Determining liability (who is responsible) for an accident often depends on whether someone was negligent– not paying attention. The way the law works is that if one person involved in an accident was less careful than the other person or people, the less careful person has to pay all or part of the damages for the more careful people.
Cell phone use is called an “outside factor,” and outside factors help to prove negligence.
Talking and texting while driving have been proven to distract drivers and be a factor in causing collisions. If you can show that the other driver was using their cell phone, be sure to mention it. Even in states that haven’t outlawed hand-held cell phone use while driving, having a witness or other proof that the driver was on their cell phone can help your case.
But, phones aren’t the only outside factors you can use to show negligence. Here are some other common distractions you should be aware of.
- Was the driver eating and drinking while driving?
- Was the driver setting or changing their GPS system?
- Were there children or dogs in the car causing a disturbance?
- Was the driver putting on makeup?
These outside factors can be difficult to prove, but if you notice something, tell your lawyer. If the claim goes to court, your lawyer can demand to see the other driver’s cell phone records, helping to prove his or her liability.
You should also know that if you were distracted, and your negligence is partially responsible for the accident, you have to be honest about it with your lawyer. Your lawyer has to know the whole story in order to help you get fair compensation.