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When a car accident occurs, is it possible to prove the responsible driver was distracted?

It’s pretty easy to become distracted while driving. Talking on a cellphone, tending to a child in the backseat or changing the radio station are all activities that require a driver’s attention and focus and therefore can interfere with a driver’s ability to notice and respond to what’s happening ahead of or around their vehicle. Likewise, stimuli outside a vehicle may serve to distract a driver. This is especially true when drivers travel through densely populated areas, school zones or road construction work zones.

Whatever it may be that serves to distract a driver, it only takes a few seconds for an individual to become involved in or cause a car accident and in those few seconds, lives can be irreparably changed.

Individuals who are victims of a distracted driving accident may suffer painful and serious injuries. For example, a distracted driver may rear end another vehicle that slowed for a traffic light. Rear-end accidents may result in a driver or passenger suffering whiplash, back pain and head and neck injuries. These individuals may be entitled to damages related to physical injuries, lost wages, medical expenses and disability. However, proving that a driver was distracted at the time a car crash or collision occurred can be difficult.

In some cases, in the wake of a car accident, a negligent driver may admit to being distracted. However, just because a driver apologizes and says he was on the phone or changing the radio station, it doesn’t mean he’ll admit the same thing to a police officer. In some cases, another driver, passenger or pedestrian may have witnessed the distracted driver. The account of a witness who observed the driver before the accident and witnessed the accident can prove to be compelling testimony in a personal injury case.

Additionally, in cases where an injured driver or passenger believes the other driver was talking or texting on a cellphone, cellphone records may be subpoenaed to help build a case that a driver was distracted.

Source:, “How to Prove Distracted Driving Caused a Crash,” Jenny Tsay, April 9, 2014