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According to the Texas Department of Insurance, distracted driving is “any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road.” Approximately 431 Texans died and another 2,934 were seriously injured in 2021 due to distracted driving.
Distracted driving may include any of the following and more:
Of these distractions, texting was found to take a driver’s eyes and attention from the road for the longest period. At 55 mph, sending or reading a text removes a driver’s eyes from the road for about five seconds, the length of a football field.
While not all distracted driving is illegal in Texas, texting while driving is illegal. In fact, some Texas cities ban any use of cellphones while driving.
Proving a distracted driving claim usually requires gathering as much evidence as possible to piece together a case. While a driver’s cellphone may seem the obvious starting point for any distracted driving investigation, it may not be the most reliable.
Cellphone records may show times and dates of calls, but these records may not record activity on apps, web browsing activity, or email messaging. An expert may be needed to investigate cellphone activity in-depth for logged and time-stamped information.
CCTV and traffic cameras are continuously recording in metropolitan areas like San Antonio. Distracted drivers may be on surveillance cameras without their knowledge.
This data is erased regularly, sometimes within 24 hours, and must be collected as evidence immediately.
Eyewitnesses who saw a driver texting, talking on the phone, eating, or doing some activity other than driving are valuable in proving a distracted driving claim. When possible, eyewitness names, addresses, and phone numbers should be gathered by the victim or able-bodied person on their behalf at the accident scene.
The victim is also a valuable witness at the accident scene. If there are signs of distracted driving, like food wrappers or a cell phone in the passenger seat, a victim may take a photo of that evidence. (Only if doing so is safe and any view is unobstructed.)
The strongest evidence to support a distracted driving claim is a confession or admission of guilt on behalf of the other driver. Drivers often admit guilt at the scene of an accident inadvertently by blurting out statements such as, “I’m sorry!” or “I was distracted and didn’t see you!”
While the other driver may be able to recant their initial admission of guilt, it does add weight to a victim’s claim when in the initial police report.
An initial police report is a strong piece of evidence. However, it is only one of many building blocks of an insurance claim.
Insurance adjusters and personal injury attorneys will conduct their own investigations into a car accident to determine potential financial liability.
If you were injured by a distracted driver in Texas, an experienced San Antonio car accident attorney can help you build your claim. At The Aguirre Law Firm, PLLC, our car accident attorneys have worked with fellow Texans for decades to provide customized legal services of the highest quality.
Reach out to The Aguirre Law Firm, PLLC, and schedule your complimentary claim review now. We look forward to speaking with you and answering your questions about the insurance claims process.
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