When you're driving, you know you must focus your attention on the road. However, some people may not be as diligent, and you could find yourself in an accident with a distracted driver. Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents in today's hectic environment. The CDC estimates that about nine people are killed, and more than a thousand are injured every day by distracted driving. However, proving that the other driver was distracted and caused your accident may be difficult.
What is Distracted Driving?
Michigan already has a law against driving while talking on a cell phone, but they aren't the only driving distractions. Many people do things while driving that they normally would never consider being a distraction. Anything that takes your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel is considered distracting enough to be a hazard. This includes activities such as tuning the radio, eating, grooming, dealing with kids and reading maps. Even being engrossed in a deep conversation could be considered distracted driving.
What do You do After an Accident?
After an accident, your first priority is to make sure all occupants in every vehicle involved are OK and render medical assistance to those who are hurt. Talk to the other driver or drivers and get their insurance and other personal information. Don't worry about discussing the details of the accident as it could affect the outcome of your case. If you are injured, be sure to hold on to any medical bills and document your injuries. If you have a camera, take pictures of the scene. Be sure to get a police report as soon as possible.
Can Someone Help You Gather Evidence?
While some drivers may be quick to admit that they were driving distracted, this is more often not the case. Therefore, you must attempt to get sufficient evidence to prove that they were not paying full attention to their driving. Some examples of evidence include the following:
See if anyone else saw the other driver on the phone, looking away from the road or driving erratically before the accident. Write everything down and get the witness's personal information in case you or your attorney need to contact them to clarify their statements.
Find out if a nearby business has a camera that faces towards the street. Then, contact them to see if they might have a video around that time and if they would give you a copy. However, this may not be as easy to do as you might think. Some businesses may be reluctant to hand over their video records with a subpoena.
Often, the police will note evidence that the driver was distracted in their reports. They often know what to look for and may see things at the scene that you might not. Some witnesses feel more compelled to give a statement to police officers than to a regular citizen so that you may find more helpful eyewitness accounts on the report.
Cell phone records
While it may be difficult to ask for cell phone records on your own, you should be able to get a subpoena for them to show up in court. The cell phone records will determine whether or not the phone was in use at the time of the accident.
You may find that gathering evidence is difficult and, without it, the other driver may blame you for the accident or be determined not at fault. Therefore, if you're certain that the other driver was negligent in this manner, you must be able to prove it. If you are having problems gathering the evidence you require, or you need legal advice, then contact an attorney at the Rothstein law group in Southfield for a consultation. We can help you build your case so that you are compensated for your injuries and damage.