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Car and Truck Accidents
A significant drawback of our current culture is the large number of distractions that grab our attention throughout the day. Whether it be texts, emails, or social media accounts, the amount of constant information coming at a person makes it extremely difficult to concentrate on a single task, no matter how important.
One area where this disconnect is particularly concerning is driving. Driving is an inherently dangerous activity and always presents the possibility a car accident will occur. However, driving in a reasonable and prudent manner generally avoids accidents in the vast majority of cases.
Driving responsibly – at a minimum – means keeping one’s eyes on the road and paying attention to the location and movement of cars and pedestrians in the area. Distracted driving has become a huge problem that cuts across generational lines, presenting a real danger to other commuters on the road.
One demographic that is especially prone to this behavior is teenage drivers, who already present additional risk due to their inexperience. Studies show that approximately 40 percent of teenagers admit to texting and driving.
The majority of states have enacted laws that make using certain features of a smartphone illegal while driving. In some states, it is only a secondary offense, meaning that those caught will only receive a traffic citation and only if they are caught committing a primary offense, such as speeding. This makes enforcing these laws difficult; hence the number of drivers who still engage in these dangerous activities.
Negligence is the legal claim used to hold a party responsible for an injury or death related to a car accident. To prove negligence, the following must be established:
- The driver had a duty to use reasonable care (a standard all drivers must meet when operating a vehicle).
- The duty was breached or violated by texting, emailing, or engaging in other distracted behavior while driving.
- This violation caused the accident.
- The accident caused the plaintiff’s injuries and other damages, such as lost wages and pain and suffering.
Proving negligence will depend upon the facts of each case, but a few general rules provide a basic strategy a car accident lawyer will use to prove liability. The first of these measures is to bring in an accident reconstruction expert to testify about the sequence of events that likely led to the accident, including whether texting or other driver distractions appear to have occurred.
In addition, gathering evidence from the accident scene itself is particularly useful in many cases. Taking pictures and/or videos of tire marks, damage, and placement of each vehicle, including the interior of the other driver’s car, often yields a lot of information.
Police reports and private surveillance video from nearby businesses are also potential sources of strong evidence that personal injury will look to incorporate into the evidence presented at trial. A victim’s lawyer can also file a motion to access the at-fault driver’s cell phone records to show they were using their phone at the time of the crash.