake or swerve, only to see the driver distracted by a cell phone. In fact, many communities have made it illegal to use cell phones while driving. If you have been in a crash where the other driver was distracted by cell phone use you may prove the distraction by eyewitnesses including yourself or other passengers in your vehicle. But the best way to prove driver distraction by cell phone use is for your car accident lawyer to obtain the other driver’s cell phone records which can be accomplished with a court subpoena.
Other types of distractions occurring inside the car include taking one’s eyes off the road to adjust the radio, looking at a GPS screen, or looking at and talking to passengers. Proof of these distractions usually requires eyewitness testimony from you, your passengers or passengers in another car, including the car that caused the accident. Any admission of these distractions by the other driver to you after the accident or to the police officer may also prove driver distraction.
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A driver may also cause an accident because of distractions outside the vehicle. A driver may not be familiar with an area and takes his or her eyes off the road while searching for a street sign or building address. Remember, a driver must keep a careful lookout at all times while operating a motor vehicle. Proof of this type of distraction may be made by the driver’s statements to you or the police officer after the accident that he or she did not know where they were going. Also your lawyer may discover during a deposition that the driver was unfamiliar with the area or had never been to the intended destination. In this case, prove is by circumstantial evidence.
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A sightseeing driver with a ‘rubber neck’ may become distracted by local scenery or billboard advertising outside the vehicle. Again, proof of this distraction may be made by admissions by the driver after the accident, eyewitness observations of the other driver, or through circumstantial evidence that the driver was interested in objects not on the roadway.
Impairment in a MO Car Accident: Call A MO Car Accident Attorney
The last common reason for distracted driving is driver impairment. When the driver of a vehicle takes the road while impaired by alcohol or lack of sleep everyone else on the road is endangered. Driver intoxication may be proven in many ways such as the smell of alcohol, the presence of alcohol containers in the vehicle, slurred speech, or stumbling. The reporting police officer is trained to identify these clues and if they are present the officer will surely administer a field sobriety test or breathalyzer.
Driver impairment because of lack of sleep is most common in cases caused by over-the-road trucks. Federal laws limit the amount of time a truck driver may drive without stopping for sleep.
Your car accident lawyer should be able to obtain the truck driver’s log book to determine whether the driver was on the road too long and did not get enough sleep. In severe cases, the trucks on board computer may reveal this information.
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If you or someone you care about has been seriously injured in an auto accident, contact The Bruning Law Firm today. We provide the comprehensive, professional legal representation you deserve at a time when you need it most.
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I represent individuals in Missouri and Illinois in all types of personal injury cases. In my short time here I have obtained a judgment for $2.5 million and settled a large class action lawsuit for a confidential amount.
I love the city of St. Louis and support it and give back whenever I can. Recently I was appointed by Mayor Francis Slay to serve on the Advisory Board for the Gateway Mall.
I am married to my lovely wife Lauren and we have two beautiful daughters, Mia and Bridget.