Even though distracted driving is a factor in one out of every 10 accidents in the United States, finding proof is not always easy. While some drivers might slip, most will rarely volunteer harmful information about what they were doing just prior to a collision. Likewise, other passengers in the car often have a convenient lapse of memory. Outside witnesses rarely have the necessary perspective to see what the other driver was doing prior to the accident. This means that Seattle plaintiffs’ attorneys often have their work cut out for them when investigating car accidents.
Distracted driving is such a serious problem in Washington State that it should be investigated in every car accident. There are several steps an attorney can take to uncover evidence of this dangerous and irresponsible conduct:
Phone records — Phone usage is one of the most common types of distracted driving and is also illegal in Washington State. Obtaining phone records and cross-referencing them to the time of the accident can show whether a driver was using a phone at the time of a collision.
Police reports — A police report may contain accounts of the driver’s initial statements and photographs of the vehicles. Interior photographs may show food wrappers, GPS units or other potential sources of distraction.
Eyewitness accounts — It is usually difficult to get eyewitness testimony about distracted driving — bystanders usually can’t see what drivers are doing, and passengers usually won’t tell. However, an attorney may be able to get the defendant driver or passengers to indirectly admit to distracted driving through skillful questioning.
While distracted driving is a frequent cause of car accidents in Washington State, other factors can play a role as well. An experienced attorney investigates all plausible theories to determine which one provides the strongest basis for liability.