During the free case review with a Greenville car wreck attorney, many accident victims say that they saw the other driver texting and driving. However, after the crash, they quickly put their phone away and denied using it. As any lawyer can tell you, using a mobile phone without a hands-free device while driving is illegal in South Carolina.
However, as a plaintiff, you have the burden of proof. You have to bring evidence showing that the other driver was texting and driving. This is a definite form of negligence that will win your car accident claim.
The problem is: how can you get the necessary evidence? On your own, you probably would not be able to do it. But the odds are in your favor if you hire an experienced Greenville car wreck attorney.
Why Is Texting and Driving a Problem?
We like to believe that we can multitask. Our busy jobs force us to do several things at the same time. But this is not possible when you are driving a 4,000-pound vehicle at an average speed of 65 mph.
As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains, sending a text takes around 5 seconds and is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed at 55 mph.
During this period, the driver may enter the opposite lane or hit a vehicle that had signaled a turned or applied the brakes. And this is exactly how many car accidents happen: in the blink of an eye.
South Carolina Laws on Texting and Driving
South Carolina is one of the growing numbers of US states that passed a hands-free law. The law specifically states that a driver is forbidden to do the following:
- Hold or support with any part of the body a mobile electronic device
- Read, compose, or transmit any text
- Watch a video movie, game, or video call.
The fines for violating the hands-free law are:
- $100 fine for the first offense
- $200 fine for the second and subsequent offenses.
These penalties would come on top of the increased car insurance premiums for causing a car accident due to texting and driving. And this is exactly why almost no one will honestly admit that they were using their mobile phone at the moment of the crash.
Stay Calm Even If the Other Driver Is Lying about Texting and Driving
After a car accident, you are most definitely shaken, in shock, and in pain. To make matters worse, you hear the other driver brazenly lying that they were definitely not texting and driving. You know what you saw – yet, the other driver refuses to accept fault.
Anyone would feel angry in these circumstances. But you must not act upon this impulse. Do not shout, physically assault, or threaten the other driver in any way. They may have a dash cam on their car recording the confrontation. Worse, there may be witnesses to this scene.
Worst of all, the police officers you called to investigate the accident arrive just in time to see you attacking the other driver. Thus, despite the fact that you were the injured party in the accident, you may lose a lot of goodwill and risk getting your claim severely underpaid.
There Are Ways to Prove Texting and Driving
A Greenville car wreck attorney has many ways of collecting the necessary evidence to prove your case. When it comes to showing that the other driver was texting and driving, the lawyer will rely on:
No one would accuse a person who is not related to any of the drivers in any way of lying. Thus, if your lawyer can obtain at least one testimony (several would be preferable) that the other driver was using their phone just before the crash, this is a good thing.
Even if it is not by itself sufficient, it gives the lawyer a valid reason to subpoena other types of evidence, which we will detail below.
2. CCTV Camera Footage
From traffic cameras to CCTV cameras installed on public and private properties, any recorded footage of the accident is obtainable by an astute lawyer. While they would need to issue a subpoena for traffic camera footage, things are simple when dealing with private property owners.
Most of them are extremely cooperative and will make available the relevant recordings to a lawyer.
3. Mobile Phone Log
If a lawyer can prove that the phone log is a relevant piece of evidence in the case, they can obtain it from a mobile carrier. This log is a detailed record of the phone activity, with very precise timestamps – down to seconds.
Thus, the log will show beyond any doubt that the driver was texting and driving at the moment when they hit you.
Can You Still Be Partly at Fault If the Other Driver Was Texting and Driving?
The fact that the other driver was distracted does not mean that you will not be assigned a percentage of fault for the car accident. Any Greenville car wreck attorney can tell you that they can count on the fingers of one hand the cases when one driver was 100% at fault.
You may have exceeded the maximum speed by a few miles per hour. You may have applied the brakes too suddenly. The reality is that an insurance adjuster, after conducting their own investigation of the accident, will find you slightly negligent.
Of course, the adjuster will try to increase your percentage of fault as much as they can get away with. But they won’t go very far when an experienced Greenville car wreck attorney is negotiating your claim. In the end, you will get a fair settlement for economic and non-economic damages.
Rely on an Experienced Greenville Car Wreck Attorney!
There are many reasons why you should hire a Greenville car wreck attorney instead of trying to win your accident claim on your own. First of all, you may be in hospital for a long time. Thus, you will lose valuable time until you can file your claim. Secondly, you cannot access all the evidence needed to prove your case.
In the case of texting and driving, for example, you cannot obtain the phone log and traffic camera footage as a private individual. Only a lawyer can do it. And, as we showed here, these are absolutely necessary for proving the other driver’s fault.
You don’t have to worry about paying legal fees. We offer every new client a free case review. And, if you have a valid claim, we will represent you on a contingency fee basis. Thus, you do not have to worry about money to secure legal representation.
So, call us to schedule your free case review as soon as possible after the texting and driving accident.