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Proving Driver Distraction in Your Car Accident Claim

Proving distracted driving texting car accident lawsuit attorney Minnesota

How to Show a Distracted Driver was at Fault for your Car Accident

Distracted drivers have proven to be a constant threat across the country due to their placing priority on their smartphone rather than paying attention to the road. Accidents caused by distracted driving make up a large portion of accidents that occur across Minnesota with no end to them in sight. Distractions caused by things like smartphones only seem to get more complicated as time goes on.

Meanwhile, people end up suffering severe injury or even death due to a driver’s single mistake of getting distracted while they drive. These people reserve the right to seek compensation for the damages that they suffered through filing a car accident claim. This process can often prove to be more of a challenge than most would assume when they realize they must prove that a driver was at fault for the accident because they were distracted.

Defining Distracted Driving

Distracted driving can be defined as when a driver focuses attention on another task instead of paying attention to their driving. An example that most people will be familiar with is texting while driving. This form of distraction costs hundreds of people their lives each year and only seems to be getting more complex with time. No longer are people just sending text messages but smartphones have evolved over time to provide a plethora of distracting applications that draw the focus of drivers behind the wheel.

While most distracted driving cases are the result of distraction via smartphone, that only scratches the surface of all the possible forms of driver distraction. The term distracted driving encompasses many kinds of risky behaviors that draw attention from driving in different ways. Distracted driving can typically be split into three major categories that correspond to how exactly the driver is being distracted.

Visual: The driver takes their eyes off the road.

Manual: The driver takes their hands off the steering wheel.

Cognitive: The driver takes their focus away from safe driving.

An instance of distracted driving can occupy one or several of these categories. For example, texting occupies all three since it uses hands to press the keys, eyes to see what is being messaged, and active thought to decide what will be typed and to read messages.

Other common forms of distraction while driving include:

  • Conversations with passengers and on the phone
  • Eating or drinking
  • Changing music
  • Adjusting air conditioning and other car settings
  • Applying makeup
  • Reaching for items like a purse or map
  • Rubbernecking or looking at accidents

Proving a Driver was Distracted and Caused an Accident

When a plaintiff seeks compensation for damages suffered in an accident caused by a distracted driver, the insurance company will mount as strong a defense as they possibly can and it will be up to the plaintiff to prove that the driver in question was distracted. There are several ways that they can go about doing this depending on the nature of a driver’s distraction. Accidents caused by texting or calling while driving are very common and one of the best ways to prove this kind of distraction is to use phone records. Phone companies will have records of the time of texts and calls that can prove useful in your case. The exact nature of the texts doesn’t have to be shown, just that texts were made during the time of the accident while the driver was behind the wheel. Other smartphone use can be caught through checking a driver’s presence on social media. If a driver has an Instagram picture posted right around the time of the accident then that could really help with proving they were on their phone while driving.

Evidence at the Car Accident Scene

Collecting evidence at the scene of a distracted driving caused accident proves key when it comes to proving that a driver was distracted and at fault for an accident. Occasionally, a plaintiff may get lucky and the driver may outright admit that they were distracted and at fault at the accident scene or say something that would implicate themselves. This is not very common so it is wise to take pictures and video as soon as possible after an accident. The footage and photos may catch something that could help like a phone in the driver’s hands or half-eaten food left on the seat.

Another thing that can help prove a driver that caused an accident was distracted is a witness. Sometimes, a bystander may happen to see something that could help prove that a driver was distracted and help your case. Be sure to keep an eye out for anyone at an accident scene that may have seen something. Get their phone number name and any other relevant contact info so that you can use their testimony later on in a claim. An accident scene may also happen to be within sight of a security camera meant to monitor premises an accident happened to take place near. Getting ahold of that camera footage could prove invaluable but the owner is not obligated to keep the footage. Evidence like this may prove difficult to secure on your own but with the assistance of a lawyer experienced with distracted driving cases, the process becomes much simpler. 


Consider contacting Sand Law about a possible car accident injury claim and how we can assist you in seeking compensation for your injuries. Your primary concern should be recovery and we understand that balancing that with an injury claim can be difficult. Allow us to represent you and help secure a settlement you are comfortable with while you heal.

The lawyers at Sand Law have extensive experience in handling car accident claims where a distracted driver is at fault. Our firm has the resources and know-how that you will need to ensure that your car accident claim stands the best possible chance at success. You do not have to attempt handling your claim all on your own and face the insurance company alone. Sand Law is more than happy to assist you in seeking compensation for the damages that you have suffered.

You can contact us online or call us at (651) 291-7263.


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(651) 291-7263