In April, Governor Tim Walz signed into law a bill that places sweeping restrictions on the use of handheld devices while driving. Effective August 1, 2019, motorists will be prohibited from most hands-on cellphone interactions, with very few exceptions.
When a driver violates a traffic law, this almost always constitutes a breach of the duty of care owed to other people on the road. This breach of duty is called “negligence,” which is the basis of most personal injury and wrongful death claims.
To prevail in a negligence claim, you must be able to prove how the driver breached the duty of care owed to you (or to your deceased loved one in the case of wrongful death). If the tort involved using a cellphone behind the wheel, proving negligence might be more challenging than, for example, demonstrating a driver was intoxicated or made an illegal turn.
Read on to learn a few kinds of evidence your attorney might use to prove the other driver was using a cellphone:
- Cellphone Records
Cellphone records could serve as the strongest evidence of liability. Since carriers are not inclined to hand over such records without legal pressure, though, your lawyer might need to file a subpoena to access them.
- Eyewitness Testimony
If the accident occurred in a fairly congested area, there’s a chance that someone witnessed the at-fault driver using his or her phone prior to the wreck. This might also be the case if the driver was transporting a passenger. Eyewitness testimony can corroborate other evidence such as cellphone records, surveillance footage, and the police report.
- Dash Cam Footage
More drivers than ever before are using dash cams to protect themselves from liability if they’re involved in a crash that someone else caused, and to strengthen their case if they ever have to file an accident claim. As such, it’s possible that a dash cam recorded your crash and perhaps caught the at-fault driver using his or her phone just before the collision. If you gathered the names and phone numbers of other motorists, your attorney can reach out to them to find out if such footage exists.
- Surveillance Footage
Many business establishments, schools, and residential housing complexes have surveillance systems. If the crash was filmed by a surveillance camera, that footage might help your lawyer prove the other driver was using his or her cellphone.
- The Police Report
If the driver admitted to officers that he or she was using a cellphone, this should be in the accident report. Even if there was no admission of fault, evidence at the scene such as statements from eyewitnesses might have caused an officer to suspect distracted driving and record this suspicion in the report.
Call 320-259-5414 to Speak with a Distracted Driving Accident Attorney in St. Cloud
If you were hurt in a collision with a distracted driver, contact Bradshaw & Bryant to discuss your case. We will use all the resources at our disposal to help you fight for the settlement you deserve and to avoid unnecessary complications that might delay the proceedings. Call 320-259-5414 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a distracted driving accident lawyer in St. Cloud
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.