How to Prove a Texting and Driving Accident in North Carolina
National prevention campaigns to end texting and driving accidents have such titles as “It Can Wait,” “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” and “Famous Last Words,” namely to reach the 660,000 people continuing to use cell phones while driving.
In North Carolina, texting while driving is prohibited. But 14% of drivers in a national survey said they still read text messages and emails while driving. If you believe that you or a loved one has been hurt in a texting and driving accident, it is important for you to prove that the other driver was distracted behind the wheel. In addition, you need to be able to prove that texting and driving was the cause of the accident.
Our experienced car accident lawyers at Campbell & Associates can review your case in light of state laws to get you the compensation you deserve. Call 704-333-0885 or schedule a free consultation today.
What is North Carolina’s Law on Texting and Driving?
While most motorists over 18 years old are allowed to talk on a cell phone while driving, texting while driving is illegal. North Carolina is a “primary law” state, which means that the police can stop you and issue a ticket solely for violating this law. It is illegal for drivers to:
- Manually enter and send text messages
- Read an e-mail or text on an electronic device
Exceptions to this handheld ban on texting and driving include the following situations:
- A driver is lawfully parked or stopped
- The driver is a police officer, firefighter or ambulance driver on duty
- The technology used is a factory-installed GPS
- A driver uses voice-operated technology such as talk-to-text
- An emergency requires an underage driver to contact a guardian
Because of limitations to enforcing the law and exceptions to the law itself, proving a texting and driving offense can be a challenge for a car accident claim.
How Can I Prove a Negligent Driver was Texting and Driving?
Because of the exceptions to state law and the difficulty of enforcing the limited handheld ban, texting and driving car accidents can be challenging to prove. Collecting evidence that proves the at-fault driver’s negligence is the best way to strengthen your claim:
✓ Police Report. The negligent driver may have admitted to the responding police officer that they were texting while driving. This should have been noted in the officer’s police report.
✓ Witnesses. Eyewitness accounts from passengers in your vehicle, the at-fault driver’s vehicle, or bystanders can help affirm that the other driver was texting while driving.
✓ Cell Phone Records. Several laws restrict the accessibility and privacy of cell phone statements. But in most cases, it is possible to locate timestamps for calls and texts from drivers’ statements.
Why Hire a Lawyer After a Distracted Driving Accident?
Although texting may only involve a few typed words, sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. As a result, these car accident injuries are serious.
A personal injury lawyer can collect cell phone records, witness statements and other evidence that can help prove the other driver’s negligence. Since North Carolina law only bans drivers from using cellphones to send texts or emails, proving fault can be a challenge. That’s why our car accident lawyers’ knowledge of state laws and guidelines can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a texting or otherwise distracted driver, reach out to our dedicated personal injury lawyers at Campbell & Associates. Our auto accident attorneys are skilled at identifying the cause of your car accident and knowing when to pursue compensation. Contact our North Carolina car accident lawyers for a free consultation at 704-333-0885 or online for a free case evaluation.