If you were hit by a driver who was texting when they crashed into you, you might be left with serious injuries. These drivers often have no time to react because their distraction prevents them from doing so. This can leave victims with even worse injuries than in other types of crashes. Proving that an accident was caused by texting is often a difficult task, but our attorneys are up to the challenge.
First, we can examine the crash itself and how the accident happened to provide evidence of the driver’s distraction, at the very least. Then, we can look at what witnesses saw, what camera evidence provides, and what phone records show to see if we can prove that the driver was actually caught red-handed texting while driving. Evidence short of that proof can still help in your case, even if it does not absolutely prove the texting and driving occurred.
Call our Mississippi car accident attorneys today for a free review of your case by dialing (844) 876-4357.
Physical Evidence of Texting-While-Driving Crashes in Mississippi
In any car accident case, the way that the accident scene and the vehicles look after the crash can help you prove how the accident happened. There are a few common things that our Mississippi car accident lawyers and accident reconstruction experts can look for to show that the accident happened while the driver was distracted or inattentive, regardless of whether that distraction involved texting or some other distraction.
In a distracted driving case, the driver does not usually see the road and the dangers ahead of them before the crash happens. If they do, they react as quickly as they can – which is not quick enough to prevent the accident. This creates a few tell-tale signs in the evidence at the scene of the accident.
First and foremost, this distraction often means the driver might not have hit the brakes. This means the car will leave no skid marks as it crashes, or the skid marks might be short. If you left skid marks because you tried to stop, but the other driver has no skid marks, this is good evidence to show that they were distracted, that their reaction time was inappropriately slow, or that they were even too drunk or too tired to drive safely.
Second, because they might not see what was happening, they might have still been driving at full speed when the crash occurred. Skid marks are evidence that a driver slowed down, and without slowing down, the crash will cause more damage. Accident reconstruction experts can estimate the speed of a crash and help show that the driver did not slow, whether there are skid marks or not.
Third, drivers who are about to be involved in a crash will tense up, but a driver who is distracted might not. The resulting injuries and damage might reflect this and could help us provide evidence that the driver did not react because they were distracted.
Phone Records and Cell Phone Evidence to Prove Texting While Driving in Mississippi
Between the phone/texting app itself, the timestamps attached to text messages, and the records at their phone company, you might be able to build strong proof the driver received or sent messages at the time of the accident. Texts often have a timestamp attached to them, which can be subpoenaed as evidence in your case. While many texts go through third-party apps and do not actually reach the phone company, traditional text messages do all pass through the phone company, which might have records of the timing of these texts. However, there are some problems with this evidence that might pose a challenge.
While these phone records will show the texts went through, they don’t necessarily show the driver actually read them. Only some phones and texting apps record when the text was actually opened or viewed. Additionally, some hands-free devices in cars can read texts aloud, and using these services while driving is legal in Mississippi under the texting and driving law, Miss. Code Ann. § 63-33-1.
Texts can also be read and sent by passengers or from other devices, such as the driver’s laptop or tablet sitting at home. This means that records alone are not usually enough proof; you also need to show the phone was in the driver’s hand or get an admission from them that they sent or read a text in the time leading up to the crash.
How “Circumstantial Evidence” Helps Prove Texting While Driving Cases in Mississippi
Evidence that a driver had a phone in their hand, that there was a text sent from their phone, or that they did not hit the brakes leading up to a crash are all good pieces of evidence to use in a texting while driving case, but they are what is known as “circumstantial evidence.” This phrase is usually used as a negative, saying that circumstantial evidence is bad or weak. However, this legal phrase merely means that the evidence proves the circumstances of what happened.
Without direct evidence that you witnessed the driver writing a text or an admission from the driver that they texted while driving, you will never be able to prove anything more than the circumstances. However, a jury is allowed to piece together those pieces of circumstantial evidence and come to the conclusion that the driver was texting. There is no need to prove this “beyond a reasonable doubt,” as civil injury cases have a much lower burden of proof that can be met by the evidence discussed above.
Call Our Car Accident Attorneys in Mississippi Today
For help with your potential injury case, call (844) 876-4357 to speak with Howe Law’s Mississippi personal injury attorneys.