Distracted driving is one of the most common and one of the most widely covered causes of car accidents. With the implementation of new texting and driving laws happening all over the country, lawmakers, drivers and the media everywhere are beginning to take this threat seriously.
If you happened to be involved in a car accident in which there’s evidence of distracted driving, there are a few things you can do to make sure you get the settlement you deserve. Learn more about building your personal injury case with evidence of distracted driving, and discover how a Tennessee personal injury lawyer can help.
What Qualifies as Distracted Driving?
There are more actions that can qualify as distracted driving then can be listed here, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identifies three specific categories that they all fit into. Understanding these categories and how they apply to the distracted driving in your accident is the first step to building your case.
The first category is visual distractions or taking your eyes off the road. One of the most common examples of this is looking at your cell phone while driving. Even mapping a route on your GPS system requires you to take your eyes off the road, and that can be very dangerous if you do it while moving.
Manual distractions embody the second category, and they specifically involve taking your hands off the wheel. Talking on the phone, texting and messing with your stereo can all qualify as manual distractions. There are even more bizarre examples you may not expect, such as shaving and applying makeup, which would simultaneously qualify as visual distractions as well.
The last category deals with cognitive distractions, where a driver takes their mind off the road. This is typically a bit harder to prove without using one of the other distractions first. Daydreaming, letting your eyes lose focus and even talking to another passenger can all qualify as cognitive distractions. Drunk driving is also a cognitive distraction.
Simple vs. Extreme Distractions
Not all distractions are treated equally, which is why it’s important to recognize the distinction between simple and extreme distractions. A simple distraction is one that causes the at-fault driver’s failure to act or react, leading up to the accident that may have otherwise been avoided. Failing to scan the roadway or look both ways are simple distractions, and these common mistakes aren’t often contested by insurance companies.
Extreme distractions are typically distractions that embody all three categories. The prime example is cell phone use. The driver has to look at the phone to dial a number or send a text, they have to manually operate the phone by taking at least one hand off the wheel and they have to cognitively focus on the phone to have a conversation or formulate their text. In fact, texting while driving is the most dangerous distraction at hand.
Evidence For Your Case
For your case to be successful, you’re going to need evidence. Finding irrefutable evidence for actions someone performed leading up to an accident may seem difficult without video footage, but there are other forms of evidence that will hold up in court. You won’t be able to collect these yourself, so make sure you have a Tennessee personal injury lawyer at your side to build your case.
Cell phone activity is monitored by cell phone companies. Those records are saved even if the owner of the phone deletes their call log and text message history. If you record the time of the accident and match up the moments prior to the at-fault driver’s phone records, you can prove that they were on their phone leading up to the accident.
If the at-fault driver was cognitively distracted by intoxication, that’s a bit easier to handle. Make sure you call the police in the aftermath of the accident, and they’ll conduct tests on the other driver, including measuring their blood alcohol level. It’s also helpful to take audio and video recordings of the other driver to document their intoxicated behavior.
Making Your Claim With a Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyer
In order to win any case and get the damages you’re owed after a car accident, you have to prove that the other driver was acting negligently through their distraction, that the negligence leads to the accident and that the accident caused your injuries or other losses. With the help of a Tennessee personal injury lawyer at Mitch Grissim & Associates, you’ll stand a much better chance at making your case. We’ve dealt with many distracted driving cases before and have a long history of success. Contact us today for a free consultation.