It’s rare to be able to get where you want to go without traveling by car, truck, bus or other motor vehicle, but every time you get behind the wheel, you’re at risk of being involved in an accident. In the United States, distracted driving leads to around 421,000 injuries every year; around 37,000 people are killed as a result. Things as simple as checking a text message can take five seconds or longer; in five seconds, your vehicle, going 55 mph, travels the length of a football field. For this entire time you aren’t looking at the road, so you don’t know what is coming up ahead of your vehicle.
For drivers who are distracted behind the wheel, the chances of a crash are increased exponentially, and, naturally, victims of crashes often result. For victims, it’s important to be able to seek compensation, which is something you can do if you have the proof that that the other driver was at fault.
How can you prove a driver was distracted behind the wheel? Here are three common methods.
Witnesses corroborate your story
If you saw a driver looking away before an accident, noticed that he or she was on the phone or saw that the driver was asleep, then you may be able to claim that the other person was at fault for the accident. Witnesses, people like passengers in your vehicle, the other driver’s passengers or those in other vehicles or standing near the accident, can corroborate your story.
Better yet, if you have a dash cam or mounted camera and have the accident recorded, you can better show that the other driver wasn’t paying attention through actual footage.
The police report indicates that distracted driving caused the accident
A police report is an important part of your case, because it can show that the police believe that the other driver was responsible. The report may say that the driver was intoxicated, drowsy, had distractions in the vehicle or was on a phone call at the time of the crash. If the person admits to fault, this will also be included in the police report, so you don’t have to prove anything. If the police press charges for any criminal acts, then this can show an insurance company or judge that the driver was suspected to be at fault and that the police ticketed or filed charges against the individual.
The police may also look at the person’s cellphone records after a crash if you claim that the person was on the phone when he or she hit you. If the times match up, you may be able to prove that the driver was using the phone, even if there were no other witnesses.
The driver admits it
This is actually more common than you might think; many times, drivers who feel guilty admit to causing the accident. If there are witnesses that hear the person apologizing or claiming to have not seen you, then you have a good chance of proving that he or she was at fault.
These are just a few possible ways to prove fault; if you’re ready to file a claim in New Jersey, speaking with an attorney can help you move your case forward.